Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you

survey result

Summary

“A flying start from the former head chef at Gordon Ramsay” – in this “unmissable” yearling, Clare Smyth “has finally created a fabulous restaurant on this difficult site” (most recently Notting Hill Kitchen, RIP, and in days of yore, Leith’s). “If she doesn’t get at least two Michelin stars this year, it will be astounding!” given the “ethereal cuisine she delivers with confidence, exuberance and pleasure”. “Outstanding produce is allowed to really sing in the dishes” – with the emphasis on two tasting menu options – and “seasonal ingredients (really – not just the lip service you sometimes hear) are centre stage, with an interesting and rare focus on vegetables”: “I mean, how on earth can you make a humble potato so attractive and so tasty? It’s magic!” .The “light and sophisticated” room “has a relaxed feel, no tablecloths or hushed tones” and – with the “faultless”, “friendly” service – the overall effect is “a pleasant, unusually relaxed and unpompous atmosphere”. “Attention to detail is amazing, and watching the kitchen staff quietly gliding between stations behind the pass, overseen by Clare, is like watching a theatre production” STOP PRESS: Having won the ‘Top Gastronomic’ award at the Harden’s London Restaurant awards, on October 1 Michelin followed suit with the award of two stars.

£115
£££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

Clare Smyth, former ‘chef patron’ at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – and the first British woman to hold three Michelin stars – chose this well-known site (previously Notting Hill Kitchen, RIP, and once the site of the original Leith’s) to launch her first solo venture in summer 2017.

For 28 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at Core by Clare Smyth?

Core by Clare Smyth Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Core by Clare Smyth Restaurant in W11, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Core by Clare Smyth restaurant.
Nick G
One of the best meals I’ve had in London ...
Reviewed 14 days ago

"One of the best meals I’ve had in London in years - great food, slick and entertaining service, top notch"

Report this comment
Piers R
probably the best restaurant experience of ...
Reviewed 23 days ago

"probably the best restaurant experience of 2019. Everything in the top rank including witty foodie surprises. Faultless?"

Report this comment
Ivor S
How she has transformed what we used to cal...
Reviewed 1 months, 2 days ago

"How she has transformed what we used to call dinner. From the foie gras parfait to the carrot and sweet ciceley which is orange and cream yet is not too sweet, every morsel - and they are morsels - makes you think, taste, assess, evaluate, describe. The restaurant is full of people talking about what they are sampling. Quite wonderful. Meal of the year, certainly."

Report this comment
Sally M
The best food I have eaten in years. Have b...
Reviewed 1 months, 11 days ago

"The best food I have eaten in years. Have been 3 times recently - it has been been consistently fantastic. The food looks simple but the flavours and beautifully balanced and wonderfully intense"

Report this comment
Jeffrey B
Superb food from a brilliant chef...
Reviewed 1 months, 12 days ago

"Superb food from a brilliant chef"

Report this comment
Kenneth W
Welcoming staff and brilliant menu...
Reviewed 1 months, 25 days ago

"Welcoming staff and brilliant menu"

Report this comment
Paul A
A truly exceptional meal with every element...
Reviewed 3 months, 1 day ago

"A truly exceptional meal with every element of the dining experience on the very highest level. The welcome was perfect, the dining room light and attractive without any excrescences that could distract from the food, our table for two was of the right size and it afforded us a view of the pass at which Clare Smyth operates with military precision, the front of house staff were properly dressed and properly schooled as well as very willing to listen to the diners and provide expert help, and as for the cuisine! - this was in the very top bracket of our list of memorable dinners compiled over 40 years of fine dining all over Europe. There are simply not enough superlatives to describe everything making up the “beginning”, the Core Seasons tasting menu, plus the “end”, which amounted to some thirteen outstanding dishes, so beautifully put together in a balanced ensemble that there was never any question of feeling stuffed. It was quite impossible to answer the inevitable question about a favourite dish when each one was a favourite in its own right with its own attractive presentation, taste and texture highlights, and top-notch degree of satisfaction. The Perigord truffle gougères were just about the best we’ve ever had, the jellied eel was great, as was the smoked duck wing, and the foie gras parfait superb. The brown crab meat, infused with lemon, with a jelly made from the shell and black truffle left an indescribably good aftertaste, and this in no way affected the soft sensation of the artichoke that followed, with nasturtium leaf adding to the wonderful combination made with the cheddar backing. Brill came next, a small portion but perfectly cooked with a lovely glaze and a touch of oyster leaf and with the caviar - just brilliant! Next we had what was basically a modern rendering of a French classic but with its own personality, absolutely out-of-this-world veal sweetbreads with langoustine and a light and dark contrast of vin jaune sauce and langoustine sauce, a dish that was as good on the eyes as on the palate. And this was also true of the next dish, where the visuals were composed of a celeriac and black truffle chess board which was populated by the tenderest of venison showing off its true taste, enhanced by the truffle, and to top it all off some terrific foie gras. We allowed ourselves to breathe normally again after all the gasping in wonder at the sequence of outstanding dishes as we dived into the palate cleanser of carrot and walnut cake mousse and carrot sorbet, which anywhere else could have been considered top of the bill. Then what we imagined was the final dish, “Core-teser” a re-imagining of the humble Malteser in what must be the lightest chocolate dessert ever, even with the pudding underneath the melt-in-the-mouth chocolate with its indulgent hazelnut ice cream and some honeycomb-like malt. But it was not the finale, and we were treated to petits fours of warm chocolate tart and intense Sauternes and Banyuls jellies which, eaten together, was simply heavenly. It is impossible to overpraise this stupendous dining experience where every single mouthful was remarkable, and we shall be making the trip up to London again just to eat at Core."

Report this comment
Rupert L
A proper grown-up superb restaurant. We ca...
Reviewed 5 months,

"A proper grown-up superb restaurant. We came here just over a year ago and in the intervening 12 months they have upped their game to a new level. On a par with the Ledbury as the best food in London."

Report this comment
Load More Reviews
Have you eaten at Core by Clare Smyth?
Post your own review of Core by Clare Smyth and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review
92 Kensington Park Rd, London, W11 2PN
Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday6:30 pm-10:30 pm
Wednesday6:30 pm-10:30 pm
Thursday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm
Friday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm
Saturday12 pm-2:30 pm, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm
SundayCLOSED

Best British, Modern restaurants nearby

Daylesford Organic
British, Modern restaurant in Notting Hill
£42
    £
2
Average
1
Poor
3
Good
Beach Blanket Babylon
British, Modern restaurant in Notting Hill
£65
  £££
1
Poor
1
Poor
3
Good
The Ladbroke Arms
British, Modern restaurant in Notting Hill
£53
   ££
4
Very Good
3
Good
4
Very Good

The 2019 Harden's Guide

2019 Hardens Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

Financial Times

What social media is saying