Harden's survey result
“The third Michelin star must be on its way” say fans of Clare Smyth’s “world class” one-year-old, which – after its “brilliant start” – is much “better than Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road” (her former gig); and was the most-nominated restaurant in the survey this year for providing London’s top gastronomic experience. Occupying the Notting Hill venue that some still recall as Leith’s (long RIP), she has created a “smart-but-unintimidating” space, where “superb, friendly, and unpompous staff” steer a course between “slight informality” (no tablecloths) and being “highly professional”. And “Clare and head chef Johnnie always make time to say hello”. “So much original thought has gone in” to the “masterfully-blended dishes, showing occasional idiosyncratic touches” to create “precise, exquisite morsels that look like art on a plate and taste fabulous (if at a high price tag)”. “Words aren’t enough to describe the journey your taste buds go on!”. “Unfortunately, however, it has become almost impossible to book”. Top Menu Tip – “I never thought a potato could taste that good!”
“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.
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.
Core by Clare Smyth Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Amazing experience special occasion fab food and service"
"Best dining experience for some years. Had the Seasonal menu... every dish was exceptional and not too fancy. No frills and not trying reinvent the wheel like so many gastro chefs"
"Typically, after a number of disappointing second visits to some other restaurants in the past, we feared a let-down after our spectacular introduction to Clare Smyth’s treasure house a few months ago, so we were overjoyed to find that the stupendous dining experience we had had before is actually the norm here. There are very few restaurants where there is never a single false note struck, but Core comes up trumps in all respects, from the spoons with every dish for any remaining sauces, to the top-class front of house staff so well-schooled by Rob Rose and who are entirely confident and comfortable in their dealings with the diners and, of course, the kitchen guaranteeing a rhythmic flow of superb dishes perfectly balanced in the overall make-up of the tasting menu. We started at “The Beginning” with a sequence of four delicious amuse-bouches and then really good bread came, although this was not announced as an actual course as seems to be the trend in some restaurants these days, and this prefaced the first of the series of masterpieces making up the menu, fabulous langoustine with a judicious touch of wasabi, almond foam and tiny peas tasting like they had literally just been podded. Then came an altogether surprising amalgam of ostensibly ordinary constituents - girolles with buckwheat tart - the amazing smell of the mushroom sauce, the perfect pastry, the freshness of almonds, the texture, the taste, and the perfect wine choice to match the richness of the dish. When you begin a meal like this you are at once more than content and in expectation of further delights, and Core does not disappoint. Excellent Cornish brill has just the right level of softness and exemplary freshness, starting almost sweet and then developing a touch of saltiness with the oyster and caviar, and the Cornish theme continues with 5-year old Davidstow cheddar (not available to mere mortals) providing an explosion of tastes with its onion broth and alliums. The main course was basically sheep meat, but that trite denomination could give no clue to the brilliance of the lamb belly, the hogget in stem lettuce, the maturely tasty mutton, all topped off with savoury and black cardamom and leaving a lingering, lip-smacking longing for more of the same. However, we moved on to the clever carroty palate cleanser with ginger foam to go with a confection of creamy cake on the inside and carrot on the outside plus carrot sorbet and shredded carrot. The dessert is basically an improved version of the Malteser and one that we would take any time with its terrific crunch and chocolate sorbet. And then the petits fours! Sauternes jelly, Banyuls jelly, chocolate and lavender tart that provide a superb finish to a wonderful meal. The wine selection matched the food perfectly, and, to summarise, Core is at a level above what most restaurants can even aspire to, let alone achieve."
