Harden's survey result
“Absolutely the best new restaurant in the past year or so” – the Roux dynasty have come up trumps with this “great newbie in the Notting Hill ’hood”, on the site of Bumpkin (RIP). It’s the brainchild of Michel Roux’s daughter Emily Roux and her husband Diego Ferrari (former head chef at Le Gavroche). “Just around the corner from The Ledbury, but half the price and less formal” – it provides a “fabulous all-round experience”, founded on “outstanding” and “creative” cooking “born out of two great cuisines: French and Italian”. (However, “the unusual menu layout does take a moment to puzzle out”, with headings like Curious, Subtle and Greedy). “Impeccable service” and the “very comfortable” space, decorated with “quirky touches” complete the experience. Top Tip – “don’t miss the celeriac ‘cacio e pepe’”.
The Notting Hill site that was formerly Bumpkin (RIP) has had a change of fortune: Emily Roux (yes, daughter of Michel) and her husband Diego Ferrari (currently head chef at Le Gavroche) have taken it over with a view to creating this October 2018 newcomer with its own, er, character (geddit!). A blend of French and Italian cuisines is promised, but the style is to be simple and seasonal rather than ‘fayne dayning’.
Caractère Restaurant Diner Reviews
"We first visited Caractere back in October and was so amazed by the experience it became my choice for Top London (non michelin stars) restaurant in my personal 2019 Lloydie Food Awards and so therefore couldn't wait to return. Now I can honestly say that after our visit on saturday they have set the bar very high and I seriously think it's going to be very hard for someone to stop them holding on to that title. We arrived on Saturday and received the same delightful friendly greeting as last time. We were then escorted to our table where we were welcomed back to the restaurant by not only manager Eugenio but also other of members of staff. We started with an aperitif which was a Gin & Tonic and a Negroni while we looked at the menu which to our delight there were a lot New dishes. They set the menu out in to six categories and where apart from the cheese course there are three dishes in each section. This gives you the opportunity to create your own personal tasting menu by choosing a dish from each section or you can choose any three courses and create your own A la Carte menu. We decided as before to opt for the Tasting Menu. So after enjoying some delightful snacks & bread it was on to the first section.? CURIOUS?For our first course we both decided to choose the New Ricotta stuffed pappardelle with lemon zest , trout and herring roe & sturgeon bottarga which was cooked to perfection and tasted absolutely delicious. SUBTLE?So on to the second course and two more heavenly dishes. The first was the fantastic signature dish a Celeriac Cacio e Pepe with balsamic vinegar. The second was the Acquerello Risotto with kabocha pumpkin , black crumble & red wine reduction which was amazing. DELICATE?Now it was on to the fish section where we chose the Roast Monkfish with parsley root , squid , lemon condiment and foraged leaves and the Grilled Stone Bass with roast fennel , citrus and crisp wild rice. These were once again two excellent dishes where the flavours were absolutely fabulous. ROBUST?It was now time for the main course and for this we decided to choose the Roast Rib of Veal which is for two people. The veal came with confit potatoes , pied-de-mouton , fresh horseradish & veal jus and was a real taste sensation and one that I would highly recommend if you decide to visit. STRONG?This is the Cheese section where they only one option. The cheese on this occasion was a Vacherin Mont D'or with a baby leaf salad & homemade seed crackers GREEDY?So now it's time to finish with desserts. My wife chose her favourite the Passion Fruit Choux with craquelin & chantilly while I chose the truly amazing and New Bergamot & Lemon Tartelette with hazelnut praline & preserved lemon a truly dessert lovers dream. My dessert was matched with a fantastic Italian sweet wine recommended by assistant manager Antonella. It was a Pieropan 2015 Soave Classico which although a rich golden colour was only slightly sweet and with flavours of exotic fruits & apricots made this a perfect match for the dessert. We finished with tea & coffee to bring to an end a fantastic return visit. The food here is absolutely amazing which is matched by excellent service led by Eugenio & Antonella. I would highly recommend a visit here and I definitely can't wait until I return once again "
"A full experience with no faults"
