Cha Cha x Sister Jane – the collaboration of the year

From the outside looking in on an evening, Cha Cha x Sister Jane in Notting Hill has an alluring look about it. The pale green exterior has a captivating charm when coupled with the lit up exterior, while the mannequins in the first floor windows displaying their vintage wear offer something mysteriously enchanting. As far as collaborations go, this is up there as one of the quirkiest and best. Latin American restaurant meets vintage clothing store, with a pinch of Mad Men-style elegant swankiness added to the seasoning.

This is Cha Cha’s third venture, with other outlets in Maida Vale and Mayfair, but the latest installment in Notting Hill comes with a twist, thanks to its partnership with vintage clothing store, Sister Jane. The idea is to entice diners to a multi-level, multi-experiential retail concept on Goldborne Road. If you thought this idea couldn’t get any better, there’s also a rooftop cocktail bar and a very cool secret garden.

The decor inside is very stylish. From the impressive seating to the plush lampshades and pop culture artwork, everything has clearly been meticulously thought out and executed to perfection, making it a really cool date spot or a unique setting to catch up with people. The menu here is overseen by head chef Andrea Mura and as well as evening dinners they also do a breakfast menu, so say hello to your new favourite brunch hangout.

I was here for dinner recently and the idea for the menu is to share everything Mediterranean style, so don’t be shy to order a selection of things. The tuna we ordered was sublime. It was high quality stuff that’s quite possibly the best tuna I’ve had in a while. The grilled octopus skewers is also delicious, with piquillo peppers and fried potato really lending to the Latino tapas vibes. The burrata with heirloom tomato on a slice of toasted sourdough was texturally excellent, with subtle flavourings. The main draw for me though was the 650g slow cooked beef short ribs. My. Word. It was sensational. The celeriac crumb on top gave it just a slight crunch in what was otherwise melt-in-the-mouth stuff. The flavour was unreal and the meat so soft and tender that I had to take the rest home because I couldn’t finish it there and then, yet couldn’t allow it to disappear altogether.

The food is honestly as impressive as the interior design, with an impressive wine list and cocktail menu to match. The idea here is to feel free to wander, so take your drink in hand and venture upstairs to the clothing showroom for a snoop round. Or wander downstairs to the basement where you’ll find a secret garden via velvet-clad bannisters and an entrance through an armoire, which screams Narnia, that homes Italian carousel horses and outdoor heating making it perfect for group bookings.

I’ve not come across a more impressive interior design in a long time that has an exciting food and drink menu to match. The interior designers responsible for the seamless blend of brand styles are Sella Concepts, who count the Conran Shop and Alexa Chung among previous clientele. The bespoke retro furniture and burnt autumnal tones is an ideal setting for autumn / winter this year, and after the year we’ve all had, you deserve to have something to smile about.

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