You know what they say – give a man a meal, and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to make a meal, and he’ll get millions of views on TikTok, and eventually open a restaurant in Notting Hill.
Thus is the story of Thomas Straker, who’ll be cutting the ribbon on his first permanent venue on Goldbourne Road this summer.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of idly browsing his many ultra-short videos across the social media sphere, he tends to traffic in “food you want to eat” as he puts it, meaning relatively simple, frequently comforting dishes with a broadly Anglo-Italian lilt. Some fried potato gnocchi here, a little cacio e pepe there, or just classic sourdough with brown butter.
It’s also worth pointing out that he isn’t just some rando influencer who got lucky and rode a viral wave to success – he’s cut his teeth working in kitchens at Dinner by Heston, The Dorchester, and Phil Howard’s Michelin-Starred Elystan Street, to name but a few. But his online fame has certainly helped give him the leverage to open his very own place under his very own name when he otherwise may never have gotten the chance.
So what’s he got lined up? Well, the venue itself is a small sleeve of. space that used to be a Moroccan restaurant. There’ll be space for 40 when it’s rammed, so it’s not going to be huge. There’s going to be an open kitchen with its own concrete bar for people to perch on and watch Straker himself cooking IRL, while the rest of the restaurant promises “wooden wall panels and low lighting” for a warm, intimate atmosphere.
The menu will naturally follow Straker’s online showcase of Italian-leaning dishes, with opening menu items including:
- Grilled flatbreads with vesuvio tomatoes & anchovy
- Clams with ‘nduja & basil
- Potato gnocchi with burnt butter
- Fresh crab ravioli
- Whole grilled seabass with white peach, green beans & almonds
- Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with broad beans & salsa verde
There’ll be wine to go with all of this too, with a tightly curated list put together by Alex Percy at The Modest Merchant, who’ll be working exclusively with small, low intervention wineries from France, Italy and Spain. And it won’t be surprising to hear that some of that wine will be used to make in-house vermouth for cocktails.
Which should be liked by a lot of people.
NOTE: Straker’s is set to open in June. We’ll be back then with the full scoop. In the meantime, you can find out more at his Insta right HERE.
Straker’s | 91 Golborne Rd, W10 5PR
While you’re in the neighbourhood… here are the best restaurants in Notting Hill.