What: A trendy 50-seat restaurant in Notting Hill with a menu that’s focused on produce from the west coast of Scotland.
Who: Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke, the duo behind Vauxhall’s Brunswick House and the more recently opened St Leonards in Shoreditch. Boxer has spent every summer since he was a child visiting the western isles of Scotland, so knows its bounty well. As chef patron, he will be overseeing operations at Orasay, while Clarke will continue to cook at St Leonards and also support the new restaurant's creative direction. Both chefs will continue their involvement with Brunswick House.
The vibe: A short walk from Notting Hill Gate tube station, Orasay’s low lighting combines with a hazel colour palette to imbue the dining area with a sense of intimacy. From the outside looking in, the restaurant has the air of a stuffy, fine-dining establishment and feels a little outdated, but inside the mood is more contemporary; the comfy seating and relaxed appearance presenting it as a warm and fashionable neighbourhood hangout. And to that end, plenty of seats have been packed in.
The food: The menu is predicated on freshness and seasonality, with a selection of Hebridean shellfish to be flown down daily and vegetables sourced from Boxer’s organic kitchen garden in West Sussex. Dishes are artful in appearance, but there’s a simplicity and elegance in the cooking that avoids overloading the dishes with complex flavours and instead concentrates on getting the best it can out of just a few main ingredients.
On the menu: The menu kicks off with a selection of snacks and lighter bites, which range from £8-£12 and include Isle of Mull scallop served in the shell with shiitake mushroom and a creamy vin jaune sauce; Isle of Barra cockles combined with smoked ham and burnt chilli; a beef and tuna tartare mixed with winter tomatoes and presented with watercress; and a stunning sea bream crudo served with blood orange and dandelion. Main dishes range from £16-£23, with a fried halibut fillet on a bed of white crab and lovage being a richly-flavoured highlight. For those who are more carnivorous, a large shorthorn rib chop to share is also available priced at £60.
And another thing: While the full menu is only available until 10:30pm, a “capsule” menu is also on offer that includes radishes served with a creamy tonnato sauce combining tuna with anchovy and capers, a trio of oysters with shallot and elderflower champagne sauce, and fried shrimp with celery salt. This will be served until 11:30pm every evening, further bolstering Orasay’s neighbourhood credentials.
31 Kensington Park Rd, Notting Hill