Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Pollini

Gold Award

Pollini is the type of place that once you leave, you tell everyone you see about it. Though really, you'll want to keep it to yourself.

Sitting in north Kensington, Pollini opened in September 2023, but has largely flown under the radar compared to other restaurants in its league. A fact those in the know are surely pleased about it.

The restaurant is run by Chef Emanuele Pollini who hails from northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region and is found inside Ladbroke Hall – a huge porticoed Edwardian building, that was the former car showroom for Clément-Talbot cars in 1903. With red bricks and light stone exterior, palatially high domed ceilings, vast arched windows, it looks more like a country pile rather than somewhere to dine in the middle of west London.

Inside, the focal point is the huge art installation light, designed by Spanish artist and designer Nacho Carbonell, is made up of what looks like hundreds of hives creating an illuminating glow, and below it, a huge circular bar. The whole space was brought to life by business partners Loïc Le Gaillard and Julien Lombrail, it's part of Ladbroke Hall's identity as a cultural institution that sprawls the entirety of the building – there's Jazz nights and rotating exhibitions while huge abstract modern artworks in the restaurant sets the tone for Chef Emanuele Pollini's food that has just as much flair.

On a Friday night, the restaurant is full with the full spectrum of diners, from families including teenagers to romantic soirées, friendly catch-ups and even work-do celebrations for some very lucky employees.

As soon as you enter, the palm trees immediately transport you to Europe's sunnier Mediterranean climes, and then so does the food. The menu follows traditional Italian format with stuzzichini (appetisers), antipasti, primi, secondi and sides. The food is delicate, well-crafted and seriously good quality – beef is from a Cumbrian regenerative farm, langoustines from the Isle of Skye, and fish from Brixham.

Everything comes on a range of pretty white platters to share and standout dishes include Alici r Burro – Amalfi anchovies, that are chunky dark strips, drenched in olive oil, with a side of crunchy bread, and the large and delicate dish, Crudo di Spigola (wild sea bass carpaccio, bottarga and lime) is creamy, zingy and fresh. The spaghetti pesto and prawns may sound simple, but the grass-green pasta, topped with a creamy near-melting burrata and a little pile of bright pink chopped prawns truly sings. It's full of fresh flavour that really signifies summer on a plate.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Luxury, Traditional
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Live music or dancing, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions


Based in North Kensington, not far from Notting Hill, Pollini is an Italian restaurant set in the stunning Grade II-listed Ladbroke Hall. Once an Edwardian car showroom and manufacturing plant, Ladbroke Hall’s remarkable Beaux Arts architectural style infuses even the most casual of lunches with a distinct importance.

Chef Emanuele Pollini, voted best Italian chef by Gambero Rosso magazine in 2020, runs the eponymous restaurant. As a formally trained chef with years of experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world and in Italy, Pollini is now bringing his knowledge of Italian fine dining to North London.

Start off with a drink in the grand hall, below the breathtaking chandelier designed by Vincenzo de Cotiis, which looks like a contemporary interpretation of a tree climbing down from the imposingly high ceiling.

Pollini’s 20-page list of wines, overseen by head sommelier Romain Audrerie, has just about everything guests would expect from an institution which projects such prestige, and with fair pricing. For reds, don’t miss the Tuscan Brunellos nor the great choice of Burgundies.

The menu is organised in traditional Italian fashion: antipasti, primi and secondi - with some fun variations along the way such as the ‘Perche no?’ section of the menu, which translates literally to ‘Why not?’

Dishes include more modern takes on typical Italian flavours - mortadella and black truffle served on a tapioca crisp, for example - down to the classics, like a vitello tonnato, or handmade tagliatelle in a wild boar ragu.

Pollini also hosts dinner and jazz nights on Friday, with special menus on offer for those going to watch live jazz in Ladbroke Hall’s Sunbeam Theatre.


Is there a dress code?

There is no specific dress code, but we would recommend smart casual

Helpful? 0

Does it have live music?

Yes, there is live jazz every Friday in the Sunbeam Theatre

Helpful? 0


79 Barlby Road, Kensington, London, W10 6AZ

02089 628 690 02089 628 690


Opening Times

All day
Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-00:00
Wed 12:00-00:00
Thu 12:00-00:00
Fri 12:00-00:00
Sat 12:00-00:00
Sun Closed


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02089 628 690 02089 628 690

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