Hereford Road 22

3 Hereford Road , London, W2 4AB

  • Hereford Road 2007 - Hereford Road 001
  • Hereford Road 2007 - Hereford Road exterior 1

SquareMeal Review of Hereford Road

As comfortable as your Uggs but twice as stylish, this trusted neighbourhood favourite is now an essential part of Notting Hill’s DNA, appealing to old hippies and new money alike. Tom Pemberton’s cooking nods to his background at St John, but it’s very much his own distinct take on things. Starters of Jerusalem artichokes with hazelnuts, quail with medlar jelly or lightly cooked duck livers tossed with capers, tarragon and green beans suggest British food handled with flair and integrity. To follow, there might be a tranche of hake with roast cauliflower and nutty brown butter, devilled kidneys with mash, roast game birds or steak and kidney pie to share, while wonderfully old-fashioned desserts include treacle tart, fruit crumble and custard or warm rice pudding with jam. Regulars make as beeline for the snug red-leather seating by the busy open grill, although there’s more space at the back with larger tables and illumination from the huge circular skylight. A few street-side tables are much in demand, whatever the weather.

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Hereford Road is recommended for

Quiet Conversation | Traditional | Child Friendly | Outside Seating

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Royal Oak Tube Station 479m

Bayswater Tube Station 507m

Address

Address: 3 Hereford Road , London W2 4AB

Area: Paddington Bayswater

Opening times

Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sun -4pm) 6-10.30pm (Sun -10pm)

Nearby Landmarks

U.C.I. Whiteleys 8 Cinema 403m

Westbourne Gardens 427m

Details

Telephone: 020 7727 1144

Website:

Cuisine: British

Lunch: £13/15 (2/3 courses)

6.2

Food & Drink: 6.5

Service: 5.5

Atmosphere: 6.2

Value: 6.6

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 27 February 2017

I had had high hopes visiting Hereford Road, but found them mostly disappointed. Located on the site of a former butcher’s and with offal as its USP, I have been led to believe that Hereford Road might have the potential to be as west London equivalent of the ever-popular St. John. At 7pm on a recent Thursday evening, I certainly didn’t expect to be the first customer in the restaurant and as I sat down to survey my surroundings, I considered that whatever the place may have in its favour in terms of food, it would have to compensate amply for the palpable lack of atmosphere. Even if this initial assessment may appear too harsh, neither the overall feel of the place nor the food ever got going. At its peak that evening, the restaurant was barely half full and any voice much above normal volume registered abruptly. The tables are well-spaced and the light-well a nice touch, but probably to see Hereford Road at its best, you need a summer’s day with a few more customers present. Despite the fact that the staff were hardly rushed off their feet, all of those with whom we interacted seemed really to struggle in summoning enthusiasm for the job they were doing. When my dining comrade asked our server which of two mains she would recommend, her answer was hedged, evasive and half-hearted. I also overheard another server highlighting specials of the day to a nearby table, yet bafflingly, these were not offered to us. Had they been, I doubt whether my appraisal of the culinary output would have been any more effusive. The dishes we had were essentially unmemorable. My game paté starter was tasteless and lacking moisture. It could have comprised game or gammon and I might not have been any wiser. My onglet main became a chore to eat; the meat chewy and unrelenting. My comrade enjoyed the aesthetic presentation of his dishes but certainly did not lavish any notable praise on their taste. At ~£60/head (wine and service included), I was left distinctly feeling that my money could have been much better spent elsewhere.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Adele F. 14 January 2013

I have been here several times previously and really lked it. Took a friend who was emigrating for a final UK meal & wanted somewhere British. It was Sunday night. Many things on the menu were not available but we were not told that until we selected our food. Then again, after our second attempt at selection the same thing happened. A few things which weren't on the menu appeared – but after some inexplicable hesitation. We only found out venison was available after we'd tried unsuccessfully to order duck, pork belly and rabbit.. The waitress told us “its the end of the week, it happens , we just dont have much food left”. Understood, as a reality. However you go out to eat in order to avoid that kind of reality so it was not a clever thing to tell clients they are basically mopping up what's left. The presentation of the food that was available was sloppy & unappetizing, although the food was s tasty. A quail starter was just a quail slapped on a plate no garnish. Venison was sliced into random raggedy pieces resembling dog food chunks. I suspect they just booked too many tables that night but it wasn't fun being that one table too many and it being made so clear to us that was the case made for an uncomfortable evening. They offered free desserts to compensate but rushed us over them, clearing around us and removing my husbands wine before he had finished. I probably won't risk going again.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 16 May 2012

