The Dock Kitchen is just around the corner and having been there for working lunches we decided to take advantage of the annual pre-carnival exodus from Notting Hill to book a Saturday night table – even the guy taking our booking sounded surprised when he found “yes we do have a table for you”.
So it was with great anticipation that we arrived for dinner.
The Dock Kitchen began life a couple of years ago as a pop up restaurant but was so popular, it soon discarded its temporary status and has since become a firm favourite on the London food scene. The chef, Stevie Parle is only 25 or so and has already been cooking for ten years – starting out by attending the Ballymaloo Cookery School in County Cork and working in many top restaurants including the River Café and Moro’s.
Dock Kitchen is beautifully designed – the interior, lighting and furniture is by Tom Dixon. The restaurant runs virtually the length of the converted Victorian wharf building (also housing Tom Dixon’s showrooms) in Portobello Dock, one entire side wall is glass and we were feeling very cosy as we viewed a spectacular rain storm and rainbow over urban Ladbroke Grove.
Retropectively, we should have guessed by the waiter’s description of the Catalan menu: “It’s not experimental cooking, more rustic and concentrating on the authenticity of the Catalan ingredients”. But, it sounded so interesting and with the house rule (we’re still wondering why that is…?) ‘everyone on the table must order the fixed menu’ we decided to try this month’s ‘fixed’ Catalan Menu.
The starter – a tapas dish with 3 slices of salami and smoky tomatoes on a slice of toasted bread was a surprise. True the ingredients were great quality but it was an uninspiring start. The enticing salt cod with red pepper salad looked and tasted delicious and the following dish, Butifaara con Mongetas (Catalunyan offal sausage with white beans) was incredibly good – we were on a high by this time, it was all coming right after all.
Then we were asked if we wanted to have the extra course of Catalan goat’s cheese (at a £5 supplement). When the cheese arrived with a few more slices of bread…we felt decidedly let down. We like cheese, and really felt this was surely not the best Catalan goat’s cheese to be found.
The final course of the menu was an amazing Spanish nougat ice cream with Oloroso sherry and it was divine…
So – our conclusion – we will definitely go back, this is a wonderful space, the staff and atmosphere were great and the Catalan menu was an exciting idea but with a disappointing two courses out of five and a final bill for 2 of over £150 (inc wine) we think we’ll order the a la carte menu next time!
Dock Kitchen is also available for hire for between 18-40 people
Booking is Essential…
342 / 344 Ladbroke Grove | Notting Hill | London W10 5BU
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