With a slew of new places going into west London, including some from leading names and brands, the west is truly feeling like it’s got its pulse back.
First up, it’s what we know. Jackson Boxer’s Orasay is truly excellent. Go in and start with clams (yes, even if you don’t like them), and go back at night for the fried prawns. Over in White City, there’s Endo at Rotunda (which recently had Giles Coren call it ‘the best restaurant he’s been to in 20 years’), Japan Centre’s Ichiba (the biggest Japanese food hall in Europe, with reasonable sashimi, baked goods, a huge spirit selection, and Hello Kitty merch galore), and on a fitness tip, there’s one of London’s few Lagree studios (aka pilates on crack), which is definitely worth a whirl if you’re looking for something different.
Next up, it’s what’s in the pipeline. This May, Nick House is opening Gold, a four-story neighbourhood modern European restaurant and late-night bar. Taking over Portobello Gold, this is a prime Portobello Rd. location; they’re currently going through issues with the council on their proposed exterior artwork (we’re not 100% sure about it either), but sounds like overall it could be a good addition to the neighbourhood (the garden room with retractable roof sounds great). We also know that David Beckham and Guy Ritchie have bought The Walmer Castle and we hear it will be closing in August and re-opening as a member’s club in October. Also just in (as in, they’ve literally just exchanged), Haya will be opening on Kensington Park Rd. in September as a new, healthy Med/Israeli restaurant.
Lastly, it’s what we’ve heard. We’ve heard that the 20th Century Theatre (you’ve likely been to a sample sale here) is being redeveloped to become a music venue. We’ve also heard whispers that Santo is becoming an Ivy Brasserie, but we’re hoping that one’s just a rumour. Unless they too plan on running a late night bar/dance den in the back?
Stay tuned… Oh, and if anyone’s heard what our beloved Galicia is becoming (RIP), we’d love to know.