If imitation is the most acceptable part of worship, then Tom Pemberton must worship Fergus Henderson. He used to work with the great man, and it shows, with Fergus’s influence being felt across everything in Hereford Road. Well, almost everything: whilst all three outposts of the St John’s Empire are minimalist white-on-white, HR has gone for a splash of colour. Not much of course, but the banquettes along one wall are red, and the walls ivory, rather than just white. Entry to the restaurant, which is just off Westbourne Grove, is alongside the open kitchen, where Tom and his crew do not so much seem to be slaving away, as enjoying themselves. A huge rib of beef sits resting. Pans are ready, the grill is fired up and the room is starting to fill. There are tables along this alleyway, but the main restaurant is at the end, sunken down a few steps, light playing on the walls from the circular skylight. Being May it is cold and wet, so any thoughts of light dishes or wines are out the door. Looking at what others have said, I really must come back in the game season. Today, however, is a day for red wine and a slice of that rib of beef. The service is the only thing that didn’t really quite work for me, a complaint that I have had before about St John’s. It isn’t rude, it’s just a bit slow; a bit too relaxed, with not enough attention for so many tables. Having got our order in (eighteen minute wait for the quail, we are told), we cracked open the wine list. Like too few restaurants these days, the wine list is short and on the cheaper side. Nothing standout, no trophy wines, but some good regional French reds. Just what we were looking for: a cheeky shiraz/viognier to start, some serious Portuguese and a classic claret to round off. All in the twenties. The menu is as you’d expect from Modern British; short on description, big on fresh, seasonal produce. Nettle soup, beetroot and asparagus on the starter list, guinea fowl, rabbit and lemon sole on the main. If you want sides, there are greens and boiled spuds. We ended up starting with one of the lighter numbers, the sweetbreads with green beans and mint, which was superb: crunchy on the outside, soft and meting within. Asparagus too, with some slivers of what looked like parmesan, but turned out to be Coolea, an Irish cows milk cheese. Not as harsh as parmesan, and certainly as pleasant atop the grilled spears. And then that quail, simply roasted with some shaved radishes; eighteen minutes in preparation, several fewer in ingestion. The mains too were fantastic: a seriously thick slab of pork belly, proper crackling, some sprouting broccoli and a dribble of cooking juice, and a thick slice of rib, red on the inside, with some root veg and horseradish cream. As a side, some greens. I’m not usually a dessert kind of chap, preferring the tangy delights of a well stocked (and preferably smelly) cheese trolley, but the chocolate pave with honeycomb sounded too good to pass up. It was as good as it sounds; dark, dark chocolate, with light honeycomb crunches on top – a posh Crunchie bar. I really have no desire to live in this part of town but, if I did, then this would be a most welcome local. Not fancy, not a destination restaurant, not a place for a first date, but a solid, reliable place, with good, honest cooking at really good prices. I wish they’d move near to where I live.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

mamma niamh silver reviewer 03 April 2012

I have just enjoyed the Hereford Road ‘express lunch’. One course with a glass of wine to match (both change daily) bread and butter and a coffee for £9.50. Today it was cockles in leeks, thyme and cider – utterly delicious. Clearly none of the ingredients were very expensive but they were really well presented adn the wine was the perfect match to the sweetness of the cockles. Ive read severeal reviews complaining about the service – it was fine. Not too intrusive, smiley and welcoming. This is good quality food, linen napkin, decent wine – all for under a tenner (with service its actually £10.69) AND you are ina nd out of the restaurant within the hour. I will be back, again and again

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Emyr T. silver reviewer 06 May 2010

Situated in an old butcher’s shop near Notting Hill, Hereford Road’s simple and sparse interior allows the food do the talking with its seasonal British menu that relies on high quality ingredients. Similar to St John, where the chef trained, Hereford Road has a focus on offal, but it is also well known for its simple yet accomplished fish dishes.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Damian L. 24 January 2010

