One dish is missing: Veal sweetbread, gem lettuce, yeast, hazelnuts. We jumped on it, forgetting to take a photo. Sorry. And yes, it was divine!
I am happy. Really happy! I was waiting for a restaurant like this close to my home since I moved to London. Finally I got all I was hoping for (and even more!) 0.1 mile from my door. Some people are just lucky!
108 Garage in London is not connected with Rene Redzepi’s restaurant 108 in Copenhagen (as some may think), the “108” in the name of the restaurant located in Notting Hill’s Golborne road, comes from the building number, though I am quite sure Rene would enjoy and approve this fantastic place!
108 Garage was created as a local eatery by a team matched in heaven: Chris Denney, the head chef, who previously worked in quite some famous kitchens (between them: David Thompson’s Nahm, Nuno Mendes’ Viajante, Phil Howard’s The Square, Enrico Crippa’s three Michelin-starred Piazza Duomo in Alba …) and Luca Longobardi, known as “the mafia banker”. The energy and enthusiasm the two radiate is very much embodied in the vibrant dishes. Chris’ cooking shows his great palette of flavours acquired through his journeys through different kitchens and cultures, and a great technique learnt from some of the greatest chefs. He loves to play with offal and some other less appreciated ingredients which he, with subtle accents and a perfect cooking, masterfully transforms into dishes which are to die for. I am not a vegetarian, yet I prefer the beautiful diversity of flavours of the vegetal world over any piece of meat … as long as it’s not cooked by Chris. His meat dishes are so succulent, so sweetly melting in the mouth and so beautifully paired with fresh accents, that (even if I love his veggies as well) I deeply enjoyed every single bite. Not having a real pastry chef in the team, the desserts are far from traditional or pretentious – but hey, that’s what all the place is about! They are “simply” based on subtle combinations of flavours and textures which are intense but maintain a beautiful lightness. The Moscato poached pear, camomile and pear butter for example was one of the most subtle sweet delights I had in the last months, and I had many of them… A pure joy!
108 Garage, beloved by the food critics and foodies alike, is two months after the opening fully booked in the evenings months in advance. You need to be lucky to get a table due to some cancellation (always worth trying) or enjoy their wonderful dishes at lunchtime. A place which was created as a local eatery became one of the most exciting food destinations in London and one more reason for travelling to the vibrant Golborne and Portobello area of the Notting Hill.