We visited the Notting Hill area in London during our recent trip and loved it. It has a nice mix of residential, retail and dining facilities. Tourists throng the area on weekends because of the Portobello market so its probably better to visit on weekdays unless you are looking for antiques or enjoy the market crowd. Here are the three affordable restaurants which we tried and one which looks really interesting but we did not have a chance to try.
Attracted by its simplicity, we were drawn to this little restaurant when we strolled past the row of shops along Portobello Road. Started by a couple of guys who apparently believed in the theory that it is better to just do one thing and do it well, this is a specialised restaurant that serves only burgers. The menu is a simple one. You can have a choice of chicken, beef or vegetable, specify the toppings and order any side dish that you may fancy. We ordered an Honest burger (£9.5) which contains the works – beef, red onion relish, smoked bacon, cheddar, pickled cucumber and lettuce and a Cheese burger (£8.5) which is the same as Honest but without the bacon. The perfect beverage to go with a burger is an ice cold beer. We ordered two Honest Ales (£4.5 each).
The burgers were really well made to the desired degree of doneness. The fries have a hint of rosemary herbs and were tasty. The beers were light and good for easy drinking. It was an honest lunch in a very straight forward restaurant – both in terms of their decor and menu choices. We will certainly return if given a chance. Honest Burgers has several outlets in London.
189 Portobello Road
London W11 2ED
+44 (0)20 7229 4978
Mon to Sat 11.30–23.00
Located at the bottom of the area and close to the Notting Hill Gate tube station, Greek Affair is a rustic looking restaurant. It has a homely feel with wooden floors that creak and warm wooden furniture. It was quiet when we were there with only one other group of patrons apart from us. We ordered a Dolmades as a starter (£4.95) and for our mains – a Moussaka (£12.90) and a Kleftiko (£14.50).
The Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves with rice) immediately brought back memories of Greek holiday some years back. The Moussaka was very well made and had a good balance of meat in between the layers of vegetables. The Kleftiko (oven baked lamb) came in a huge portion but the taste was quite ordinary. All in all, Greek Affair is a cosy family run Greek restaurant that serves Greek comfort food at reasonable prices. The only negative here was the bottle of Chianti (£19.90) that was quite a let down.
1 Hillgate Street
Notting Hill Gate
Tel/Fax: 020 7792 5226
Carluccio’s Italian Restaurant
There are many Italian chain restaurants in London. We like Carluccio’s as it manages to retain the look and feel of a small restaurant notwithstanding that they really have quite a number of outlets throughout the UK. We visited their outlet at Westbourne Corner.
The bruschetta was fresh and well made and started our lunch on a refreshing note. The ravioli was delicate and light. The stuffing of the ravioli was tasty – the taste of the spinach and herbs were pleasant and blended well with the ricotta cheese. The lobster spaghetti has minute traces of lobster. There was only a slight hint of lobster taste. We will probably stick to the lunch menus in the future as they do offer good value for your pound.
Carluccio’s at Notting Hill
Westbourne Corner, 108 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5RU
Tel: 020 7243 8164
Finally, we end this post with a restaurant we walked past but did not have an opportunity to try. See if you can find it the next time you are in the Portobello area – the Makan Restaurant!