It’s rare that I come away from a dining experience and think “wow, that was perfect!”. That’s not to say I haven’t had many enjoyable times, but absolutely perfect ones? Yet Goode & Wright delivered an excellent meal that I haven’t stopped raving about in the past few weeks. From the warm welcome to the delicious food and decadent desserts, this place knows its strengths and plays to them flawlessly.
What you need to know
- The warm bread comes with two types of butter – one of which is a brilliant truffle butter
- G&W’s menu is split between small plates (tapas-style) and large plates (can easily be a main)
- The fries are massive and chunky but cooked perfectly – get the ones with truffle mayo
- Foie gras + salted caramel ice cream = best thing I’ve ever eaten
- It’s a small place so bookings are a good idea even on off-peak nights
Food: ★★★★★ Service: ★★★★☆ Atmosphere: ★★★★☆ Value: ★★★★☆ Overall: ★★★★★
Since you are on Portobello Road, it would seem that finding a place to wait for your friends should be easy. And it is with excellent cocktail bars such as Portobello Star and Trailer Happiness within a 10 minute walk. If you fancy a pub, the Red Lemon just a few minutes east has a surprisingly large selection of craft beers and ales which makes it a step above your normal boozer.
What to eat?
The menu in general will make your mouth water but of course there are some dishes that stand out. The aforementioned foie gras is a must have with a rich yet delicate foie gras being nicely seared and served with an aged balsamic glaze and a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. It may seem odd at first but you get a mix of sweet and salty flavours with the ice cream and the mellow tanginess of the balsamic tempers the richness of the foie gras.
Our other small plates were also delicious including a venison tartare that was full-flavoured without being overwhelmingly gamey and a roasted cauliflower with a deep smoky taste. And of course the chips were pretty damn good too.
Onto the large plates – we opted for a chicken schnitzel, a steak bavette with braised ox cheek, and a charred octopus to share among our group. Each of them could easily have been a main although the steak was hefty and massed as much as the other two dishes combined. The schnitzel was crispy and tender which ticked off the two most important boxes.
The steak was seared rare, sliced, and layered on top of a generous portion of braised ox cheek. While the steak was good, it was the ox cheek and unctuous sauce with mash that stole the show for me. The final addition to the dish was a Nduja croquette which had a light heat and could have used a bit more punch for my tastes (okay – maybe that’s my one tiny criticism).
The charred octopus tentacle won the prize for the best presented dish and was soft, succulent, and smoky. I find octopus is often overcooked and chewy but not so here. But again, the dish’s highlight was actually the accompaniment as it sits on a coconut fried pork which was just spectacular.
And of course we needed some dessert to finish it all off. The dark chocolate mousse with salted caramel ice cream was always going to be a winner and quite simply was. The honeycomb ice cream affogato had an interesting twist as it also had a vanilla marshmallow base – while the flavours were there I’m not sure the texture of the marshmallow was necessary. We also tried a Paris-Brest which turns out is a choux pastry bun with hazelnut cream – not my cup of tea but it went down well with the group.
How about a drink?
As it was a Monday night, we opted for just one bottle each of red and white wine. I can’t quite recall the white as there wasn’t a handy bottle to take a picture of, but the red was a damn tasty Grignolio D’Asti which went very well with our meatier dishes. Overall, the wine list boasts a good range with the lower end bottles coming in at around £20-30 and the most expensive at £65 if you feel like a bit of a splurge.
Worth the dosh?
We made it in for the 50% off menu launch, but in general the prices are reasonable with small plates being £5-10 and large plates at £15-18. Desserts are about a fiver so you can do a full three course meal for £25-30 plus drinks. Including wine and service, our feast would have clocked in at £50pp at full price which isn’t too bad for a bit of a treat out with friends.
Find Goode & Wright here
271 Portobello Road, W11 1LR