Gold Restuarant review – ex River Cafe chef strikes gold on Portobello Road
The team behind Gold, Portobello Road’s newest restaurant certainly struck a seam when they opened a few months ago. The ‘modern European’ food immediately met glowing reviews and on my second visit, its shine has only increased.
You enter at street level, through a warmly shady bar area, beyond which you glimpse a light filled room, lush with tree ferns and greenery. Pale wood furniture, cushioned banquettes and zinc topped tables are arranged amongst the foliage, with deceptive mirrors creating a sense of light and space. The herringbone brick floor and pale pink plaster walls feel warm and natural, an informal sense of style.
The menu corroborates the modern informality of the room: dishes are listed as Raw, Cheese & Charcuterie, Salads, Vegetables and Plates. The suggestion, rather than the rule, is to share and to mix and match.
The dishes are generous and bold and I made the (greedy) mistake of over ordering both times.
Waiting for my companion (who works in fashion so was reliably late) I start with charcuterie and house pickles, which could have fed 4 and at £16, probably should have.
However, ex-River Cafe chef, Theo Hill, shows his expertise in sourcing great ingredients and preparing them simply. This is immediately evident in the marinated sardines on toast, which are surprisingly fresh and raw, seasoned perfectly with fennel and chilli. The wood roasted cauliflower sit on top of a creamy spiced yoghurt, and has the added crunch of toasted buckwheat. The sweetcorn, cut into ribs and grilled is dripping with umami rich sea dulse butter and served with a homemade ketchup, so good I save some to smear on the chargrilled skirt steak (which came with salsa verde).
The Sicilian red prawns again show Theo’s skill at sourcing, they are sweet and tender and renew my faith in imported shellfish. Wood roasted aubergines, the meaty and rich Violetta variety, come in generous wedges, scattered with mint, red chilli and crumbled goat cheese. Finally the kitchen shows its skill with a perfectly wobbly pannacotta, a true River Cafe legacy.
This is exciting food, bold, confident and full of flavour. The menu changes seasonally and I’m already looking forward to what Autumn and Winter will bring.
This review originally appeared on HouseandGarden.com. Photo courtesy of Ingrid Rasmussen.