8.6
LDN

108 Garage

Perfect For: Date Night Eating At The Bar Special Occasions Unique Dining Experience
PHOTOS: Karolina Wiercigroch

Just to clear one thing up: 108 Garage is not located at 108 Garage Street. London does not have a Garage Street, as far as we can tell. Instead, this restaurant is located at number 108 Goldborne Road in Notting Hill, and as you may have shrewdly suspected, it used to be a garage. From the red brick walls and cement floors to the metal grates and dim lighting, they’re clearly adamant that you aren’t to forget this. But it’s an edgy vibe that’s also familiar and welcoming, and from the moment you walk in, you get the feeling you’re in for something special here. Fortunately, you are.

While the high energy, how-the-hell-is-this-in-Notting-Hill atmosphere and great drinks will get you settled in nicely, it’s the brilliant food that you’ll be talking about until at least the next bank holiday. The menu is constantly changing, and tough to describe succinctly - you might eat a crispy pig’s head, or a pigeon with nut emulsion - but you can expect a delicious and exciting meal whenever you come.

While it varies from day to day, the five-course tasting menu (typically £55 in the evening, and £45 at lunch), always feels fairly priced and always guarantees you won’t leave at all hungry. The meal starts out with a serious helping of what appears to be half a loaf of their homemade sourdough, accompanied by seaweed butter, chicken liver parfait, and taramasalata – spreads which we strongly feel should be made available as mattress toppers, such is their suppleness. While the bread is incredible, you’d also do well to go easy on it, because what comes after, a little like the royal family, is a joyous celebration of the rich and the British. The meats and fish are all full of heavy dense flavours, each impressively balanced with a tartness – usually something pickled or citrusy. If the pigeon is up on the menu whilst you’re in, a truly superb plate of food awaits.

The desserts are also phenomenally good. You’ll get two with the tasting menu – one is usually light and bright, the other dark and dense. Their chocolate mousse served with artichoke ice cream is nutty and creamy and is everything you wouldn’t expect from a dessert served in a garage. They add a little mixture of what is basically cereal-flavoured trail mix too, which we applauded quietly so as to not disturb other customers.

If you’re up for it, the bar is a fun place to sit, as you’ll see 108′s young chefs prepare complex dishes with absolutely nowhere to hide. It gets a little fiery there as service picks up, so if you’re after a quieter evening it’s best to make sure you’ve booked a table instead. And you’ll have to book well in advance because 108 is hot property - you won’t find a busier garage outside of Formula 1.

Food Rundown

108 Sourdough

The best sourdough in the world. OK, maybe we got overly excited. But it’s really amazing bread served with an outstanding set of spreads.

Crispy Pig Head

Rich and fried and as hearty as they come, this is a dish with real power. This is texturally the most satisfying thing we’ve eaten in a long time.

Mackerel

A meaty but tender piece of fish, served with yoghurt and a sharp rhubarb that cuts across the richness.

Squab Pigeon

Served with a pine nut emulsion (yes really) and cooked to absolute perfection, you’ll eat several parts of the pigeon and enjoy each one in equal measure.

Beetroot Ice Cream

A brilliant texture and served with cardamom powder. This sets you up perfectly for the final hurrah.

Chocolate Cremeux

This is a brilliant dessert served with an artichoke ice cream, hazelnuts, and puffed rice. It’s like eating frozen cereal. From the future.

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