I’ve been living in the Notting Hill area on and off for 6 years now (Jimmy solidly for 5 years) and we’ve noticed that there has been a sudden dip in reliable, unpretentious, cosy, good value & delicious local restaurants. Places where you can just drop into, to spice up an otherwise dull Wednesday evening . Or, simply kick back on a Sunday night and have a guaranteed no muss no fuss supper.
However, finally I think this lull may now be over with the opening of cosy corner 7 Saints restaurant this week. With that obligatory chic ‘is it blue or is it green’ colour painted exterior and subtle branded facade, it is the kind of place you will be drawn back to again and again with a significant other, a godparent, a parent, a group of pals…whoever really. The appeal is…it appeals to everyone.
Great vibe on entrance (you know when you can just feel it?) Faint music playing in the background, doors wide open and a smiling host to greet us.
We sat down at our table. Jimmy politely gave me the banquette which (and I have to note) had a surprising sort of shelved back so you could lean your arms on it for a more relaxed and comfortable seated experience. So many banquette seats are like the restaurant equivalent to a strait jacket. So confined, upright and limiting and uncomfortable like an ‘on duty’ soldier (but this opulent chesterfield style banquette was on point and a highlight of the interior design.)
Boasting a simple seasonal menu which, we were told, is to change week on week, filled both J and I with complete greedy glee as obviously we want to try everything.
As if by magic toasted sourdough bread with an assortment of different butters and a plate of fat plump juicy radishes with homemade gentleman’s relish and table salt suddenly appeared…simple but highly effective.
I ordered Monkish carpaccio with yuzu and chilli and Jimmy had pig’s head croquettes with spring peas to start. The monkfish was light, fragrant and delicious with a delightful chilli hit (I do love my heat) and the croquettes were deep in flavour but light and airy at the same time. The spring peas still had significant bite which added a great little touch of texture.
Blackened Cod with summer vegetables was my main course. The cod was light, summery and delicious and the vegetables were cooked to perfection and beautifully dressed.
Jimmy had red mullet, girolles and rosemary butter which he hoovered up in less than 5 minutes and loved but noted it was up there on the rich list.
(First choice for me was the Brown Bread Ice Cream (a total favourite flavour of mine and one I MUST take time to make) but it was served with raw whiskey both within the ice cream and ontop so sadly I was not able to try ☹)
However having been nicknamed a ‘Chocoholic’ by my family since the age of 3 (with a slight hiatus in my teens) Chocolate Pave for me was still a trustworthy option.
And what an option.
Rich, deep, sophisticated yet childishly spoiling. A gleaming, glistening shine on the top AND it kept on giving as it was quite big which for some, could be considered too much – but for me twas a winner. (I don’t think I spoke for 7 minutes).
Jimmy had cherry and almond tart which delivered flavour exactly as it said it would. Almonds, cherries and pastry. Jolly good pud (as Greg Wallace would say).
We left feeling satisfied and happy with a spring (pea) in our step AND better yet it was less than a 5 minute walk back to our homely haven.
7 Saints feels exactly like that new friend you happen to meet and instantly ‘click with’ and you just know you will remain friends for years to come. So, whilst walking into the dusky dim evening light down the street (not airstrip) back to our flat (not in Casablanca) I turned to Jimmy and I said ‘Jimmy…I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship’….
Current menu available 9th – 15th July
(Open for breakfast on the weekends)
Rating (0-5) ****