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191 Portobello Road
Adding a grungy vibe to the Soho House Group’s much-loved Electric Cinema, this revamped eatery ensures you won’t go hungry during one of its well-chosen films. The long, vaulted room pays homage
to the New York diner – complete with leather booths and a long, kitchen-facing bar done out with the group’s trademark finesse and good taste. The menu, compiled with help from high-end diner Au
Cheval in Chicago, is the real deal. Excellent hot dogs come in a soft, sweet brioche bap, double cheeseburgers can be pimped with a thick rasher of bacon, and hoppy American ales are the pick from
an excellent beer list. Meanwhile, those who want to keep things light should order moules marinière or sea bass with capers, and probably ignore the knickerbocker glory. Otherwise, simply undo a
belt notch and enjoy.
Best Child-friendly Restaurants in London
191 Portobello Road
020 7908 9696
Ladbroke Grove Station 348m
Ladbroke Grove Tube Station 474m
Electric Cinema 12m
Portobello Road 170m
Mon-Sun 8am-12M (Thurs-Sat -1am Sun -11pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
I've been to ‘The Electric’ many times pre-cinema or just for dinner. I used to love the seating in the back of the restaurant for a no-fuss meal with a good chat over a decent glass of wine.
This is why I was eagerly awaiting the re-opening of the diner after the refurbishment. I had dinner there Friday night and I'm really disappointed. It all started with the fact that they no longer take bookings. We were asked for our names and then had to leave and come back 45 minutes later because the small bar was way over its capacity with people almost falling over each other.
The new electric looks great but doesn't really cater for parties of less than 4. If you you belong to the latter you won't be sitting in one of the shiny new booths but will be dumped at the bar. The bar is adjacent to the open kitchen with temperatures ranging from an estimated 35 degrees at the ‘cool’ end to 45 C right in front of the grill with the open fire.
It took us only a few minutes and both of us stripped down to our T-shirt and another five minutes and our faces were bright red from the soaring heat coming from the kitchen.
Conversation is awkward because you're sitting next to each other and the life cooking is not really that entertaining. In fact, the chef's meal preparations came across as rather half-hearted and they used quite a lot of pre-fabricated ingredients. However, what came out of the kitchen was the usual feel-good food, although quite small portion sizes.
The music in the restaurant was blaring loud which made any kind of conversation a real challenge. We ended up shouting in each other's ear, with red faces, covered in sweat and finishing our meal as quickly as possible to just get the hell out of there.
I hosted a brunch birthday party for 19year olds. It was amazing. The food delicious. The staff accommodating for extra guests. Service was quick and efficient. They also accepted to serve the cupcakes I had brought over from Hummingbird. Great Experience.
Food + drink: 3
Saturday on Portobello Road confirms Sartre's saying that Hell is Other People (Have these people never seen a knitted sock before? Never eaten falafel? So why oh why are they walking with mouths agape at a pace even toddlers scoff at?). Fortunately sausage roll at Electric will relieve the pain. Yes there is other food on the menu (sea bass, chicken salads blah blah blah) but what you really come for is the sublime sausage roll. Sometimes it is not in fact on the menu, panic! But even when it isn't the lovely staff will usually get the chef to rustle one up for you if you look teary-eyed enough. Some months ago I endured a cold 30 minute bike ride ostensibly to see a film with a friend, but really just lured by the suggestion of pre-cinema sausage roll, only to find the kitchen was being re-furb-ed and the menu abbreviated; I blew my cover with the friend whilst explaining, glassy eyed, to the barman that I had come all this way just for sausage roll; one was duly produced to everyone's relief. If my score were based purely on the sausage roll, it would be 10/10.
If you can find a friend who's a member then get yourself in to the Electric member's club upstairs which has been beautifully redone recently. It's all turquoise pouffey seats, chandeliers and long dark wood bar manned by waiters who know their cocktail oats. The Brasserie “does what it says on the tin” and is what you'd expect in terms of price, atmosphere etc etc. Top tip: the Electric cinema also serves sausage roll…
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