Let’s have a word about the perfect date spot.
Ideally, it would be small and intimate, with just enough fellow diners to create atmosphere, but not too many that you no longer feel special. Say, around six tables.
It would have a multi-course menu bookended nicely with canapés & petit fours (complimentary, of course) so as to allow you to properly sit back and relax without fear of being rushed out the door. Four should do the trick.
And finally, the food itself would be fantastic, made by a creative, up-and-coming chef with immense ambition and talent to match. You know, like Richard Wilkins.
Cutting to the chase: it would be 104 in Notting Hill.
It’s Wilkins’ first London restaurant after having worked at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant in France (Maison Pic) then another one in the UK (The Waterside Inn), then Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay. So, to put it mildly, he’s quite comfortable behind a stove. And as solo projects go it’s manageably small – teeny-tiny even with, as we mentioned, only half a dozen tables invitingly draped in crisp white tablecloths and surrounded by bare pale green walls (save for the beautiful hand-blown lights).
The opening menu has four courses with a little choice, featuring the likes of crisp asparagus brightened further with confit lemon zest & butterfly sorrel; some beautifully subtle hand-dived scallop ceviche with Granny Smith apple and lovage; a little wild seabass in champagne sauce; roast duck with crisp skin kissed with a little blood orange jus; and a melt-in-the-middle warm chocolate moelleux with hazelnut praline & some cooling passionfruit sorbet.
As you might have guessed, the food rotates quite regularly, and there’s a lot of experimentation going on all the time in the kitchen. And of course there’s a stellar wine list, with several great varieties by the glass.
Now, you just need to find that date…
NOTE: 104 Restaurant is open for lunch (12-3pm) Fri-Sun, and dinner Tues-Sat (6-9.30pm). You can find out more, and make a reservation, on their website HERE.
104 Restaurant | 104a Chepstow Road, W2 5QS
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