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Fav restaurants in Nottinghill area? [London]

We have the opportunity to stay in the future at a friend's flat in the Nottinghill area, which is not an area we've spent a lot of time in previously with the exception of visits to the Kensington Church Street antique sellers and The Churchill Arms plus the street food of the Portobello Rd. markets. So what are your favorite places in this part of London?

Ethnic cuisines, excellent bar food, and other low to moderate priced places are vastly favored over higher end, fancier experiences.

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  1. el pirata de tapas on westbourne grove is really, really wonderful for tapas. the lunch deal maybe the best value for money in town. indeed, you'll find plenty of interesting options along westbourne grove - for instance, on the corner with portobello road is classica negozio, which is an italian wine bar with good finger food.

    you'll probably hear chatter about hereford road, which i find dull and boring. on ken church street itself is sally clarkes, which is modern brit and quite reasonable at lunch.

    finally, queensway with all the chinese restaurants is a stones throw away. search for limsters postings about what to eat in the area - the man is a treasure trove of excellent advice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: howler

      Howler, have you ever been to Kensington Place on Kensington Church St.? I was there ages ago but can't remember much about it. It was one of my first dinners out when I moved over here and met a visiting U.S. friend. I think it gets good reviews, but I'm not sure.

      1. re: zuriga1

        i have, but it was ages ago ... i tend to avoid conrany sort of places (for all the wrong reasons i'm sure).

        1. re: zuriga1

          I used to love Kensington Place, it was always good, fresh seafood. It got taken over by Conran, they took all the old reliable dishes off the menu (such as scallops with peas and foie gras with brioche) and replaced them with so-so food. So disappointing!

          1. re: orangeacme

            Fully agree with Howler about Hereford Road. After all the rave reviews, I was seriously disappointed with lunch there. The place is really sterile and the area under that turfed roof feels damp. The food was decent but pretty uninspired and generally a bit limp and lacking finesse in the kitchen. I expected bravely simple cooking with hearty flavours but instead found myself sampling tough ox tongue and over vinegared celeriac, very chewy Guinea Fowl and underseasoned fish. An underwhelming experience at a silly price. I guess it must have been an off day in the kitchen but I can't help thinking 'what's the fuss al about?'

      2. Our regular spots (in addition to el pirata and hereford rd discussed by others) ;

        Indian - Durbar - Hereford Rd
        Inaho - Sushi - Hereford Rd
        The Oak - Suprisingly nice bar upstairs w/ good bar food/Mediterranean inspired resto downstairs Westbourne Park Rd
        C&R (Wesbourne grove) and Makan (Portobello) - Malay w/ Makan being very cheap
        Mediterraneo & Osteria Basilico - Italian
        Thai Rice & Market Thai - Thai rice has the better food imho but the surroundings are a bit scruffy - Market Thai is a beautiful room
        The Taqueria, Crazy Homies, and Santo for Mexican
        Favourite Pubs for the drinks/atmosphere- Cock & Bottle, Prince Edward, The Cow (when the weather isnt nice , or on weekday afternoons as to avoid the crowds)
        E&O - still going after all these years - pan asian -pushing the moderate prices though
        You also have great persian/lebanese food on Westbourne grove w/ Alounak and Al waha

        Finally, If you want a really charming spot for breakfast or lunch I would recommend Gusto an Italian cafe on Westbourne park (east end - next to the Westbourne)- open about a year or so now and run with lots of love and personal attention by Pietro. Its becoming hard to grab an outdoor table on nice days, though if you're nearby would definitely at least grab a coffee and do some people watching/catch some sun (if available)

        Dave

        1 Reply
        1. re: NYLONDave

          I have also had good meals at C&R as well as Hafez, the Persian place also on Hereford Road. Then again, I am possibly all too easily wooed by aubergine and lamb.

        2. Also Le Cafe Anglais in Bayswater is very good (don't let being in a shopping mall put you off). They do a very good lunch deal so isn't too expensive.

          1. There is a great spot called Uli on All Saints Road which serves a great selection of dishes from all over Asia. It is very affordable by London standards and has a very charming patio out back. Michael the host is worth a visit alone and is great at recommending dishes or an entire meal!

            1. any views on portobello pizza ladbrook road, which aa gill has just claimed is the best pizza in notting hill?

              4 Replies
              1. re: abby d

                I haven't - though a good friend in the area raves about the large outdoor seating area - where he can smoke - and that the pizza is the best in the area. He also mentioned that the calamari and fish is also a stand out. Though w/ his smoking habit I'm not sure how much I trust his taste buds anymore.

                1. re: abby d

                  I've been there twice now, and it's a pretty good pizza - slightly burnt on the bottom and nice and crispy.

                  1. re: orangeacme

                    I finally made it over to Portobello Pizza for lunch and based on our one meal I can say the hype is pretty justifed. The pizza by the meter or a small pie was great (slightly burnt crust, almosty a NYC style thickness to it - so not thin crust, flavourful sauce, awesome toppings) and the service was great. Though it was half full at lunch so wasnt hard to be accomodating/attentive.They were saying grabbing a dinner reservation requires a 3 to 4 day lead time at the moment so plan accordingly.

                    It's so good that I may actually consider driving over, risking my on street parking, and back for take away pizza and deserting my current dealer the Oak (2 minute walk). Why, Oh why, do more places not deliver in London. They are definitly missing a trick. My current theory is that in NYC tipping provides enough income to delivery people to make up for the substandard if any wage and that here salaried delivery people are just too expensive for most places to take on. Any thoughts/insights on this huge cultural chasm welcome

                    1. re: NYLONDave

                      I can't speak for London, but down here in my little corner of Surrey, almost every restaurant delivers.. the local Indian, pizza, Italian restaurant etc. We don't make much use of that service, but it definitely exists and maybe the delivery people are not paid very well down here. I wouldn't mind a good delivered Chinese dinner like I got north of NYC, but we don't have very good Chinese, period. :-(