It almost seems strange to realise that Clare Smyth – Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and the first female British chef to hold and retain three Michelin stars – didn’t have her own restaurant.
Because she’s finally the proud owner of her own buzzing Notting Hill eatery, Core by Clare Smyth. And just to really bring everything full circle, she made her debut solo entry into the Michelin listings with two stars, right off the bat. Now, she has three.
Core by Clare Smyth is a light, airy space tucked into a townhouse at the peak of Portobello Market. Inside, you’ll make your way through a dinky 18-seater bar (where they not only serve up cocktails, beer and an impressive wine list, but also all three menus from the restaurant), before arriving in the breezy dining space, with its pistachio feature walls, smooth wooden flooring and relaxed, retro-styled seating overlooking a huge, glass-panelled kitchen.
Woah, woah, woah. Did you say three menus?
Well, yes we did. You see, the food offering here comes in the form of two tasting menus (a choice of five or seven courses), or an ever-evolving, three-course à la carte, with four options per course. She’s even throwing in a few amuse-bouches and petits-fours to keep you going.
The dishes change depending on seasonality and availability, but currently there’s options like buttery charlotte potatoes served with herring and trout roe; skate with Morecambe Bay shrimps and Swiss chard, and oxtail-stuffed Roscoff onion, served with beef short rib. There’s a strong push for sustainability, too, so don’t be surprised if your chicken breast arrives with a side of chicken heart and liver slicked together with confit egg yolk.
And over on the drinks menu? You’ll find straight-up classic cocktails, and a 400-strong wine and Champagne list, serving only the cream of the crop from Burgundy, Bordeaux northern Italy, and California.
At least, that’s the Core concept.
NOTE: Core by Clare Smyth is open Tues-Sat (dinner only Tues/Weds). The bar area (which serves the same menu) takes walk-ins only, but you can make reservations for the main restaurant, and check out their website, right HERE.
Core by Clare Smyth | 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN
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