Paul Dunn stayed West for a smoky feast at West Thirty Six in Notting Hill
Natural grills, using charcoal and wood, are becoming ubiquitous in the capital. From Mayfair’s Kitty Fisher’s to Peckham Bazaar, everyone is broiling, barbecuing, scorching and curing. The Big Smoke really is the pits.
Westside, two grills have opened up on Golborne Road, W10, The John Doe and now West Thirty Six, an all-day grill house and cocktail lounge, opened by Robert Newmark (Beach Blanket Babylon) in January with chef Jon Pollard of Soho House.
We entered the three-floor townhouse into a bright dining room before being ushered upstairs into a cozier one, so dark, one could only identify staff in their black uniforms by their white bowties and braces.
The natives had already settled in, a relaxed upscale crowd packed the three bars and two dining rooms, giving the former Golborne pub a members’ club feel.
A cheery bovine waitress informed us that they aged their own beef, smoke their own salmon and have a charcoal barbecue pit (natch).
We started with the crab and avocado trifle, which had a generous amount of tasty decapod. Smoked chipotle chicken wings were plentiful and succulent. On to the main event: the 45-day house-aged organic Hereford rib-eye was caveman size, 400g for only £26. We asked for rare to medium rare, and that was what we got. Our well-priced red, Gran Ducay Gran Reserva Tinto 2006, just £25, did the excellent meat justice.
My fellow diner regretted being diverted from the shoestring fries to the triple-cooked (yawn) chips by our waitress. I didn’t. I rued my choice of bone marrow mash: it was dry and did not taste of marrow. Creamed chard was comforting. He however loved his slow-cooked barbecue pit ribs with pickled cabbage (£14.50). We agreed. Was that really only a half-rack?
Dessert was more comfort food: banoffee or apple pie, build-your-sundae. Stomachs distended from American-size mains, we favoured cocktails. The Full Marks (Manhattan) and Spiced Walnut Old Fashioned were good. The Thyme Out, a whisky sour, was too tart.
The ex-manager of the Goldborne strolled in casually for a drink at 1130 to get us more settled. West Thirty Six even offers bottle service: you don’t need to be a member of the club to feel em casa in W10.
West Thirty Six, 36 Golborne Road, North Kensington, W10 5PR
Words Paul Dunn. Paul is a lifestyle and sports writer, you can ctah him tweeting @twunnsy