We spent over an hour waiting for a table at The Electric Diner in Notting Hill, was it worth it? Read on below to see how far you’d go for a burger at the bar.
We’ve been meaning to get down the Electric Diner for a while now, so when I realised I had no dinner plans on Saturday evening I took the chance to get to the shiny new diner digs that now occupies what once was the Electric Brasserie (pre – disastrous and serious fire), under Electric House -Members club and next to the Electric cinema. The diner is a dark and warm, brick walled space (yes yet another venue with the exposed brick walls) and it feels a little bit sexy with dim ambient lighting and red comfy booths down one side and a bar, and food counter top down the other.
There is a no reservation policy, not my favourite idea, especially if one has invited guests out or suggested the restaurant; so we put our names down and try and find a spot at the bar while we wait our turn for the feeding trough. 50 minutes or so pass and a host lets us know a space is available, which turned out to be two stools an a thin counter looking out of the front window, just behind were we had been standing at the bar – after all of that! Declining that offer and asked that we were seated at a table – we are now then told that tables are only for numbers of 3 and up, but if we wanted to wait a little longer we could at least sit up at the food counter – a little more atmosphere as you get to some grill action. Another 15 min wait ensued, at least we were super hungry at this point and had high hopes for the food as we had heard that Brendan Sodikoff the chef behind Chicago’s Au Cheval, an award-winning French-American diner had collaborated on the menu, supplying several of the signature dishes from his Chicago restaurant.
Finally we sit – albeit on a stool at the grill counter, rather than a booth but now we can get ordering from the French-American inspired menu. Here are some ideas of the dishes: fried house-made bologna sandwich, roasted bone marrow with beef cheek marmalade, cheeseburger, and honey-fried chicken with chilli and sesame seeds. There is also a dedicated eggs section on the menu, while desserts include toffee date cake and a pie of the day. For the drinks list: There are 19 beers available (including Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Belhaven Stout on draught), a wine list with a few cocktails available for good measure. (Please excuse the terrible photo!)
We ate a Cheeseburger and the flat iron Chicken with sides including mixed salad, a huge portion of fries, broccoli and tomatoes with steak salt and chives. The food was tasty, hot and decent. The burger had a soft fluffy bun and the chicken was juicy and full of garlicky goodness but I was a little disappointed, an hour wait for a 10 minute meal. I suppose, I have to adjust my expectation for Soho House with some of their new projects like the Diner and Chicken Shop – young, relaxed, fun and reasonably economic – it also makes perfect sense. Plus, all is not lost, Pizza East Portobello (which is now taking bookings upstairs!) is only a stone throw down the road so we can still get our fix of avocado on toast for breakfast.
Entertaining: Not comfortable suggesting restaurants that don’t take bookings for clients unless they are well aware and up for a wait, sometimes granted well worth it (many delish spots operate this policy e.g – Ducksoup, Barrafina, Pitt Cue….). Therefore as much as this ticks all the boxes for a fun fuelling pit stop, it’s not really of the clients entertaining ilk, but if you are in the area and there isn’t a massive waiting list – then by all means, this is a calorifically delicious chow down.
www.electricdiner.com/ 191 Portobello Road,W11 2ED / +44 (0)20 7908 9696 /
We ate for about £28pp inc a Bottle of house wine.