Being of Glaswegian descent, I was excited to learn that fine Scottish dining was finally coming to west London. Introduced to Notting Hill by dream team Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke, Orasay has its sights set on becoming both a neighbourhood stalwart and a destination restaurant. No mean feat.
Named after an island in the Outer Hebrides, it feels somehow fitting that we visit the restaurant on a dark and rainy evening. Inside it is cosy and candle-lit; a palette of hand dyed linen, reclaimed antique French oak and lime- washed walls have been chosen to reflect the simple approach to food, and the quality of the raw ingredients used. With that in mind, it is no surprise that the menu is small but thoughtfully curated, dominated by Hebridean seafood. While we peruse it we enjoy a chilled glass of Crémant de Limoux and a Paloma signature cocktail (I’m no grapefruit lover but mixed here with tequila it opens my eyes to new possibilities).
For starters we order beef and tuna tartare, and wood-roasted langoustines. Both dishes are exquisitely fresh and beautifully presented. Next up, we can’t resist sharing the 60-day aged shorthorn rib chop; 850 grams of melt in the mouth beef joy, served with an anchovy hollandaise, ubiquitous fries on the side and some white sprouting broccoli and bitter leaves, with a delicious but seemingly simple Champagne and elderflower dressing that I know I will never be able to recreate at home. There are seven wines available on tap, so we take the recommendation of our friendly waitress and enjoy a glass of white with the starter and red with the main.
We are full to bursting but it would be rude not to sample the dessert offerings; pear, walnut, honey and Laphroaig whisky mille- feuille for me and an utterly delicious bread ice cream for my partner. We wash it all down with a delicious digestif – a Poire William eau de vie from G. Miclo. Excellent food, warm and knowledgeable service and a buzzy atmosphere make for a fabulous evening. Orasay is certainly a welcome addition to the ’hood.
31 Kensington Park Road, W11 (020 7043 1400; orasay.london)