If you’re a fan of gin then Gintonica in Notting Hill is a MUST.
The restaurant is part of a unique distillery-hotel complex, which is brimming with character and west London low-key flair.
Expect a chilled atmosphere, tasty tapas and top notch drinks.
We hit the upstairs eatery on a Sunday evening.
The sun was streaming into the double height ceilinged room and we took a table next to one of the windows overlooking the quaint bricks of Portobello market below.
The music was good, there was a nice buzz and the open-air kitchen was a visual delight, as was the corner bar with libations constantly being shaken up.
Gintonica’s menu, masterminded by head chef Greg Lewis, offers a nice concise selection of tapas-style dishes.
We opted for five dishes in total, which fit the bill perfectly.
Our smattering of treats included iberico lardo on toast, chicken on a bed of cauliflower cous cous, an ensalada fresca, some fried squid and a plate of grilled cod.
The squid was divinely juicy and perfectly cooked in a light batter.
We fervently plunged strips of it into a black squid ink sauce . The salad looked plain but looks can be deceiving and it was actually bursting with flavour. Strips of parsnip and beetroot added crunch while sherry soaked raisins burst in my mouth.
Another standout creation was the light and fluffy chicken tagine, which had a bit of a spicy kick.
We spent close to two hours at dinner and the time flew.
I felt pleasantly jolly after trying several different martinis.
The 1888 Martini is a must-try, with the recipe including a pour of the distillery’s celebrated butter gin and a dash of absinthe for good measure. The Felix Martini, crafted with truffle bitters and decorated with a charred piece of asparagus is another winner.
This place is guaranteed to put you in a good mood.
GINTONICA RECIPE – John Collins
25mls Old Tom Gin
15mls Lemon Juice
Spoon full powdered sugar
100mls sparkling water
Lemon zest garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a Collins glass over ice and garnish. In keeping with the imbibing customs of the late 1700s, we recommend enjoying a piece of strong gingerbread on the side of your libation.
Gintonica is located at 186 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LA
To book a table visit www.the-distillery.london or call 020 3034 2233