Zomato Reviewers Dinner at The Notting Hill Kitchen

What: Dinner with fellow Reviewers courtesy Zomato

Where:Notting Hill Kitchen

Weather:Brilliant and Sunny

As I walked past posh residential building painted a pristine white I was sure I had lost my way inspite of Google Maps egging me to continue walking along Kensington Park. This is just minutes away from the hustle bustle and lively Notting Hill Market famous for its antiques.

It was an exceptionally warm summer evening and I was welcomed with a chilled glass of white -Quintaluna 2012, though couldn’t manage more than a glass as it was a bit tart for my taste.

First up was the Mac Silva a mini cod burger which was really delicious and I could have popped all of them into my plate had it not been for my equally hungry companions. Sea Bass Ceviche made with Peruvian aji Amarillo mild chilli, fennel corn,tomato ,coriander and lime was moorish,loved the fresh cherry tomatoes in there just wish it had a more generous squeeze of lime!

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Undoubtedly the star of the evening the Spider Crab Mousse was fabulously delicious , served in a mini doughnut the secret flavoursome ingredient was dehydrated mussels,the sea food lover in me was completely satiated , I have found a new obsession Spider Crabs!These reminded me the deep fried soft shell crab starters I tasted at Tenshi, a Japanese place at Angel, deep fried in a delicious light batter these are to be eaten whole! They look a bit spidery though so don’t think of that just gobble them up whole)

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Did you know that Spider Crabs found in Japanese waters also called tall footed crabs have the largest leg span of any arthropod?!Upto 3.8 meters long – thats a massive 12 feet!

Moving on from our science class back into  to Notting Hill Kitchen enter Tiborna Alentejana – a combo of Pata Negra,Bone Marrow,Cured Papada,toasted sourdough,truffled yolk – described by Martin as the bridge of meat – so apt huh? The cured papada was crunchy and the bone marrow delicious but the Pata Negra literally meaning black hoof popularly known as  Jamón ibérico or carna negra – is Iberian ham, it  was not something I fancied much, maybe blame by taste buds so used to Parma Ham. Pata Negra is a type of cured ham  produced mostly in Spain, but also in some Portuguese regions where it is called presunto ibérico and is made from iberico or black pigs or cross bred pigs.Washed down with a glass or two of Spanish Blend – Malacapa Rioja 2012 which was definitely many notches up compared to our white.

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Topping my list for comfort food on the menu was Jamon Croquetas made with caramelised onion…. mummmm, lemon beetroot and parsley viennoise, such a fab way to mask beetroot and so very delicious!

The starters were fabulous and I could have kept on going if it wasn’t for a delicious portion of Chef Yossi’s Acorn fed pork neck with red cabbage,lentils and lupin cous cous. Funnily though the lentils were very simple to the Indian dal vada though the centre of this big circular fried lentil I could taste the wet lentils .The cabbage was salty but very delicious and must say held its own even with pork as the main actor in this presentation.This went down really well with our Portuguese Red –  Quinta de sao jose touriga nacional 2011  , a complex fruity and fruity with spicy undertones with a rich purple red colour ,this red was also my favourite wine of the evening.

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Served with sides of an Asparagus and Saffron Risotto and a rather out of place portion of fries with mayo and paprika, the patatas bravas left me wanting .

Much foodie banter and impromptu exchanging of places to chat up with all the foodies at the table and the time seemed to have evaporated much more swiftly than I expected. It was great catching up with Leyla,Le Binh,Reema and Shak. Interesting conversation about our mutual much hated sport cricket -yes – boooo , with Frankie and some serious conversation about food blogging with Mehreen, several plans to catch up with these like minded folks were hatched. A rather enthusiastic bar tender got us all a round of exotic cocktails and entertained us with his banter while naughtily gulping down some delicious coffee cocktail with banana ummm.My espresso cocktail gets 4 on 5 ,its what I’d like to call a proper alcoholic end to a meal – bitter coffee notes ,chilled to perfection for the hot summer evening.

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Our sweet plate with vanilla ice cream, frozen sour bits of ice was served a Ginginha shot – a strong liqueur made with sour and Morello cherries.

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Le Binh rang in her birthday with this cute little birthday cake – its cute isn’t it!

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I have never been to a Portuguese Tapas bar so the fab dishes that were served up to on that fabulous summer evening will always be special and the menu has loads more to offer. Am especially tempted to return and try the Octopus Rice – a traditional Portuguese red rice in a red wine gravy with chorizo and the Berlengas Pink Swordfish – Hot Smoked in Azores black tea & pan fried creamed carolina rice ,fresh coriander piso,miso crumble  – sounds terrific doesn’t it ?!

What can you expect: Delicious Tapas Portuguese style but the bill runs steep so an average of £70 for 2 on a night out.

*With thanks to Zomato Uk and the staff at Notting Hill Kitchen  for  fun foodie evening.No monetary compensation was provided for this post.All views expressed are my own.

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