Situated on Abingdon Road, Naga is the brainchild of Eddy Lim, who’s previous projects include Paper Tiger, Tai Pan and Deals Restaurant. The restaurateur as partnered with mixologists, Tri Van Dang, who previously managed Mahiki and set up South Kensington’s Brompton Club.
“Partnering with Tri just seemed a good idea as we brought to the table complimentary skills and this area was crying out for a good oriental restaurant,” Lim told BigHospitality.
“Kensington may have a very busy crowd but in terms of credible eating houses there are strangely few places that stand out. The Naga concept is producing a small menu but prepared and cooked to order with fresh quality ingredients and combining Eastern and Western styles and flavours - in two words - modern Chinese.”
Naga can accommodate up to 70 seated in the main restaurant with a private room on the first floor offering a space for a further 14 diners. It also features a separate bar area which caters for around a dozen.
On the menu
The newly-appointed Indonesian-born executive chef Fachri Syarief has created a menu with a particular emphasis on modern Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. Syarief has worked at a number of Asian restaurants in London including Gilgamesh and Cocochan.
Dishes at Naga include starters of Silken Tofu with Ginger Dressing, Vine Leaves stuffed with Chargrilled Beef (Bo La Lot);and mains such as Thit Bo Kh - Vietnamese Mild Beef Curry, Slow-cooked Pork Belly with Crackling on Asian Mash.
Naga also serves an Express Lunch Menu with dishes such as Bento Boxes, Asian Salads and Noodle Soups starting from £9.90.
In the brief period since it has been previewing, Naga has already won Best Chinese Restaurant in London at the prestigious Asian Curry Awards which recently took place at Grosvenor House. But Lim admitted that he needed to perfect a few things at the restaurant ahead of its official launch.
“It is more than fair to say this was the reason we did not create a big fuss when we first opened as, apart from quality and taste consistency, service & developing the menu with Chef Syarief was important. I am happy with Naga now, although things can always be improved upon.”
Lim also ruled out any possibility of expanding the Naga concept, adding: “I feel that quality and consistency can only be achieved in limited amounts and it does not make sense to have branches. Passion is not an expandable item and it difficult to instil in others.”