108 Garage in Notting Hill (the street number and it was once a garage, in case you were wondering) has a talented Executive Chef in Chris Denney who’s been working in restaurants since the age of 14. Since then he’s worked in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, including Hambleton Hall, Nahm in Bangkok, Nuno Mendes’s Viajante and Piazza Duomo in Alba. He’s the co-founder of 108 Garage along with Luca Longobardi (they found each other on Gumtree!) and I was invited along recently to sample the six-course chef’s menu.
The menus here change so frequently dependent on produce they have in and the season we’re in that it’s not advertised on the website. Instead, this innovative place (which was busy for a weeknight when I visited) is reliant on the skill of the talented young team and good old word-of-mouth.
The exposed brickwork and minimalist decor add a likeable, simplistic feel to the venue. Yet the food is world class. The crunch of the raw pea and pickled walnut starter is a real palette teaser, while the Wye Valley asparagus with artichoke, anchovy and lovage is just sensational. A real stand-out for me.
The lemon sole was soft and brought to life with the borage and mussel korma, while the duroc pork jowl was wonderfully tender and had so much flavour.
The desserts, too, were impressive in skill. The pineapple, rosemary, rum, cream cheese and kaffir lime was an interesting fusion of ingredients that might not be to everyone’s taste, but should at least be tried, such is the confidence in execution and experimentation.
For more information visit www.108garage.com