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Portuguese cooking hasn’t reached the foodie mainstream, but top chef Luis Baena has set about boldly reinventing its classic and regional cuisine at the Notting Hill Kitchen. Inside, it comprises
a ‘standing bar’ and a maze of airy interconnected rooms done out in subdued pastel shades with handsome wooden furniture, tea lights flickering in alcoves and designer ceramics adding a chic,
modern edge. This is an ambitious restaurant in a swanky part of town, so don’t expect holiday clichés: instead, look for oyster croquetas enlivened with turmeric and saffron oil, scallops with
tomato, crispy onion and smooth garlic pannacotta or slow-cooked salt cod in squid ink with chorizo crumble. Otherwise, brioche filled with spicy spider crab mousse is a star turn on the new tapas
menu. Traditional hams carved at the table and relatively unknown regional wines complete your Portuguese lesson.
An array of drinks greets us at the door and we congregate in the bar area for a few minutes before everyone is ushered through to the main restaurant. We can all barely squeeze into the long table set up for us at one end (If you’re stuck in the middle, there’s no escaping!) and I think this is a restaurant more suited to intimate tete a tete’s, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, or perhaps in more smaller groups tucked under one of the arches, but we’re all settled in and with our own special event menus to gaze upon.I am feeling pretty happy – Seafood, LOVE it, Pork, YUM. So far, I’m happy...
More from inher30s »
The passion behind Notting Hill Kitchen is driven by two experts in the field of food; Luis Baena and Filipa Texeira. Excitingly, this is award-winning Baena’s London debut, who’s 28 year career has seen him training with top chefs all over the world from Belgium to the States and Hong Kong. In Portugal he is an absolute food hero, he’s the guy that has travelled and worked with a lot of high profile chefs. He has written books, been on TV and also consults for large hotel groups. You could almost describe him as the Jamie Oliver of Portugal. Who better to appoint for head chef of Notting Hill Kitchen?...
More from Whistle and Bango »
Notting Hill Kitchen is a relative newcomer to the London restaurant scene, serving a Portuguese/Spanish variation of food. The restaurant sprawls across the ground floors of three converted Edwardian townhouses, with sets of dining rooms that wind around the natural supporting beams of the structure. The colour scheme is all forest green and khaki, and very grown up. This is a place you would feel comfortable bringing your aging relatives. Our group of excitable foodies is perhaps not their usual clientele, but the vino welcome is most pleasing.Our event menu includes dishes that the restaurant would have on its a la carte. Mini burgers are filled with Spider Crab Mousse and dehydrated mussels, or Mac Silva cod. A pig lover may delight in the jamon croquetas or main of pork neck, unfortunately little piggies are forbidden to me...
More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »
There are actually quite a few Portuguese restaurants in London but many of them are aimed at the Portuguese living here rather than at anyone else. This may explain why, despite there being a sizeable portuguese community, it’s a cuisine that many Londoners don’t seem to know that much about.So I was pretty excited when I heard about a new portuguese restaurant in London’s Notting Hill. Coincidentally, although it’s now one of the most chi-chi parts of the capital, back in the Sixties Notting Hill was a poor area which became home to many of the first wave of Portuguese immigrants arriving in England...
More from Grace, Lace and Terracotta »
The food critics don’t like Portuguese inspired restaurant Notting Hill Kitchen much, and it makes me nervous. There aren’t that many great Spanish and Portuguese restaurants lining London’s streets and I am apprehensive of another dismal or below average dining episode.Head Chef Luis Baena is clearly passionate about his craft and using high quality ingredients, as he describes the more sustainable rearing of Iberian pigs and his focus on ethical produce. Pata Negra ham tasting fabulous is testament to this process. His passion is slightly infectious and I consume far too many tapas sharing plates for one small individual. It all leaves me rather overwhelmed...
More from London Dining Reviews »
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