Thursday, 1 October 2020


Benchmark of fine dining

Cep tart

I long considered Core one of the finest restaurants in London, right up there with the like of The Ledbury and Greenhouse (both now shut down for good, unfortunately). The 2 Michelin starred restaurant in Nottinghill is owned and headed up by Clare Smyth, the then chef-patron of Gordan Ramsay's 3 stars flagship restaurant in Chelsea. Many in the trade rated Clare as the best female chef in the UK and having eaten her cooking before, I agree. At Core, it offers an alc, as well as a classic and a seasonal tasting menu. I had an amazing experience from my last visit when I had the seasonal tasting menu which centered around prime luxury, seasonal ingredients. For my 3rd visit, I opted for the same again.

Core's kitchen


Steamed Cornish crab, sabayon, consommé, caviar

'Cheese and onion' alliums, aged cheddar and onion broth

Cornish sea bass cockles, clams, coastal herbs and lovage

The tasting menu started off with a selection of snacks before the first course was delivered in the form of the steamed Cornish crab, presented in an avant-garde fashion with a bespoke plate that topped with a spoonful of caviar, the sweetness of freshness of the crab worked like a treat with the robust umami taste of the caviar, it was served with a warm cup of mild crab consomme which hit such a perfect balance of seafood flavour. Another highlight was the Cornish sea bass, cooked to perfection, buttery soft with cockles ad clams added a lovely soft chewy texture, as well as an extra layer of flavour from the sea. The main of roasted duck was a masterpiece, the seasoning was spot on, very tender and the use of peach offered such a delightful fruity sweetness, it was the strongest dish from the menu for me.

Roasted duck and peach tart

Lamb, hogget, mutton, celtuce, savoury and black cardamon

Cherry bakewell


My third meal at Core was just as wonderful as my last second visit. The cooking showcased some excellent technical ability from the kitchen, smart ingredients combination, clean presentation in such a refined manner. With now my no1 The Ledbury no longer around, is it now the best restaurant in London? Well, I think Core, along with Kitchen Table, is indeed the best based on all the places in London I have been so far. Both miles better than 3 stars venues like Sketch and technical and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. I aim to visit Core once a year going forward to monitor is development as its a strong container to be the next 3 stars restaurant in the UK.

Food 4.5/5

Executive chef: 

Clare Smyth

What I paid: 

£245 pp with wine

Average cost without drinks and services:

£165 seasonal tasting menu

92 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2PN

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