Can you guess what’s behind The Little Yellow Door? Turns out it’s London’s coolest new pop up bar and restaurant, and I was lucky to take a peek with a group of fellow foodies. What makes it different is that the action happens in a flat with a bunch of “housemates”, who also happen to be excellent chefs! Arriving at Notting Hill in the pouring rain, I didn’t have to look far to spot, you guessed it, the little yellow door…Once upstairs, we were handed a lego brick to exchange for a drink. This sense of fun set the tone for the whole evening. The flat has very quirky decor, with each of the housemates having contributed some of their favourite items. Through the window, there’s a little den packed with board games and cushions.
We took our seats for the Italian feast, I was sitting near to the charming Angie and Lucy. First up was a trio of starters – I loved the presentation on wooden boards and the vibrant colours of these dishes. We tasted prosciutto ham with lardo charcuterie, peach, basil and almonds, an unusual but successful combination. Smoked beef carpaccio with mustard and ricotta also worked well. My favourite starter was burrata, a mix of mozzarella and cream, with confit onions, mint pesto, smoked aubergine and cured tomatoes.
We then tucked into a delicious moist, delicately spiced duck ragu with egg tagliatelle. I had forgotten that you get lots of courses at an Italian meal and that there was more to come, but this was so good that I had seconds!
My absolute favourite dish of the whole evening was the belly porchetta with sultanas, caponata, pickled baby vegetables and pine nuts. Porchetta is a traditional Italian boneless pork, with a fantastic savoury flavour.
I just about had room for dessert, another imaginative trio of pine nut caramel tart with Marsala raisins, Sicilian cannelloni with pistachios, and last but not least, chocolate and tiramisu panna cotta.
To go with the dessert, we were treated to a coffee cocktail, with Grand Brulot, espresso coffee and tobacco gomme, which came with a cigarette and matches. I’m not a smoker but it was an interesting touch.
Two things really stood out for me at The Little Yellow Door, the fantastic standard of cooking and the energy and friendliness of the housemates. They have big ambitions for the future and I’m sure they’ll do really well. The whole concept of being in a flat instantly makes you feel at home and apparently the neighbours sometimes come in their pyjamas!
Open from Thursday to Saturday in the evenings, it’s a restaurant on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturdays you can eat or just drink cocktails. It becomes quite a party pad later on!
The Little Yellow Door, 68 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3HT