"This was our first visit to Caractere and I can assure you now that it won't be our last. Set in the very popular area of Notting Hill on the corner of the Ledbury Road & Westbourne Park Road is where you'll find the restaurant. The site used to be a an old pub but owners Emily & Diego have turned it into a fabulous dining room. We arrived on Saturday and you could see straight away why they tell you to arrive at the time of your reservation as yes there is no bar area. We received a nice friendly welcome before the waitress took our coats and escorted us to our table. Once seated it then gave us a chance to take a good look around. The tables are around the outside walls with a mixture of chairs and long comfortable seats with a few tables in the middle leaving plenty of space to for the staff to move around. You do feel when you look at the tables & lighting that you are in a French restaurant but the walls & ceiling decoration gives it an Italian twist. While enjoying an aperitif we were then given the menu to look at. This is set out in six categories Curious , Subtle , Delicate , Robust , Strong & Greedy. Each section contains three courses apart from the Strong which is the Cheese course. You can choose any three courses if you'd like to have A la Carte or you can create your own personalised Tasting Menu by choosing one dish from each section. This sounded like a great idea to us so that's exactly what we did. After enjoying some delightful snacks & bread which they will bring to you as many times as you like we move on to the first section. CURIOUS We started with two glorious dishes. The first being a Roast Wild Prawns , Reginette Pasta , Seaweed Condiment & a Bisque and the second a Roast Diver Scallop with Jerusalem Artichoke , Amaranth and a Smoked Veloute. The flavours in both dishes were so amazing we couldn't wait for what was to follow. SUBTLE Now onto the Pasta section and the amazing flavours didn't stop here either as two more fantastic dishes arrived. The first was a Acquerello Risotto with Girolles , Hazelnuts & Red Wine Reduction. The second dish was the signature dish a Celeriac Cacio e Pepe with extra aged Balsamic vinegar and it was stunning DELICATE This is the Fish section and once again two more delightful plates of food arrived and were absolutely delicious. We chose the Roast John Dory , Grilled Leeks , Squid , Foraged Leaves & a Buerre Blanc and the Steamed Cornish Cod , Roast Cauliflower , Caper & Parsley Condiment. ROBUST This is the Main course section and there'll be no surprise again when I say that these dishes were definitely the highlights of the menu. The first was a slow cooked Pork Cheek Ravioli with Crispy Kale , Trompette Mushrooms & Wholegrain Mustard Jus. The second was a saddle of Herdwick Lamb , Artichokes , Black Olives & a Jus STRONG This is the Cheese Course where there is only one option a Gorgonzola Dolce with a Baby Leaf Salad & Homemade Seed Crackers. We decided to have one each and so glad we did as neither of us wanted to share GREEDY It was now time to finish with Dessert and they were an absolute delight. The Passion Fruit Choux , Craquelin & Chantilly was heaven and the Molten Chocolate Cake with Praline , Salted Caramel & Mascarpone Ice Cream was a chocolate lovers dream. This was matched with a fantastic Giovanni Allegrini Valpolicella Classico 2013 sweet wine. We finished with an Espresso to round of a truly memorable Tasting Menu lunch which I also personally thought was great value for money. The food was fantastic and this was matched by excellent service and great wine recommendations from our wonderful waitress Antonella who is was a real pleasure to talk to throughout our meal. I would highly recommend a visit as this is a fantastic credit to the London restaurant scene. I for one am already looking forward to returning very soon in the new year"
"Not the easiest of locations to visit (using public transport) - but well worth the effort."
"A great local"
"Interesting menu, good wine list with friendly attentive service."
"Tasty food born out of 2 great cuisines - French and Italian. Lovely wine and non-alcoholic drinks. Excellent presentation. Friendly, helpful service. Delightful, quirky touches everywhere - cutlery, crockery, furnishings, paintings on the walls. Caractere is my favourite restaurant."
|Wine per bottle||£42.00|
209 Westbourne Park Road, London, W11 1EA
|Tuesday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:15 pm-9:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:15 pm-9:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:15 pm-9:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:15 pm-9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:15 pm-9:30 pm|