This modern European restaurant is, without doubt, a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. It starts when you approach the building and notice a huge pair of eyes staring down… stand back and soak in the impressive pavement-to-roof mural created by the renowned Portuguese artist, Vhils. If the buzz of chatter and laughter from within doesn’t stop you in your tracks, this artwork certainly will.
Once inside, expect to be bowled over by the atmosphere of warm, welcoming hospitality. It seems Gold has already established itself as the place to be – barely a table was unoccupied on our visit, and the great and good of Notting Hill seemed to have settled at the bar, on the comfy pastel couches, or in the fern-laden restaurant. The clientele was just as one would expect from such an eclectic hotspot, and people-watching alone should be a reason to visit.
Head to the garden-room restaurant at the back of the building – it's a lush oasis of palm fronds, glossy ferns and emerald foliage. The ceiling is glass, and yes – it retracts in summer. This intimate portion of the restaurant, where tables are screened off from prying eyes, will have you feeling like you’re dining in a tropical hothouse. Frankly, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a more pleasant indoor garden room to dine in.
There’s still a bustling sense of excitement, partly due to the central open kitchen, which is where the magic happens. It’s led by head chef Theo Hill and here the focus is produce-led, unfussy cooking. Everything is cooked in wood ovens, or over flame, so expect a lot of chargrilling, roasting and braising.
Dishes are varied and copious, executed in studious fashion. There’s something for everyone, and sharing is caring. Some plates occupy recognisable comfort-food territory, such as sumptuous braised pork meatballs, and chargrilled skirt steak with a vibrant salsa verde. Others are pimped-up classics, like a divine raw sea bass carpaccio drizzled in golden olive oil and pepped up with finger limes, chilli and datterini tomatoes.
There are also several unusual revelations, like the wood-roasted purple potatoes with caraway sauerkraut slaw (a must), and burrata with charred pear, parma ham and radicchio. The gooey, silky, slippery cheese alongside the slightly smoky-yet-still-fresh pear was a master stroke. And don’t miss the braised rabbit leg tortellini – pockets of satisfyingly firm pasta encasing rich meat, swimming in a generous helping of porcini butter.
This, on our visit, was all washed down with a light yet flavour-packed Dominique Morel Beaujolais, a bottle that proved itself to be the sort that dreams are made of.
Finish up with a cocktail – the menu has been created by mixology maestros Matt Whiley (aka the Talented Mr Fox) and Rich Woods (aka The Cocktail Guy). Our stunning Tropical Boulevardier – Bulleit bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth and mango – was the finale of a meal that was nothing short of solid gold.
|What||Gold restaurant, Notting Hill review|
|Where||Gold, 95 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2QB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Notting Hill Gate (underground)|
|Website||Click here for more information and to book|