There’s always something hunger-inducing about being able to smell your dinner cooking, and at Gold it’s the wood-fired ovens sending out European-style sharing plates from the open-air kitchen that will stoke your appetite.
Sitting in the lush greenery-filled courtyard (which has a Wimbledon-style retractable roof for sunny days) you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a far-flung corner of the globe, not the middle of Notting Hill. Like the surrounding streets, Gold is full of Instagrammable photo opportunities, from the terracotta walls to the tarnished metal tables and rattan furniture that fill the space.
It’s busy, noisy and a little crowded, but the atmosphere created by the upbeat and friendly staff makes you feel relaxed rather than rushed.
Plates here are designed to be shared, but unlike some of the tiny portions that can sometimes pass for tapas, servings are generous. This being Notting Hill, there’s an emphasis on healthy eating, with a raw section on the menu, a dozen vegetable-based options and a whole salad section dedicated to dishes that include just a handful of items. Tomatoes were served with a good glug of olive oil, torn fresh basil leaves and a seasoning of salted-ricotta shavings, while broad beans came tossed through with a lemon dressing.
The star, though, was the squid from the ‘plates’ section, which came gnarled and scorched with crispy edges and a soft middle tasting of fire and sea. It was presented atop skordalia (a Greek dip of potatoes, garlic and almonds that should be on every menu across the country) and garnished with bitter olive oil and the zing of fresh lemon.
To drink, there’s a wine list with bottles from the sunnier parts of the globe, with decent choice for under £40. There are also soft serves that include kefir and kombucha, while the cocktail list bristles with intriguing ingredients like fig shrub and spiced rum milk.
We’d recommend the Kalamansi Sour, made with arrack, kalamansi syrup, coconut blossom and the all-important egg white to give it a thick, frothy top. Coconut-rich, with a caramel citrus edge, it slipped down very easily – much like everything else at this very laid-back newcomer that restores some of the cool factor to Notting Hill.