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Restaurants Near Shepherd's Bush, Notting Hill Gate, etc [London]

My fiancé are headed to London for a week in September and we were lucky enough to find a lovely apartment for rent in the Notting Hill area. The tube stations nearby are Latimer Road, Shepherd's Bush, White City, and Notting Hill Gate.

We were hoping for suggestions in the area for a great pub to grab a drink and some great food. Also, if there are any lovely restaurants in the area we shouldn't miss, please do tell.

We'd like at least one decadent dinner and we have a few places in mind, but we're worried about the timing and if we'll be able to get a table. Our running list includes:

Bruno Loubet
Eastside Inn
Hibiscus
White Horse
Durbar
Dishoom
Pear Liang

We're adventurous and not at all opposed to pub food or a great lunch/brunch spot. I have been on the UK/Ireland page quite a bit and have read some really great reviews. Just curious what you all think? Thanks!

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  1. Ugh, I'm embarrassed by my original post! I have read even more threads now and I should have been more specific! Sorry!
    We love ethnic food with big, bold flavors. We'd also love to try some "traditional" British food. I have read decent things about Ranoush, El Pirata, Master's Superfish, Harwood Arms, Bull & Last, The Eagle, and The Coach and Horses.
    We're going to be hitting many of the standard tourist sights as well and trying to wander around good neighborhoods. I'm looking forward to taking my time at The Borough Market and finding lovely bits and maybe some chocolate.
    Again, I'm sorry for the scattered nature of the post. It's been ages since I've been to London and it will be my fiancé's first time.
    Like I said, we'd love a really great dinner at least one night - one where dressing nicely is expected or at least not looked at weirdly.
    Thanks again all!
    p.s. I have been looking at limster's posts and have gotten some great ideas!

    2 Replies
    1. re: atticaster

      I remember liking Hereford Road in Bayswater for very good British cooking with unencumbered ingredients, simplicity in itself.

      If you're willing to go further for your "nice" dinner, Trinity in Clapham is an outstanding place, enjoyed my two meals there more than, say Eastside Inn or L'Autre Pied.

      Closer to where you're staying, I was very impressed by the understated but technically formidable cooking at Koffman's -- it's straightforward bistrot-like food, without any fanciful presentation, but sumptuous all the same. Should be more than fine for your dressy dinner, even if it styles itself as being casual. Another possibility would be Ishbilla in Knightsbridge for Lebanese (love the breads, the foul muqqala, mouhamara and the grilled chicken).

      Try Maharastrian at Indian Zing in Hammersmith (the veg thali would be perfect).

      Consider combining tapas at El Pirata with mezze at Al Waha and then ice cream at L'Artisan du Chocolat.

      I'm expecting Howler to pipe up with Launceston Place (I haven't been, saving it for a friend that I think will like it).

      Polish food at the reincarnated Daquise in South Kensington is excellent and very old school.

      Also try Min Jiang for dim sum, especially the Shanghainese shu mai.

      1. re: limster

        thank you for your reply!! i have so much more to research now!! i'm getting more and more excited for our trip.

    2. No need to feel embarrassed.

      I have to echo the person who mentioned hereford rd. i have eaten there several times and i love the place, excellent british cuisine, changing on a daily basis. The head chef is from the famous St John's. Harewood Arms is also a very good place to eat.

      You are also lucky enough to be close to Loftus Road, i would recommend taking the time to watch QPR play whilst you are there. ( i jest unless you want the unique lower league football experience). However near by is the Uxbridge Rd which has a large number of ethnic eateries, from Jamaican to Syrian. Esarn Khew is very good, specialising in the food of the eponymous Esarn region of NE Thailand, two caveats though; the decor and owner do not add to the experience. Tolerate both though, its worth it.

      Borough Market is good fun but gets packed quickly. if its a nice day a stroll along the river as far as Butlers Wharf is nice. Tapas Brindisa is a nice place to eat there. The Southwark Tavern on the corner is a nice pub, especially the downstairs. if you walk along borough highstreet past the hostels and turn left onto Tabard street there is one of the best pubs in London for cask ale the Royal Oak which specialises in beer from the excellent Harvey's brewery

      . Another great beer pub is the Bree Louise nr. Euston, they also so a 'pie of the day' (the savoury english kind) for a fiver. Near by is also a very nice Gujarati place, Diwarna bhel phoori although i hear the generic 'curry' dishes there are best avoided.

