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
"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|