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|Address:||209 Westbourne Park Road, London W11 1EA|
|Tel:||020 3589 2129|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £13.95||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 11am-11pm (Sat-Sun 10am-)|
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I am writing this review, just after hearing that Mr Ramsay has lost his one Michelin Star at Claridges and The Harwood Arms in Fulham has received its first. It has got me thinking as to the sort of food and restaurant atmosphere people want these days?
This leads on to my rare culinary venture to Notting Hill to go out for dinner. Despite the fact that there are a numbr of great restaurants, this now trendy home to the hedge funders has never been on my culinary radar.
I have heard great things about Bumpkin and we decided to go last Thursday night. I was surprised by how quiet the downstairs bar and restaurant was at 8pm, despite the fact when we tried to book online it claimed it the place was fully booked?
A warm greeting from the receptionist and we were led to the upstairs restaurant where there were a few other tables occupied. Service from the beginning was friendly and on the whole efficient, apart from a little delay in the starters arriving.
The four of us all agree that the menu read well with half a dozen starters, half a dozen fish mains and half a dozen meat mains with some of the mains doubling up as starter options. The menu's ingedient works with the seasons, so being winter, lots of hearty dishes. There were a few select specials as well.
Our starters included mussells cooked in white wine, the seasonal soup and a fish pie. The mussells were superb with the slightly acidic white wine sauce, although the portion was a little on the small side. The crust of the pie was not too stodgy and broke off nicely to reveal creamy chunks of fish.
To follow, I had the special of tuscan sausage with white beans and black pudding stew. For £12.50 this dish was a steal and was a fine effort of recreating a classic tuscan dish. My only problem was with the sausages. It was a shame the kitchen opted for the sort of sausages you expect in a local caf's fry up and instead did not opt for some nice Italian sausages which would have worked far better. The haunch of venison steak with the thyme and juniper berries hit just the right spot and the venision was cooked to perfection. The pork belly at £15.50 was clearly from a well fed pig as it was huge. Again though, the dish was liked. The final main was the burger. I find a burger tells you two things about a restaurant. Firstly, if they can cook it to your preference. Bumpkin did this and to be fair it was a half decent burger but for £13.50 if think a little steep in price! Secondly,if a restaurant serves a burger, the sort of restaurant it is trying to be. The Wolseley and The Ivy both have the option of a burger, probably to please the American tourists more than anything else but this is the problem with Bumpkin. I think it has an identitly crisis. It is neither a gastropub or restaurant…it is somewhere in between trying to find its true image. There was just that something missing. When I go in to a restaurant, just as important as the food is the atmosphere. The food, the wine, the company were all top notch but I just had an urge to transport it all to a different place…