Notting Hill Kitchen
A few yards away and round the corner in Kensington Park Road from the famous Portobello Market is the Notting Hill Kitchen under the direction of Executive Chef Luis Baena.
I first met Luis at a private function for which he and colleagues had prepared an absolutely stunning feast of deliciously satisfying canapés.
Luis’s menu according to the Notting Hill Kitchen website is ‘inspired by the Atlantic-facing Iberian Peninsula and his own culinary heritage’. It sounded good. Without hesitation a date for a trip to his restaurant was put into the diary.
In spite of never having been there before we received the warmest of welcomes and were ushered through the bar and warren of inter-connecting rooms decorated in soft shades of grey and green to a decent sized, chunky wooden window table by the General Manager Alessio Puddu.
The staff are charming and we were looked after wonderfully by our waiter Paulo and indeed by Hugo Ferreira, the head chef, who occasionally popped out of his kitchen to chat to us. Well it was a quiet lunch time service!
On Alessio’s advice we opted for a mini selection of plates. In all honesty we thought the salsa verde served with the octopus was a little too acidic and maybe there was a touch too much salt in the rice. However, the other dishes including the succulent charcuterie served with terrific bread and olive oil, the fabulous mackerel, and our divine custard tart for dessert more than compensated.
We debated what Notting Hill Kitchen would be like in the evenings with the soft, warm lights from candles bringing out the rich wood tones and playing on the tiles. There is only one way to find out! M.B.
Notting Hill Kitchen, 92 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2PN. Tel: 0207 313 9526. www.nottinghillkitchen.co.uk