Allow us to introduce Notting Hill’s hottest new restaurant, Caia.
No, it wasn’t named during a severe consonant famine, it’s actually a reference to Caia Caecilia who (as we all know) was the Roman goddess of fire. And she’s here in person, blazing away in the grill that everything centres around. Because this Caia is driven by open-fire cooking, great wines, and a semi-religious reverence for music.
It’s the work of a pair of locals (Tim Lang & Rishabh Vir) who between them have taken stints at places like Fiend, The Fat Duck & Kiln. Here, they’ve created an invitingly stylish space centred around the open kitchen with its custom-made grill, with another floor’s worth of seating below it all, too. And as a kicker, it’s got an intimate wine room in the back, with its rear wall covered from floor-to-ceiling in bottle-filled racks, and a small table for a dozen people in the middle.
The head chef they’re working with (one Jessica Donovan) brings an impressive CV of her own thanks to spells at Dinner by Heston, The Dairy, and The Pem. Here, she’s put together her own menu, starting with small plates of brightly flavoursome asparagus with smoked onion & crispy chicken skin, and cured seabream with tomato dashi & bottarga. Then, the larger stuff includes some hearty monkfish with ancho chilli & beetroot, and a fat wedge of pork belly with lavender molasses. Then finally it’s all topped with desserts like smoked cheesecake with Kentish strawberries, or macerated peaches with lemon sorbet & lemon verbena.
To drink, unless you happen to be in the wine room fantasising about plucking a bottle from the wall behind you, there’s a cocktail bar with something likely to suit your palate, covering some old-school classics, aperitivi and spritzers from Italy.
And saving maybe the best bit for last, underneath all of this is the basement where you’ll find a Kuzma R record player with some Auditorium R-25 A speakers (which are amazing. We assume). Not only are they using this setup to play some first-rate vinyl (curated by Stranger Than Paradise Records founder Noreen McShane), but there are also plans for guest DJs, listening parties, and live acoustic sessions in future.
NOTE: Caia is open Tuesday – Saturday (till 1am Fri & Sat). You can find out more, and book, HERE.
Caia | 46 Golborne Road, London W10 5PR
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