      As for your expensive night out, the only one in your list i have eaten at is Hibiscus and it was excellent. If the menu appeals the execution shouldn't disappoint. Although i would still credit by best London dining experience to Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.

      Where are you coming from? this might give a good idea of things to recommend you might not get at home.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hasan

        may i employ you for the duration??? haha! these places sound lovely!

        we're coming from omaha, nebraska. my fiancé and i are not novices when it comes to food or travel, so we are most definitely up for anything. i would say we would like to stay away from super heavy dishes and huge portions. it seems america can tend to over-do it when it comes to portion size.

      2. can i hijack and ask what people's experiences of the electric brasserie (next to the electrric cinema) on portobello road are?

        atticaster - on another tangent, i can recommend the cinema if you have time. individual leather armchairs with foot rests and side tables, a bar at the back which serves wine and cocktails and snacks for nibbling on such as quesadillas, hummus with flat breads plus decent coffees. much better than the usal fizzy drink, sweets and popcorn offerings.

        back on track though, next to the cinema is an ice cream shop called dri dri where i got an excellent lemon sorbet. there is also a fabulous spanish deli called garcia on portobello road if you plan any make-your-own meals.

        6 Replies
        1. re: abby d

          Churros with dipping chocolate are good at Garcia's (the Portebello Road Market stall) - I assume that they are of similar quality at the permanent store?

          1. re: limster

            Churros Garcia (www.churrosgarcia.co.uk) and Cafe Garcia (www.cafegarcia.co.uk) though both selling Churros in Portbello are unconnected. Compare the churros for yourself, but, for my money, the stall ones win hands down

            1. re: andypaynton

              Thanks much for setting the record straight. Noticed that that the stall has a presence at Broadway Market as well, but haven't tried yet. Same quality overall?

          2. re: abby d

            I've only had a brunch there and thought it was mediocre. I think my tea was served with a pitcher of not boiling water and a tea bag which is always frustrating.

            1. re: relizabeth

              thanks, sounds like it's not worth the visit. some of the other reviews i've seen seem to be positive but say it's overpriced.

            2. re: abby d

              we would LOVE to have the option to cook at home, so thank you for the deli suggestion. and yes, i would also love to enjoy a film if we have the time. cheers!

            3. Two superb pubs in the area around the Nottinghill Gate Tube station are the Churchill on Kensington Church Street, one of our favorite pubs in all London, which also offers quite decent Thai food, and the newish Mall Tavern. I haven't been to the latter yet for more than drinks last winter when it first opened under current management, but my husband who was there in late July says the food is very good and it recently had a quite good report on Time Out. Food is modern British/ gastropub type stuff.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Joan Kureczka

                That reminds me to also mention the Princess Victoria on Uxbridge Road.

                1. re: limster

                  this pub looks amazing and i've read that the chef uses UK sourced ingredients, which really appeals to us! I'm making many a list at the moment!

                  1. re: atticaster

                    "chef uses UK sourced ingredients"

                    Most chefs will - local, seasonal produce is the essence of British cuisine. Obviously, there are things that we cannot grow here, say like citrus, that have always been imported.

                    1. re: Harters

                      I just appreciate seeing "locally-sourced" when it comes to restaurants. I live in Omaha, Nebraska, which is in the middle of the United States and surrounded by agriculture and farmland. However, it still seems difficult to find more than half a dozen restaurants that use more than 50% local ingredients. I'm looking forward to visiting a city that embraces what is local and in season.

                      1. re: atticaster

                        I think you'll find that by some miracle of nature, many fruits and vegetables in England actually have a taste! Compared to the American peas, potatoes and apples, the produce here is really amazing and truly inspirational. I will stick up for American blueberries... they are superior. :-)

                        1. re: zuriga1

                          Actually, June, we have a very minimal homegrown commerical crop of blueberries. Most are imports.

                          1. re: Harters

                            Yes, true.... and I should have made it more clear that I meant blueberries found in British shops (from wherever). The best ones I've found (at least this year) were Polish and from M&S. They are large, juicy and sweet. I paid top price, but it was worth it. I don't know if most of Tesco's and Sainsbury's are also Polish imports, but theirs are usually fairly awful.

                            1. re: zuriga1

                              Usually Polish in Sainsbury (I buy them when they're on BOGOF).

