236 King Street, London, W6 0RF
The main attraction at this “upmarket Indian” is “high-end food” carefully prepared and presented by chef Manoj Vasaikar, who worked at top hotel restaurants in his home country before making his mark on London. Designed in line with the principles of vastu shastra – the harmony of earth, fire, sky, water and air – Indian Zing is a chic, relaxed and unassuming space, done out with crisp white tablecloths and stylish artefacts. Vasaikar’s cooking is refined and flavoursome, with deft, confident spicing and fragrance in dishes such as Goan-style clams poached in subtle green herbs and coconut broth or succulent chicken pointed up with dried fenugreek and griddled in the tandoor. There are classy renditions of the classics too: rogan josh is a marrow-rich version, thanks to slow-cooked lamb shank on the bone, while a variant on the kofta theme involves gamey seared venison meatballs. A well-judged wine list includes two Indian options from Maharashtra (Vasaikar’s home turf).
More detail about Indian Zing
319-321 King Street, London, W6 9NH
Set on the Hammersmith-Chiswick borders, this colourful modern enterprise offers a bazaar experience with its take on Indian street food. Journey through the subcontinent with appetisers such as puffed flour and semolina crisps from Mumbai’s Chowpatty beach, sesame chilli paneer from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk market, and karara crab with fiery dynamite sauce from Kolkata’s Chowringhee Lane. We especially enjoyed the juicy tandoori-baked Badami masala lamb chops spiced with ginger and garam masala. Alternatively, try a curry of whole sea bream simmered in a hot, sweet-and-sour Goan sauce, or a railway mutton curry cooked on the bone. Hiron laal maas is another speciality – prime venison haunch simmered in a rich, generously spiced Rajasthani sauce. Further highlights include an inexpensive weekday set lunch and a family lunch menu at weekends. For a tipple, choose from various fragrant or spiced Martinis or stick to the wine list which comes with helpful pairing notes.
More detail about Potli
164 Shepherds Bush Road, London, W6 7PB
Dubbed the “the thinking diners’ chippy”, Kerbisher & Malt delivers its goods with “style” and an eye on the market. Scrubbed-up interiors set the tone with lots of bright tiles, painted frames, exposed wood and panelled walls inspired by old fishing boats, while the daily menu keeps it simple and honest. Fish from sustainable sources is served with “gorgeous” twice-cooked chips, chunky onion rings and mushy peas made of the premises, but the repertoire also takes in whitebait, crispy calamari, fish burgers and a few non-piscine offerings (pork sausages in a bun or spicy veg bites), plus some ice creams for dessert. Also check the specials board for cut-price lunch deals and other offers. To drink, choose from a short batch of wines, Fentiman’s soft drinks or Meantime bottled beers. Expect regular queues at the takeaway counter.
More detail about Kerbisher & Malt Hammersmith
Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London, W6 9HA
Although artisan competition is fierce these days, we side with the fan who reckons that The River Café serves “the best ingredients-driven Italian food in London”. This convivial Hammersmith evergreen (30 years young in 2017), which is rightfully so happy in its skin, is a very slick operation and certainly in the capital’s gastronomic ‘Serie A’, although it gains added kudos by virtue of its entrancing views and seductive riverside terrace (an absolute must-do on balmy days) as well as its decor, which some say is “dated but iconic”.
The rustic glories of Italian regional cuisine are writ large in a seasonal menu that majors on daisy-fresh salads, glossy pasta and specialities from the imposing red log-burning oven: in summer, that might mean poached langoustines with aïoli and pea salad followed by clam risotto dressed with zucchini flowers or wild salmon baked in sea salt; in winter, Tuscan bread soup with Swiss chard could precede whole Anjou pigeon wood-roasted in Chardonnay with speck, smoked celeriac and watercress. Further classics might be turbot with the greenest of beans, lobster risotto or char-grilled calamari with rocket. To conclude, chocolate nemesis is still the go-to option, but fruity tarts, grappa-laced pannacotta and the citrusy almond and polenta cake are also delicious.
Prices are top lire (a bowl of cherries is £10), although “exceptional service” is as friendly and engaging as it gets in London. Meanwhile, a list of pedigree Italian wines served at the correct temperatures in the correct glasses makes The River Café is the most well-rounded of treats.
More detail about The River Café
4 Rainville Road, London, W6 9HA
South Hammersmith residents should rejoice: in The Crabtree, they have a pub with one of London’s best Thames-side beer gardens, located in a position that only locals and hardy beer fans bother
reaching. Nevertheless, the place buzzes on a sunny afternoon – as the barbecue sends grilled meat aromas over the river, and the Harrods depository looms handsomely on the opposite bank. Real
ales are kept meticulously, and an outside bar sells chilled bottles of lager to sun-hungry drinkers. In chilly weather, the smart Victorian interior comes into its own, and the British-led
menu is full of warming dishes such as pan-roasted lamb’s liver and herb butter on sourdough with salsa verde, or Barnsley chop with Chantenay carrots and mint jus. Prices are pretty high, but
service is prompt and cheery.
More detail about The Crabtree
129-131 Brackenbury Road, London, W6 0BQ
This much-loved neighbourhood joint has quite the history. Originally opened way back in 1489 by Sir Robert Brackenbury, a former warden of the Tower of London, the restaurant now serves up a menu which traverses Europe.
Head here at lunchtime to enjoy the likes of spiced crab soup with crabmeat toast and rouille, or perhaps marinated black figs with coppa di Parma, basil and rocket. Come the evening, there are larger dishes such as grilled onglet steak served with baked borlotti beans and salsa verde, or roast stonebass fillet with tomatoes and potatoes. Traditional puds might include crème caramel, or chocolate-drizzled profiteroles, while the budget-minded can take advantage of a great-value set lunch menu.
More detail about The Brackenbury
91 Black Lion Lane, London, W6 9BG
In these days of flock-wallpapered gastropubs, there’s much to be said for The Carpenter’s Arms’ pared-down, slightly frayed look. The well-heeled regulars (denizens of these smart west Hammersmith
backwaters) seem to have genuine affinity for the worn interiors, and are willing to overlook the limited beer selection. In return, they get a local that truly feels like a local, with affable
hosts, a pleasant beer garden and a varied menu of Mediterranean-influenced food – though reports suggest that standards might have dipped of late. Dinner could see pan-fried sardines with
panzanella salad, or grilled squid with marinated peppers and cannellini bean salad, followed by game pie, or roasted pork belly with pinto beans and crispy trotters. Prices are moderate
considering the area, and the wine list contains some pleasing choices.
More detail about The Carpenter's Arms - Black Lion Lane
35 Wingate Road, London, W6 0UR
One of the leading lights of the 90s’ gastropub explosion, the Anglesea Arms has a lower profile these days – although it still does good business and Hammersmith locals (plus their offspring)
still seem to ‘treat it like home’. Inside, it has a pared-back, almost rustic charm with little in the way of home comforts, while an open kitchen provides much of the focus. Blackboards reveal a
decent wine list with plenty by the glass and carafe, some carefully nurtured ales, seasonal oysters and unpretentious dishes such as chunky rabbit terrine, brill with mustard lentils, lamb chops
with pumpkin and rosemary or pappardelle with rich beef ragù. Pheasant with parsnips and red cabbage is a seasonal call, and roast beef is an ever-popular Sunday treat. The pavement terrace is a
handy retreat for smokers.
More detail about Anglesea Arms Hammersmith