Restaurant Review: The Electric Diner, Portobello Road, London
One of London’s most famous cinemas, The Electric Cinema is a cinegraphic landmark of the city, found half way down Portobello Road. Adjacent to this renowned picture house is The Electric Diner; a laid-back restaurant catering to an audience from across London who visit the famous cinema. An all-day dining space which opens at 8am for breakfast and runs through until 12am, it offers a laissez-faire dining experience that is flexible to busy and ever-changing schedules.
The floor space runs alongside the heartbeat of the open plan kitchen which sets the soundtrack for the lively bustling space. As you can probably guess from the name of this restaurant, they serve an American style menu but, interestingly, with a touch of French flair which mixes up their culinary concept to avoid food that is too basic for its sophisticated north London set.
Seating is made up of deep berry red booths to sink into which host generously sized wooden tables ideal for larger groups. You may assume an American style menu would be predominantly basic; however as part of The Soho House group – the menu at The Electric Diner isn’t as quite expected from first glance. Adaptable to those from morning until night, this surprisingly varied menu is split into a variety of categories: appetizers, salads, plates, diner classics and sides.
Fusing France with America, we warm up with decidedly American gooey, breaded mozzarella sticks with a tomato salsa and a plate of delicately sliced thin raw salmon which was much more European than American in every way. Other appetizers include devilled eggs, avocado dip with taro crisps, steak tartare and French onion soup. Diving in with a ‘Diner Classic’ chosen with the help of our waiter, I select the single cheeseburger with a generous pot of sweet potato fries. From the ‘Plates’ my guest selects a fresh serving of seabass simply complemented with courgette and fine herbs. Other more creative dishes to try are the ‘forbidden’ rice bowl, made with edamame, tofu and sprouts, a prawn katsu burger or the distinctly French fries, au cheval with aioli and the rather more German grilled reuben with sauerkraut and Russian dressing.
The cocktails are worth a try too. Having had more than one on my visit (and for those who like a kick to their cocktail), ask the waiter for the Picante De La Casa – a short drink served with Patron Reposado, lime, coriander, chilli and agave. For a calmer palate is the Cucumber Cooler, finished with coconut water or the Paloma with Centenario Plata and grapefruit soda.
The Electric Diner: 191 Portobello Road, London, W11 2ED, +44 (0)20 7908 9696, www.electricdiner.com
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