                              1. re: Harters

                                I often shop at Sainbury's and have their blueberries many times. On occasion they match the M&S but not usually. I guess there are Polish blueberries and Polish blueberries. :-) I don't know how M&S source such good ones. I only wish they weren't so dear.

                                1. re: zuriga1

                                  M& S buyers are the dogs bollocks when it comes to doing their thing.

                                  There was a local dairy that used to produce "own label" yoghurts for a number of supermarkets. Marks & Sparks always had the highest spec. and the most intensive compliance procedures.

                2. re: Joan Kureczka

                  sounds perfect! thanks! what can we expect weather-wise while we're there? do we want hearty meals to fend off potentially chilly weather? will we be able to stroll around from place to place or shall we take cabs, the tube, etc...?

                3. thank you everyone!!! i was about to give up on chowhound because i felt embarrassed and lame for presenting such a vague post. thanks for restoring my faith in CH!

                  1. How about food trucks in London? Do they exist? Any worth mentioning??

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: atticaster

                      I haven't noticed many food trucks, but there are plenty of food stalls on various markets. Some notable ones I've been to include ones in Brick Lane Market - Thai satay stall for sata, Brazilian stall for feijoada; and Borough Market - kappacaesin (grilled cheese sandwich), Vegetarian/salad stall next to the stall that sells smoothies and cider, Northfield Farms for burgers, various grilled meats in a baguette (excellent sauces) next to the paella place. Apparently the crepe stand at broadway Market us good, but I haven't been. The crepe stand in hampstead is lovely.

                      1. re: atticaster

                        You might also enjoy the food stalls at the Camden Lock Market. That's a very interesting area and something very different than you'd find in Omaha. What we call food trucks in the States are just about the same here - just sometimes smaller and in a different form.

                        Stroll around Regent's Park and walk past the zoo and down to the canal (easily found on a map). You can walk the canal in no time down to the Camden Lock exit and all the shops and food. We did this in the Spring and really enjoyed it.

                        Cooler weather has already set in here, although that could easily change. Brings lots of layers and be prepared for anything... should be a relief after the hot, hot summer you've had.

                        1. re: zuriga1

                          wonderful suggestions!! thanks! and yes, our summer has been especially brutal, it seems. takes your breath away. i would love to take some time to stroll around regent's park!

                          1. re: atticaster

                            If you're staying in NH you can take a bus or walk to Little Venice and then take a canal boat to Camden Locks along the Regents Canal (see sched below)- you could then walk back around the park and take a tube bus back to Notting Hill or take the boat back as well. Trip works in reverse as well.

                            If the weather's nice there's a cool nitro ice cream parlor that just set up in the Locks - though I think there are a few of these in the States - so maybe not so unique

                            if you need anymore specific NH recs let me know - though if you search the board you can find most of mine

                            Dave

                            1st APRIL to 26th SEPTEMBER
                            from Little Venice ; 10am, 11, 12, 1.15pm, 2pm and hourly to 5pm
                            from Camden Lock ; 10am, 11, 12, 1.15pm, 2pm and hourly to 5pm
                            http://www.londonwaterbus.com/

                            1. re: NYLONDave

                              Thanks very much! That sounds just lovely!

                      2. I had an amazing starter of homemade dumplings with lentils and fried bread at one of the middle eastern (lebanese?syrian?) places on Uxbridge Road. I think it might have been Abu Zaad, but I am not certain. When are you coming in September? I'm not sure how Ramadan effects opening hours of some restaurants, but it is something to be aware of this month.

                        There is also a nice little wine bar Albertine on Wood Lane around the corner. These are near Shepards Bush Green and Shepard Bush Market Tube.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: relizabeth

                          We will be in London from September 8-16. Thanks for the Ramadan tip! And I love the sound of the wine bar!

                          1. re: relizabeth

                            Abu Zaad is indeed fantastic Syrian food http://www.abuzaad.co.uk/

                            I have spent many an evening in Albertine's wine bar - French wine list and small menu - lovely charcuterie. Go for lunch and spend all afternoon - it's very pleasant.

                            Across the road is the massive Westfield shopping centre (aka "mall") - grocery shopping at the Waitrose is convenient for Shepherd's Bush/White City. There are also outposts of some of the better (not great, just better) small chain restaurants (Byron for burgers/Wahaca for Mexican

                            )

                            Best felafel is (I think called) "The Best Palestinian Felafel" in Shepherd's Bush Market - interesting different mix with ever so little hint of cinnamon and lots of pickled veg along with the regular salad etc

                            And finally as you're in the area take a tour of the BBC's Television Centre!!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/to...

