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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)


        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. :-(

                2. Upon passing, the Electric on Portabello Road (which is a restaurant attached to a Cinema with the same name) may seem just a little too hipster, but having recently put aside my reverse snobbism, I have to say that the food is so delicious. The brunch menu has probably the best french toast I've ever had (not at all eggy) and friends said the same about their eggs benny. Their shrimp burger is so juicy and wonderfully spiced and the dinner menu is really delicious as well. All I can say is that I wish I hadn't waited so long to try it out because everything is executed so well. The only warning is that you need to book in advance. If you're going out for drinks, their mojitos are really, really, really delicious too. Though I guess I shouldn't have been surprised because I've never seen a bartender put so much concentration into making a drink.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: marzipants

                    The Ladbroke Arms in Holland Park, and if it is good weather (somewhat rare occurence these days) you can sit outside and the food is good, Clarkes on Kensington Church Street (although W8 not W11 but am splitting hairs). Osteria Basilico and Meditteraneo in Kensington Park Road, E&O, etc.etc

                    1. re: LotsC

                      i know it's a cafe not a restaurant but i love Arancina

                      maybe its the atmosphere but i love sitting upstairs on a saturday and watch the craziness pass underneath me while eating great pizza

                      1. re: feelinfoodie

                        I have lived in Notting Hill for just over two years now and it is a really good area of London to eat out Joan so you are in luck. The only thing to be wary of are places that are a bit too trendy and so suffer in the food stakes (I would put E&O in this category).

                        My favourites:
                        Hereford Road - nose to tail St John style eating
                        Osteria Basilico - reasonably priced homely and buzzing Italian restaurant
                        Prince Bonaparte - down to earth pub food
                        The Oak - pizza
                        Crazy Homies - Mexican and a fun party place
                        Thai Rice - for thai - good home delivery service if you feel like eating at your apartment one night
                        Bayswater road for Chinese and more ethnic eats - Royal China is always a good bet

                        You will of course also want to check out the Portobello market and Books for Cooks just off Portobello road. Enjoy.


                        1. re: Gourmet Chick

                          Have you eaten at the Bonaparte lately? We went there for a Sunday roast this past week and probably had the worst roast I have ever had in my time in London. Beef was cut thin and was still as tough as leather, fish kebabs were inedeble and everything else was middling at best. Maybe as its August the owners, managers and chefs (3rd change in as many years I believe) are giving it a pass - though I would think twice about recommending it for food. They do, do a good jug of Pimms though.

                          1. re: Gourmet Chick

                            Have been to No1 Fortune Cookie a lot on Queensway... Crab noodle and lobster noodle particularly good, have also heard great things about their suckling pig (there is a large group of us trying to organise a night to eat a couple of pigs).... but I always go with a friend from Hong Kong who they know personally so I figure the food is probably better than straight off the menu