Visited this Notting Hill-Billy ‘diamond’ against my better judgement having read the reviews and hoping to be proven wrong. Think again. The service seems jaunty enough at the start and promises good things but frankly the food – not helped by the open kitchen where you can visibly see the rather too hirsuite sous-chef dropping his sweat and hair onto your dinner – is terrible. We waited the best part of an hour, having passed on the starters due to the ambivalence of our adjoining tables, and awaited the mains of rack of lamb and pork belly. Sadly either would have been more at home in the confines of a public school dining room. If you are seeking finesse from this establishment, forget it – driving diners to the nearest fast-food burger bar is never a good policy for a local eatery but that is where Hereford Road leads.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

David E. 20 January 2010

The food at Hereford Road is not bad. Its not very good either. But unfortunately, the restaurant staff – and the “service” given by them – do not reach even those mediocre heights. Thankfully, it is pretty unusual these days (I have never otherwise experienced it in my 10 years of eating out in London) to receive throwback, 1970s style “what do you know, you are just the customer” care and attention – especially in a restaurant that has pretensions in the direction of the excellent St John's Bread and Wine and its peers. After taking exception to being served with an anaemic and greasy pile of what appeared to be deep fried potato crisps with Pheasant (they were supposed to be fresh game chips) we told the waiting staff we were disappointed. Their response: “The Chef calls them Game Chips. So they are Game Chips”. No attempt to placate us, no dialogue. Just “take it or leave it”. The French restaurant manager did an excellent job of guaranteeing that we left with an awful taste in our mouths, telling me “you talk too much” (i.e. how dare you complain); telling us that “you will pay the entire bill or there will be trouble” by agreeing that the more appropriate way of treating his customers in this situation might be to offer an apology or even a coffee on the house, but that “I am different” and “do not care what you think about the food”. In fact, the only helpful suggestion he had to offer was that “you need to find another restaurant”. Don't worry, we will. Any other restaurant, in fact. If there is anyone out there planning to open a restaurant, pub, or any other establishment that relies on pleasing and impressing its customers, I suggest you pop along to Hereford Road for a cautionary lesson on how bad an experience it is possible to give your customers, if you really, really try.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Flying Foodie silver reviewer 26 April 2009

Hereford Road deserves a prize for seating. They have created the most optimal type of seats for a given space that I think I have ever seen. You enter along a corridor of romantic two-seater banquettes where couples can eat in an almost side-by-side format. Then most of the restaurant is given over to generous six-seater booths which encourage conviviality and a good night out. The rest of the decor is modern, cool, but quite plain. Service, wine and pricing were all excellent. We were amazed to get out at £45 a head after a three course meal with plenty of wine and bottled water. My only disappointment was the food, which is the St John, grisly carnivore style. I’m sure it’s great for those who love it but I prefer my food to be refined and elegant and struggled to find anything I really wanted to eat. My razor clams and brill were well-executed and fine, but I longed for more dishes to choose from. My friends spent most of the night dismembering half a lamb in a soup with carrots which they loved, but left me cold and looked like something people ate in medieval times. A dessert of profiteroles was also quite hard. Overall – a lovely space, great for couples or groups. Many will love the food, and I will be back, but wish I could have true modern continental sophisticated fare.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Jane M. 20 December 2008

The Westbourne Grove area is awash with overpriced, average restaurants or the ubiquitous gastro-pub so it was a fabulous treat to have dinner at Hereford rd. Truly ambrosial food, very reasonable and a nice little romantic banquette, warmed by the heat and flavours from the open plan kitchen. A triumph.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Anna B. 03 November 2008

We were pleasantly surprised by this new neighbour of ours, popping in for an unplanned dinner just after it opened. The food was excellent – honest, traditional, perfectly cooked – simply delicious. The open-plan kitchen made the whole experience a lot more personal and added buzz. The value for money is outstanding, given the high quality of food and wine and very reasonable prices. The only slight criticism, which may have been a teething problem, is that the floor staff seemed rushed, not entirely in control and not always that attentive. However, service was very friendly, which mostly made up for the occasional wait. I have tried to return to this little gem of a restaurant ever since, but its become so popular I have not been able to get a table!

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