Akub | Palestinian Fine Dining in Notting Hill
Nestled in a quiet residential side street behind Notting Hill Gate, and overlooked by the colourful rainbow of houses next door, you’ll spot a petite, earth green building with the name Akub emblazoned on the front.
It may look small and relatively innocuous from the outside …but inside it’s packing four stories of serene restaurant space and one of the best modern Palestinian chefs working today.
That chef is Fadi Kattan, and we’re not saying he’s the saviour of modern Palestinian dining per se …but he was born in Bethlehem, and he did pioneer the region’s first food tours and help rehabilitate the international image of the area’s cuisine from the standard-issue “hummus and falafel” to a more refined & elevated style that goes toe-to-toe with any other culinary tradition on earth. So there’s that.
Well, now he’s in Notting Hill and now he’s brought his A-game. Step inside his restaurant, and you’ll almost feel like the peace and tranquillity of the quiet streets nearby has followed you inside. The interior works muted tones with cream plastered walls adorned with olive branches, and cedar tables which maintain the natural curve of the wood. Go up a level to their second dining room which mimics a serene courtyard with exposed brick walls, a glass butterfly roof and a large olive tree tucked in the corner.
As for the food, Akub doesn’t disappoint. Fadi has created a modern Palestinian menu that celebrates the diversity of ingredients and culinary traditions from across Palestine while also integrating locally sourced British produce. Expect exquisitely presented sharing plates like slow-cooked fava beans with tomatoes, garlic, and parsley, and Rye Bay skate flavoured with loumi and coriander tahina wrapped in grape leaves. If you’ve saved some space for pudding, we highly suggest ordering the baba which is a delicate brioche-style bun soaked in fenugreek and cardamon syrup topped with cream and pistachios… and we have a feeling it probably won’t stay on the table for too long.
Newly launched is Akub’s brunch, and we’re not exaggerating when we say this is one of the best brunches in West London – or maybe even London, full stop. There are dishes that itch that breakfast scratch – cauliflower Zahra fritters and qalayet bandora, a traditional Palestinian tomato dish that comes here with perfectly pitched eggs – but you can (and should) build them out with side dishes. Take time over the aubergine fatteh (a mouthwatering salad of tender aubergine, tangy garlic yoghurt and focaccia chunks softened by tomato), and placate your sweet tooth with the Arabic coffee French toast with cocoa & pistachio. In short, it’s a brunch that you won’t forget easily.
Aside from the food, you can enjoy a wide selection of cocktails infused with traditional Middle Eastern flavours like jallab (a date syrup with rose water), apricot paste, and arak (an anise spirit). They also have a range of Palestinian wines to choose from if you fancy sticking to familiar flavours.
Oh, and as for the name? It’s christened in honour of Fadi’s favourite vegetable, the akub – a delicious and tiny, wild artichoke.
And like its namesake, it’s got lots of heart.
NOTE: Akub is set Tuesday to Sunday. You can find out more information and book a table on their website right HERE.
Akub | 27 Uxbridge Street, W8 7TQ
While you’re in the area… here are the best restaurants in Notting Hill