                            1. re: themags

                              Outstanding! Thanks very much. I can't say I've ever eaten Syrian food and it sounds amazing. I love love love falafel and it might be hard to top the best I've ever eaten in the Marais in Paris. However, I am looking forward to it!

                              1. re: howler

                                I reckon anywhere that has frika on the menu has to be worth a shot. It's something I've only recently discovered (when it was spelt freikeh). Tastes great.

                                1. re: Harters

                                  FYI no booze allowed at Abu Zaad

                                  1. re: themags

                                    Their homemade juices are sublime, though.

                            2. Harwood Arms is really really good....Tuesday nights are a fun night to go because its pub quiz night. The food is delicious, authentic and seasonal. The bonus is its a straight shoot from Notting HIll Tube on the district line....can't get better than that!

                              There is also a really good pub in Parsons Green called The White Horse Tavern that has a very extensive beer and wine list - and only one stop away from Fulham (where Harwood is)...

                              Opps...again one of the best meals I have ever has is at Bocca Di Lupo - it specialises in Italian Tapas and it is delicious! A must try...reservations are needed as its only a tiny restaurant

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: MRS.CROX

                                For restaurants in da Bush, Notting Hill, Hammersmtih - I would try 101 Thai Kitchen on King Street for excellent thai (better than Esarn Khaew and its closer to where I live), Adam's Cafe on Askew Road for Northern African its bring a bottle and during the day a greasy spoon...ridiculously reasonable. You also have the River Cafe and Chez Kristof on Hammersmith Grove. Abu Zaad for Damascene/Lebanese food on Uxbridge Road

                                1. re: MRS.CROX

                                  Harwood Arms it is, then! We'll be sure to visit there on a Tuesday night! I believe I have the White Horse Tavern on a tentative list at home. Thank you for the tapas suggestion. We love tapas of any variety! It makes me feel like I'm not eating much while simultaneously stuffing my face!

                                2. Thoughts on:

                                  Racine
                                  Terroir
                                  Launceton Place
                                  Uma? Umu?

                                  A friend recently advised me of these.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: atticaster

                                    Launceston Place has been on my "to try" list since I saw it's sous-chef, Steve Groves, win "Masterchef - the Professionals" last year. Very talented guy. Anyone know if he's still cooking there?

                                    1. re: atticaster

                                      Racine is nice, but i think for the money there are more exciting places to eat. Terroir appeals t me a lot and i have heard good things with a question mark over value for money. I have heard great things about a Venetian place Polpo (small plates) haven't been yet but plan too when i'm back in London.

                                      i have heard good things about Launceston Place, again haven't been. Andyhayler.com is a good site for a view on dining in London. There are a lot of excellent lunch deals on at most of the cities top restaurants so i would bear that in mind. Umu is by all accounts extremely expensive and i have heard mixed reports about how good it is.

                                      The consensus appears to be that Gordon Ramsey has spread himself a bit thin and standards are not what they where (Claridges lost its star for instance). Marcus Wareing as i mentioned above is a former Ramsey restaurant and Marcus was a protege of his (there was an acrimonious split a couple of years ago. Maze is popular but i had a very poor meal there and have had no desire to give it another chance for the money.

                                      It hasn't always received positive press but i had a great lunch at Sketch (Pierre Gagnaire) earlier in the year. They had an excellent value lunch menu with good choice of dishes and water, wine and coffee all included. Each course is made up of smaller dishes to be eaten in a set order. This results in getting to try a large number of plates of food for the money. Great time and care had gone into each dish as well making the cost seem very impressive. (it also included Hors d'ouvres, amuse bouche and petit fours). The place is an experience in itself. Christian Dior's old mansion with Lewis Carol inspired interior design. Although the main dining room is much more classically appointed). If the menu appeals then i would recommend it for a lunch (It is v. expensive at dinner)

                                      The reason i asked where you where from was to get an idea of what you might get a lot of at home. I'm not overly familiar with the Omaha dining scene but i wont be recommending steak houses. I would recommend taking advantage of the different regional indian cuisines available in the city (unless i'm underestimating Omaha for South Asian cuisine). They generally involve a bit of travel to areas outside of the centre. So i can't offer too many recommendations without doing so.

