Vegetarians will be staying clear of this Italian steakhouse, the frontage of which is filled with great big hunks of dry-ageing meat, dangling on hooks, an appropriately-coloured red sofa sits on the other side of the window, a perfect spot for a macabre photo-op while you wait for your table. Dinner here is a no-nonsense affair. Choose a cut of meat from the butchery counter, watch your chef hack it up and grill it with a heavy dose of theatrical flair, and tuck into the best steak of your life.
This French-Japanese fusion restaurant is a popular haunt for well-heeled Kensington crowds. Its contemporary interior is made up of sleek monochrome furnishings, oak floors, mirrored walls and stylish light fittings, apparently they are aiming to emulate the minimalist writing of the Albert Camus novel for which they are named. Dishes here aim for the wow-factor in both appearance and taste, with signature dishes including caramelised black cod with miso and pan seared Scottish scallops. There’s also a slightly lower-key wine bar in the basement.
Cambio De Tercio
A favourite spot of tennis ace Rafael Nadal, who eats here every night during the Wimbledon warm up at Queens, Cambio de Tercio offers a modern, inventive and playful take on Spanish tapas (‘cambio de tercio’ is a bullfighting move in which the fighter dramatically changes direction). The food is served up in vibrant surroundings, the restaurant’s painted in fiery sunset colours and adorned with plenty of eclectic, 20th Century Spanish artworks. It’s regularly billed as the best Spanish restaurant in London.
This beloved Polish dining room opened in 1947, making it the oldest in London. It’s gone from being simply a haunt for nostalgic ex-pats to one of the area’s most popular restaurants, serving up homely, hearty cooking at extremely reasonable prices in a romantic, authentically tatty-around-the-edges setting. Daquise has a fascinating history, it was a favourite of Cold War-era spies like Christine Keeler, was an unofficial headquarters for exiled Polish president, Edward Raczynski, and served Roman Polanski daily when he was filming Repulsion.
An offshoot of the parent branch in Notting Hill, British Brasserie Bumpkin (which is perhaps a little condescendingly named) serves up rustic, country-inspired cooking using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients in a fresh, shabby chic environment with a large open-plan kitchen.The dishes are all staples in comfort eating, think macaroni cheese, lamb rump, cod and chips, sticky toffee pudding and plenty of Bumpkin’s own signature pies, with the menu changing daily. They also have a drinks menu filled with fine wines, cocktails and Bloody Mary’s.
Chez Patrick is an intimate, cosy French bistro with a loyal base of regulars who by all accounts regard it as a bit of a local secret. The interior is understated and simple, with white linen, terracotta floor tiles and pictures of boats on the walls, providing a bright and welcoming seaside town vibe. The menu is filled with traditional French dishes and high-end wild seafood (which is its speciality) with an extensive wine list.