Pomona, Notting Hill

A recent local favourite is a restaurant called Pomona in Notting Hill. We’ve been for dinner a few times to this California themed restaurant, which serves a large menu of tacos, salads, and mains. It’s our go-to now when we want to go out for dinner, but want to stay on the healthy side.

But here’s the thing. Pomona has outdoor seating in front of the restaurant, cafe-style, as well as a terrace in the back… both very charming… and every time that we’ve come here, the place has been practically empty, we can’t figure it out! The food is fresh and good (and healthy-ish), and you can sit outside, which is hard to find in London… so why are more people not coming here?

Last night, we came last minute and each had relatively healthy dishes… Andre went for the tuna poke starter (delicious, its slathered with sesame oil and really nice)

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and the Cobb salad (which he almost always gets… with added grilled prawns).

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I got the soft-shell crab, which was served with a really yummy green sauce… I think with some cumin and coriander in it… and an especially juicy and not over-fried crab. Yum.

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And I got the Caesar salad, with grilled prawns added on… nicely coated salad with homemade croutons (check them out, they’re larger than your typical ones and slightly softer… and filled with butter).

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Other things we’ve tried here have been the hanger steak – all of their meat comes from the Ginger Pig, one of the best butchers in London, and this steak was no exception. The steak tartare is also very nice, as are the tacos – tiny, you order them in 2’s or 3’s, either the king prawn or my favourites, usually served with some roast corn. And finally… the smaller salads, the lentils with squid, the artichoke and parmesan, or the shaved Brussel sprouts (sadly no longer on the menu) in a nut oil with parmesan… all are delicious.

This place is a hidden gem, get over here and try it out!

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Golborne Deli, North Kensington

Up in my new favourite hood (Golborne Road) again for lunch, we tried a place that we had walked by tons of times but never tried. We tend to come to Golborne for dinner more than lunch, and this deli is open all day until dinner.

Andre went for the special breakfast… that had scrambled eggs (check out that colour!), beans (what I appreciated was that it was a mix of three types of beans, not just your typical Heinz), sausage, bacon, tomato, and, at the bottom of the plate in the picture, what they called a veggie ball. No idea what it was exactly, but it was nutty and delicious, it basically tasted like what you eat when you have a nut roast (instead of actual meat) for your Sunday roast. Plus, extra points as it was in the shape of a star.

I went for a simpler breakfast, just going for the scrambled eggs with crispy pancetta on ciabatta bread. And the same sliced tomatoes. I liked that they give you English mustard and ketchup on the side, I tried to find ways to incorporate them into the dish but found that it really didn’t need it, just a bit of salt and pepper!

So, the breakfasts were fine… but the real winner seemed to be the sandwiches, all served on ciabatta and pressed into what looked like pseudo-paninis, the sandwiches looked super fresh and healthy, and the bread looked thin and crispy. That’ll definitely be my pick the next time we come here!

Bluebelles, Golbourne Road

So if you keep walking north on Portobello Road, you eventually leave Notting Hill and make it up to Ladbroke Grove, which includes the very cute area of Golbourne Road, which has a mix of local Portuguese and Moroccan restaurants and vintage clothing shops, along with some trendier delis and curated lifestyle stores.

Bluebelles is one of the later, sitting on Portobello Road, and has a super cute brunch menu, along with about ten side dishes that help you to mix and match your meal to perfection!

We were lucky enough to snag a table outside ( we thought), until they kept adding tables every time someone else showed up… turns out they are quite lax on Sundays and can spread out when the bike shop next door is closed!

First came the coffees… Andre is not very impressed with his Americano, which has little bits floating in it…

But the food was much better… he got the Original Stack, which was like a full English on a stick: sausage, egg, portobello mushroom and crispy bacon, all on a rosti. It was actually pretty delicious.

I was also thrilled, I got the green breakfast, which was two poached eggs, guacamole (looks surprisingly white but tasted like any other guac), mixed leaves, and feta, all topping a slice of sourdough bread.

The food is MUCH better than that first coffee, to the point that we were going to order much more of it… so this will be a repeat brunch place, especially knowing that we will probably be able to get a table outside on a nice day!

Snaps and Rye, Goldbourne Road, Notting Hill

Brunch up on Goldbourne Road on a Sunday, as the weather was warm and the sun was out! We headed up to Goldbourne Road, thinking we’d head back to our favourite Bluebelles, but decided to try Snaps and Rye for lunch, instead. The tables outside aren’t in the sun until around 2pm, but it was warm enough that we could still sit outside, and the people-watching on Goldbourne is great!

We started with some tea and coffee… Snaps and Rye is one of the only cafes that gives you extra water with your tea, so that you can use the teabag more than once! And check out the cute pottery…

Andre went for the smorgasbord, a variety of different toasts… there’s the guacamole with tomato pico de gallo on top, the hake pate with smoked salmon, gherkins and capers on top, the herring topped with pickled red onions, and the sliced beef, also topped with gherkins and red pickled onions. I tasted both middle ones and they were both delicious!

We shared a beetroot and goat cheese salad… check out how nicely it is presented, with walnuts, pickled mushrooms (ya, sounds a bit odd but was good) and seeds.

As my main, I went for the Danish rarebit, which came with a number of different sides, but was a delicious cheese and grain mustard on toast, with a side of tomato ketchup (Bloody Viking ketchup, as they call it) and hog’s pudding (a grainy, very fresh-tasting sausage). Not the healthiest thing in the world, but it was delicious. 

Happily fed, we sat and watched people (and dogs, there are LOTS of dogs on Goldbourne Road) and enjoyed as the sun slowly crept onto the terrace…

(Quick note: Snaps and Rye does a prix fixe dinner every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, with a 4 course meal. I’ve only been once, but it was full of fresh, delicious ingredients… I’d really recommend this as well!)

Chuc’s, Notting Hill

Sunday morning brunch… I have mentioned Chuc’s in Mayfair, which is tiny and very old-world Italian feeling… they also opened a branch in Notting Hill, on Westbourne Grove.

This Chuc’s has a larger retail store (with £250 swimming shorts for men) and a restaurant downstairs, that has fewer than 10 tables inside, as well as a few outside, in their heavenly garden.

Since the weather has been so good, it’s been impossible to get a table there by just showing up, so as I wake up on Sunday morning, I book in advance so that we can get a table outside 🙂

It’s pretty quiet when we show up at noon (and gets busier around 1pm) and all feels very civilised… they bring us some radishes and salt to nibble on while we look through the menu.

The brunch menu is pretty simple, but they start serving lunch dishes (anything from sea bass to chicken paillard to pasta) quite early. So we went for a mix…

The cob salad, which is prepared in such a pretty way… The waitress suggested we try it with smoked salmon instead of chicken, and it was a great change to a classic!

Then, the steak tartare, which was served Italian-style, marinated in olive oil and maybe a bit of balsamic, it didn’t taste completely raw… but was good nonetheless.

And my omelette, with ham and gruyere… it doesn’t look like anything special, but it was light and fluffy, and crammed with lots of cheese and ham!

I forgot to take pictures of our salad and tomato sides… but they were equally as good! A light, fresh meal in the shade of the Chuc’s parasols, in their private garden… what a civilised way of staring the day!

Korean Local Dishes, The Dock Kitchen, Notting Hill

I love a good Dock Kitchen special menu like here or here. They used to have them available all the time, changing the set menu every three weeks, but now only do one set menu once a month, on the last Tuesday of the month.

So… Michelle and I headed up there to try out the Korean local menu that they were serving on the last day of February.

The menu started off with a few small dishes, a steak tartare topped with nashi (Asian pear), sesame seeds and an egg yolk. Mix it all together, and this tartare was delicious, with the meat tasting light and fluffy. Delicious.

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Then, the oyster and pork bo ssam… mmm… this was such a nice combo between the fatty pork and briny oyster.

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And the fried rice cake with red dragon sauce… a gluttony goodness.

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Then, we had a stir-fried chili squid dish that I forgot to take a picture of, but it was nice, large pieces of grilled squid (not too grilled) sauteed with mini bok choy…

And then the main course, which included the three types of kimchi, below (the fermented kind and two pickled kinds). This was a nice addition to the steak, as I typically like to have mustard or horseradish or something else with a bite when I eat my steak…

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And the piece de resistance, topped with what I think was dried anchovies and peppers… the meat was delicious, fresh and had been marinated for a delicious, soy-like flavour. I chowed this down pretty quickly with the pretty plain but good rice on the side.

img_0160 And then another photo snaffu, I forgot the lemon tarte that we had at the end, served with creme fraiche and candied lemon zest. Perfect and light after all of these courses!

This was a good menu, but not one of the best so far… but I look forward to trying another one soon!

Four Seasons, Queensway, London

A Sunday night… Andre was craving duck and I was craving noodles… so we headed to Queensway to see what we could do about it. Four Seasons is best known for its roast duck (and for having the best roast duck in London). Andre was more craving crispy duck with pancakes, but we figured that this was a good place to start with!

And it didn’t disappoint…

img_6888Alongside the duck, I was craving some lobster with noodles, but we ended up trying a different iteration, crab with noodles. Was it as good? Eh. Was Andre impressed? Not so much. Will he eventually see the light and marvel in the dish that is lobster with noodles? Maybe one day, but not today. Stay tuned…

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