Exciting, quirky and delicious, this laid-back Notting Hill rebel comes courtesy of restaurateur Luca Longobardi, whose colourful history as a maverick money man is more than worth a Google.
108’s interior is a hotchpotch of bare light bulbs, exposed brick and concrete floors – a subtle nod to the venue’s former life as a garage. Elsewhere, striking art hangs from the walls and random trinkets are dotted around the space, while a copper-topped dining counter holds centre stage.
By contrast, the food is sharply focused, vibrant and colourful, with lots of explosive flavours, while chef Chris Denney’s training as an artist is reflected on the plate. Everything is tailored to a six-course tasting menu, which changes with the seasons.
We like 108’s imaginative approach, its telling flavours and the look of each dish – witness creamy and smooth burrata jazzed up with slivers of super-sweet peach and a rich pistachio crumble or a pretty creation involving tender blushing-pink hogget loin alongside a dainty pile of salty capers and a splodge of inky-black garlic sauce. “This is performance cooking at its best – slick, but full of culinary wizardry”, notes a fan.
Palates are cleansed with a refreshing scoop of cucumber and dill sorbet, before meals conclude with an arty dessert: our gorgeous bowl of sweet strawberries complimented by basil and a scoop of buttermilk ice cream was redolent of an English garden in summertime.
Prices aren’t entirely unreasonable, and friendly young staff are happy to chat – even if they aren’t always on the ball. Nevertheless, 108 is a thrilling restaurant in a corner of Notting Hill that doesn’t offer much culinary prowess.