"It was once again a pleasure to be back at Core and experience another truly outstanding afternoon of amazing food & wine , excellent service as well as fabulous cocktails in the bar. This was our eighth visit and just like our previous visits we were well and truly catered for which is no surprise as this is a restaurant who's hospitality of the highest order from the moment you arrive until the time you depart.?When we arrived on Saturday we received another delightful welcome from Marion who is so friendly that you feel nice & relaxed straight away. We decided just like our previous visits to sit at the bar and enjoy another one of the fabulous cocktails from Head Barman Ale. This time I had the pleasure of sampling another new creation a Mezcal & Strawberry which was a lighter & refreshing take on a Negroni. My wife decided to go for the Gin & Pickle as she enjoyed it so much the last time. While enjoying our cocktails it was nice to have a catch up with Rob & Davide. Once we finished our cocktails it was time to move into the restaurant but not before receiving a welcoming wave from Clare in the kitchen and saying a quick hello to some other members of staff. We were seated in the far left corner in one of the two booths giving you a great view of the whole dining area. We were presented with the menu which consists of two tasting menus & a la carte. It was at this time that Rob came over and knowing what we'd had previously suggested that we could swap a dish from one of the other menus plus he also offered us an opportunity of a surprise course in exchange for another one of the dishes we've had before and therefore creating us a Tasting Menu menu full of new dishes. This was a fantastic gesture and one we were delighted to accept.?Before we started we got to enjoy some amazing snacks which included the ever popular Core Fried Chicken & Duck Wings. These were followed by our first course which was brought to the table by young chef George. It was a Scottish Langoustine with Wasabi Pea , Rose Geranium & Almond that was simply a work of art and tasted amazing. Our next course was the surprise and we were very honoured to be the first people to try it. The dish was Clare's take on Cheese & Onion which was a Roscoff Onion & Five Year Old Davidstow Cheddar accompanied by Cheese & Onion Brioche Rolls and was truly a delight. This dish was followed by a fabulous Roasted Monkfish with Morecombe Bay Shrimps , Swiss Chard & Brown Butter. These dishes were perfectly matched by another amazing wine selection by sommelier Gareth. His choice this time was a Barnes Buecher 2015 Rosenberg Alsace which although was aromatic & floral it was still very fresh tasting on the palate. Next to come was the Jerusalem Artichoke , Confit in Butter with Malt , Mushroom & Cheddar. This led us perfectly on to the main course of Lamb , Hogget & Mutton with Celtuce , Savoury & Black Cardamom. This dish was absolutely fantastic and definitely the highlight of the menu just as any main course should be. Before dessert we decided to have the Cheese Course which consisted of three cheeses the Colton Stilton Basset , Davidstow Cheddar & a light Goats Cheese. These were accompanied by the best Fig Rolls ever along with Crackers , Raisins , Pickle & Jelly. It was now time for desserts which started with the pre dessert The Other Carrot. This led us to the main dessert and one of the best you will ever have. It's the Core Teaser which is a take on the Malteaser and is a dessert lovers dream. We finished with Coffee & Petit Fours to round off another outstanding lunch. It really is an absolute pleasure to visit Core and I would highly recommend that everyone should come and have the experience at least once. The food inspired by Clare & Jonny is amazing which is matched by excellent wine selections from Gareth and his team of sommeliers. The service led by Rob , Davide , Tiago & Millie is first class and it's always a pleasure to have a chat with them throughout our lunch. Before we set of for home we decided to head back to the bar and enjoy another of Ale's cocktails and one of my favourites the Cognac & Prunes. On the way it was nice to stop and have a chat with head chef Jonny & sous chef Antonio. This then brought an end to another fantastic afternoon at Core and one that I can't wait to repeat in October.?A big Thank You to Clare , Jonny , Rob and the rest of the team"
"One of the best meals I’ve had in London in years - great food, slick and entertaining service, top notch"
"probably the best restaurant experience of 2019. Everything in the top rank including witty foodie surprises. Faultless?"
"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."
"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"
|Wine per bottle||£37.00|
92 Kensington Park Rd, London, W11 2PN
|Tuesday||6:30 pm-10:30 pm|
|Wednesday||6:30 pm-10:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-2:30 pm, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2:30 pm, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-2:30 pm, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm|