A more plain-speaking, well-delivered and honestly British menu is not to be found in West London's restaurants. Because of course most of the area's best restaurants are rubber-necking heaven, but on a quiet street on the Bayswater/Notting Hill borders is a little-known treasure opened in 2007 where people come to sit in plain, unfussy booths, enjoy its easy ambience and that deceptively difficult art of great ingredients cooked simply. The chefs cook at the grill inside the door, including head chef/owner Tom Pemberton who amply displays the skills of a man trained under Fergus Henderson at the near-mythical St John, where nose-to-tail eating and forgotten veggies became a matter of pride (see separate entry). Taking resolutely local and seasonal ingredients (including game, offal and lesser spotted curiosities such as Ticklemore cheese), Pemberton adds quirky, British twists. Cauliflower soup comes with skate cheeks, moules marinieres becomes cockles, cider and lovage (the daily changing menu is posted online). It's all cooked with care and confidence, yet without fuss; service is efficient and low-key, but the final treat is the bill, which comes in way lower than expected for food of this distinction (especially so with its shared roasts). Thank God it's too understated for Notting Hill's jewellery-shaking set.
Food: 9, Service: 8, Atmosphere: 7
3 Hereford Road
+44 20 7727 1144
Open: noon-3pm, 6-10.30pm Mon- Sat; noon-4pm, 6-10pm Sun