                                      Cart food isn't really a thing in London but the same niche is met by ethnic takeaway restaurants
                                      (and market stalls) and small cafes especially in places like those along the uxbridge rd and shepherd's bush mkt.

                                      Brixton is good for Caribbean food and a good experience i think for people visiting the city. Its reputation is undeserved for being unsafe especially during the day. It could be combined with a trip to Tooting for excellent S. Indian food. There are not the most salubrious of areas but i think will give a balanced view of London.

                                      If you are really willing to travel for food then the SPortsman is a wonderful restaurant, but takes a good two hours to get too. Well worth it, but would obviously take a large chunk out of your a day.

                                      As mentioned above Hereford Rd, not sure if its just me, but i love the place and i am borderline evangelical about it.

                                      It wont be cold, cold in September as long as you have warm clothes you will be fine on that front. It may well be very wet though. I would avoid cabs at all costs. i loathe them and bigoted con artists that drive them. Tubes are good. London is not as hard to walk around as some think, spend a bit of time looking at a map and it will become clear how to get around. I wouldn't rule out bus use either. Its worth getting a unlimited travel card if you will be using a lot of public transport.

                                      1. re: Hasan

                                        re: Indian food in Tooting -- I've been to most of the Indian places there and think it's not bad overall, but imho pales in comparison to the places in East Ham.

                                        Agree re: Terriors, found Polpo pretty good but not mind-blowing. Racine also falls into the good not great category -- fairly tight technically, and well made food, but expensive for what it is -- one pays for the real estate as well.

                                        1. re: limster

                                          Agree with Racine spot on, will bear that in mind about Polpo. I think East Ham might be a bit of a trek, as opposed to tooting (when combined with Brixton), however i have heard very good things, never got round to going that far east shamefully but will make the effort next time i'm home and West Ham are not. Any favourites? Am i correct it is mostly a Gujarati area?

                                          1. re: Hasan

                                            East Ham and Upton Park seem quite mixed, Keralan, Hyderabadi, Tamil etc. Haven't been to enough places yet.

                                        2. re: Hasan

                                          Great post. I would add that September is usually a very pleasant month in the UK, weather-wise. If you do venture forth to Brixton (and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it if you only have a week in London, unless you are suffering from museum and sights fatigue), the cafés in Brixton Village market are not to be missed. Cornercopia is probably the best - super-cheap and super-delicious. D's Roti Hut is good for Caribbean food. Open lunchtimes only, Tues-Sat, and also Thurs evening.

                                          Launceston Place has a good value set lunch menu, and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away. The Harwood Arms is excellent, and I also like Terroirs very much. Near Borough Market, Zucca is great for Italian food, although sister restaurant Maltings Cafe is supposed to be even better, but lunchtimes only. I also like Magdalen in that area for modern British.

                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                            wow! thanks greedygirl! as for brixton, i can't imagine we will be leaving London too much as we only have a week. However, I wouldn't mind trying to get into the Fat Duck, but I bet that is just a dream!

                                            1. re: atticaster

                                              Brixton is in London - it's only 20 minutes from Oxford Circus on the tube!

                                          2. re: Hasan

                                            thank you for the tips on the cabs and buses, etc. i was considering getting an oyster card for the week we are there for zones 1-3. however, it seems they have varied price points and i'm not sure which one to buy. i know i can recharge it, but i figured i would buy one with enough on it that i don't need to bother too much with recharging it. any suggestions which one? thanks!

                                        3. Okay, okay, I know this might sound cliché coming from an American, but what are your thoughts on the many Gordon Ramsay restaurants?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: atticaster

                                            I've only been to Maze that now has a new chef, but I'd imagine the tapas menu remains pretty much the same as it was. Since you like tapas, this place might appeal to you. Don't judge the Ramsay restaurants by the stupid TV shows he does. The ones where he fixes up American restaurants is so obviously made to appear one way but has great planning and staging... at least that's what I think. Others can tell you more about the different choices.... obviously he's not doing the cooking at any of them!

                                          2. My fiancé will be busy at a conference at the University of Westminster pretty much all day on Monday and Tuesday during our visit. I will be in the area alone and was hoping for a few suggestions....shall I stay in the area or venture out? Thanks!

                                            1. We really enjoyed The White Horse Tavern.
                                              Great beer and food.