Get Excited, 108 Garage, Westbourne Park is here! And it’s Awesome

10 Sep 2017

I won’t even try to conceal the excitement that surged through my veins (ahhh!) once I learnt about my date with 108 Garage one sunny afternoon. With appraisals from the likes of Rayner and Coran, the hype behind Luca Longobardi’s humble venture with chef Chris Denney had me jumping up and down, whooping vociferously, like a frenetic Boxer dog - and by Jove, did it live up to all my expectations!

For this treat I decided to take my lovely colleague, KK, who had gone through a particularly gruelling week thanks to a much unwanted house move: the bane of anyone’s life. But I digress.

Making our way through the various bric-a-brac items Golborne Road market had to offer (KK bought a lamp), we were reasonably unaware of what to expect – believe it or not, I had actually restrained myself from swotting up in too much detail about the food and the location.

We sat to an extremely warm welcome, both in a figurative and literal sense. A couple of G&Ts sashayed their way to our table and the sun was laying down a sweet, melodious beat on our joyous faces. Now, I’ve decided to go through this 6-course lunch menu with a fine toothcomb because… well, it deserves it.

First to our table was a basket of homemade sourdough. Accompanied by a deftly, cinnamon-scented duck butter, a creamy taramasalata and a chicken liver parfait that I’m certain a chicken would devour, it wasn’t long until we asked for our second helping.

After the flurry of sourdough, we moved on to our next dish: a simple bull’s heart tomato, mozzarella and tropea onion salad. It was clean-cut and crisp, and acted as a cleansing counterbalance to the liver parfait and whipped butter.

When I say “scallop, green apple, caviar, horseradish,” what first comes to mind? I know, heaven. And yes, I am Mystic Meg. Jokes aside, this dish blew our minds. The scallop sat raw in a citrus jus, turning it more into a ceviche; paired with crunchy apple, salty sweet caviar and a nose tingling earthiness from the horseradish caviar, we were left mouths agape.

My mum is funny with pigeon and I don’t know why because squab pigeon is delicious! I think her days in London zoning out on the District Line to the gaggles of stump-toed, crumb peckers have put her off for good – but when served with blackberries, lardo and a pine nut foam… drool.

A refreshing cucumber and yuzu sorbet followed suite, acting like one of those warm hand wipes you used to get on the plane, taking you back to an almost fresh, newborn state.

A pudding consisting of chocolate crémeux, cardamom ice cream and wild rice topped off what was a scintillating lunch. At £40 for a 6-course lunch, the menu is tremendously well-priced given the quality and panache of Chris’ cooking. Word has it Michelin have paid him a visit, too, so I’d advise you to book fast before the prices decide to wander off down Portobello Road, Notting Hill Gate way.

Xander

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