Restaurant Review: Restaurant 104, Notting Hill in London
It’s like stepping into someone’s living room at Restaurant 104. However here is a difference: as you enter a chic and humbly dressed room, the culinary expertise from Petrus, The Waterside Inn, Le Corot, La Trompette, Alimentum, au Trianon and Faubourg in Hotel Le Bristol in Paris meet with a succession of Michelin stars trailing behind them.
The passion project of Chef Richard Wilkins alongside the expertise of Restaurant Manager Matthew Hough, Restaurant 104 lets the food speak for itself. Each, having worked with the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing, have a culinary concept that surrounds sourcing the finest ingredients, and preparing them: ‘with style, grace and elegance.’
With just twelve covers per sitting, Richard and Matthew ensure they are in the driving seat, certifying that their desired level of quality is maintained with a refreshing simplicity in everything they do. Fine-dining in London is often fastidious with mediocre results, however Restaurant 104’s simplistic approach inspired from travels in France and Japan, respect the seasonal ingredients the chefs are working with.
Seated at our table, the intimate dining space and kitchen are practically one. As Richard crafts our upcoming carousel of dishes, Matthew steps in thoughtfully pairing each course with a variety of wines. To commence Isle of Mull hand dived scallops with green apple, fresh pea and lovage, paired with Lamandier Bernier Champagnewhich cuts through the sweetness of the apple.
Asparagus season was at its peak at the time of our visit, meaning an impressive appearance on the menu that day. Colossal stems wonderful in flavour had been sourced from the Wye Valley with confit lemon zest and sabayonin partnership with a Delaport Sancerrefrom theLoire valley. Following on, meat aficionados would revel in, blushing cuts Rhug estate cannon of lamb with sauce soubise, rainbow chard and violet artichoke washed down with a Laurent Pillot, Pinot Noirfrom Burgundy. To conclude I am told that the dessert of the day had already made a name for itself with locals returning and requesting just this. Glossy and rich, this comes in the form of Richard’s signature chocolate moelleuxwhich he serves alongside a small scoop of icy passionfruit sorbet.
Still in its first few months of infancy, Restaurant 104 embodies the understanding and knowledge that lies within its astute foundation. Situated on a reserved street in Notting Hill, you would easily pass it by – and that’s the whole point. Richard and Matthew wanted to create a welcoming dining destination for discreet diners who share their appreciation for a gastronomic experience in its most simplistic form.
Address: 104a Chepstow Road, Notting Hill, London, W2 5QS, 104restaurant.com, 0203 4174744