The Electric Diner

191 Portobello Road , London, W11 2ED

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SquareMeal Review of The Electric Diner

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.

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The Electric Diner is recommended for

Buzzy | Cool | Fun | Glamorous | Child Friendly | Dates | Breakfast | Brunch | Late Night Dining | Outside Seating

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Ladbroke Grove Station 348m

Ladbroke Grove Tube Station 474m

Address

Address: 191 Portobello Road , London W11 2ED

Area: Notting Hill Holland Park

Opening times

Mon-Sun 8am-12M (Thurs-Sat -1am Sun -11pm)

Nearby Landmarks

Electric Cinema 12m

Portobello Road 170m

Details

Telephone: 020 7908 9696

Website:

Cuisine: North American French

Lunch: £13.50/16.50 (2/3 courses)

7.6

Food & Drink: 7.4

Service: 7.3

Atmosphere: 8.6

Value: 6.9

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Kristina v. 13 January 2013

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.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Caroline S. 09 June 2012

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: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 30 January 2012

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…

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Grumbling Gourmet platinum reviewer 26 November 2011

In most communities across the social spectrum (and around the world for that matter) the market cafe is a fixture. My Nana used to take me for a bacon sandwich at a tiny hole in the wall place hidden behind the stalls in Hull town centre if I volunteered to help with the weekly food shop with her. She'd been going there for years, as had all of the other old dots who'd pop in for a cup of tea and a chat. While between jobs a few years ago, I spent a lot of time people watching on East Street market through the steamed up windows of a greasy spoon full of market life. Formica table topped, fastened down orange plastic bucket chairs, a mug of tea with the bag still in and white slice, smeared with lurid yellow margarine. It’s no surprise that, as one of the largest markets in London, Portobello Road has a fair few cafes strung down the mile long stretch of antiques stalls intermingled with fruit, vintage clothes and tourist tat. The look and feel changes dramatically as you go under the Westway, and the high end tourists fade away into a more local mixed crowd of different ethnicities. The Electric Cinema and Brasserie straddles the border, but as a venue owned by the Soho House Group, you can guess which market they mostly appeal to. It’s been a fixture round here since 2001, a relatively early outlier of the gentrification that’s engulfed the streets around. The brasserie isn’t itself a private club, not that you can tell from the attitude of some of the staff, though the ‘House’ upstairs is. An intermittently appealing spot for mid-week coffee and brunch, it’s a ‘destination’ for the wrong reasons on market days. The venue is looking a little tatty around the edges now. Battered zinc tables and dark wood stretch down the side of a long open bar and kitchen, opening up into a wider dining space at the back like a calm pool behind the frenetic waterfall. We were booked into the front though ‘bumped’ to the backroom following a whispered argument about a 20 minute wait from the party queuing in front of us. On a weekday this would be annoying, out of sight is out of mind to the whirling wait staff. On a Saturday, the chaos front of house means a back table is preferable. A snake of expectant hipsters rubberneck at your plates as they wait at the front desk, always in the way of the dfsgrgaergasergsaerg The brunch menu is full of solid fare; full English and Vegetarian breakfasts with varying combinations, muffins, bacon and eggs in numerous combinations. As well as the obvious dishes, there are a fair few favourites from the full menu including fish or steak and chips and their passable fish pie. Avocado and poached egg on granary toast is a game choice, more avocado than anything else, but a relatively healthy way to cure a hangover. The Eggs Royale were a little disappointing despite their initial visual promise. Beautiful golden yolked eggs served atop a mountain of salmon with hollandaise sauce coating and dripping onto the muffin below. The ingredients were faultless, but with one egg virtually hard boiled and the other’s unset albumen having barely been cooked, it was clear that the eye for detail wasn’t covering all of the dishes to leave the kitchen. It’s tough to damn somewhere for one undercooked egg, and I’m not going to. I’ve had some wonderfully relaxing breakfasts sat at the front of the Brasserie and a couple of reasonable lunches too, I’d just recommend avoiding it at the weekend and leave it to the tourists. If you are in the area on a weekend, it’s well worth a wander down to the unfashionable end of the market to the lower reaches of Golbourne Road to the street food stalls and the wonderful pastries at the Lisboa Patisserie. It’s one of several tiny Portuguese bakeries and cafes along the road and (relatively) untouched by the encroaching gentrification. Their pastel de nata are small egg custard gems, well worth the trip for a half dozen to take away and a much tastier egg than you’ll find elsewhere.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Tiara silver reviewer 03 March 2011

Electric Brasserie is my go-to restaurant for brunch, pre-something drinks & fun dinners. There's always the brasserie like buzz, with people floating around & noisy talkers, that's what makes it special. I like weekends when you have a more local flavour for brunch, but it really shines in summer time for drinks. Dinners are good too & I've heard Sunday night drinks are reliable. We've gone with & without reservations & reservations are better. Service isn't the fastest, but you're not really there to eat & run. This falls into the “good all arounder” category- great for taking out-of-town friends/family, good for lazy weekends reading the papers with a coffee, out front, and good for grabbing drinks on a date or with friends.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Sabrina's Passions platinum reviewer 02 February 2011

For years I was put off by coming to Electric because of the hoards of people waiting to get in on a Saturday. Last night I finally made it there and was surprised at how attentive the service was and how good the menu was. Everything from little light bites (Juicy ribs, crispy calamari and sweetcorn fritters) to lovely comforting main courses like pork belly and slow braised stews. Service was spot on and the place was buzzing by 7pm in dimly candle-lit background with low-level music. I think midweeks are a must here at Electric, although I would still probably give the weekends a miss!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Fiona M. gold reviewer 25 October 2010

We held a corporate event here last week in the Playroom and the cinema and were thrilled with it. We had drinks first in the Playroom with canapes and little tubs of fork food (fish and chips, bangers and mash, etc) which was great, then we moved downstairs for the film. If you haven't been to The Electric I would definitely recommend it, comfy leather chairs with a foot stool and a little table for your popcorn and drink. You can bring your glass of wine or beer to your seat and when we went down with our guests there was ice-cream, drinks and popcorn ready to welcome them. All very smooth and well run.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Nadia l. 03 April 2009

standard food good service, interesting customers

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Carl Johan silver reviewer 23 February 2009

A few days ago I had my first dinner in a very long time at Electric. I must say I was left a bit unsure about the concept last time around. This time, luckily, it was different. I would dare to say that the place is almost the ideal start of a big night out. We were a group of 12, all guys, celebrating something and Electric delivered from the very start, with the drinks in the bar, to the food and the general atmosphere. I had tartar for starters and the steak frites for main. Both the dishes were good but nothing special or outstanding. That said, given the volume and the atmosphere, it would be a bit of waste to eat super-high-end food. You almost feel like you’re eating in the bar area, which obviously is good or bad, depending on your aim with the evening. I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately the service isn’t excellent, and they're pretty steep in price given the food quality. But that aside, a very good place for the right purpose and you can always justify the price by saying you're paying for the atmosphere.

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