You can’t accuse Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke, the team behind the acclaimed St Leonards & Brunswick House of resting on their laurels. Orasay is the latest from the dream team and if St Leonards is super slick minimalism and Brunswick House is OTT opulence, well Orasay is just your regular neighbourhood joint. IF your local happens to be an oh-so-pretty intimate restaurant in the heart of swanky Notting Hill. No? Us neither, don’t worry.
This time they’ve taken inspiration from the western isles of Scotland, where Jackson has spent every summer since he was a small child – how idyllic. If we based a restaurant around the same idea it would serve nothing but burnt bangers eaten straight off the BBQ. Perhaps there’s something in that, but we digress. As such the menu centres around seafood, although there is a meaty offering, albeit at the more expensive end of the spectrum.
We kicked off our evening with an Orasay Paloma but a glass of cremant also piqued our interest. Food before food is one of our favourite things and luckily the snack game here is STRONG. You’ll want to order the fried bread – need we say more? Oh ok then. The two little fried buns are topped with a juicy slug of a salty anchovy, perfect circles of pickled red onion and the menu says egg but in reality, it was a slick of something unidentifiably delicious. More than the sum of its parts – trust us. Pair that with a plate of fresh crunchy radishes with tonnato and capers and you’ve got yourself some great menu-browsing snacks.
One of our favourite meals of the night was the scallops, served chopped, in-shell with such depth of flavour it had us grabbing the menu back and questioning what had actually gone into it. Shiitake apparently. And ‘vin jaune’ sauce which basically means white wine, with a touch of chicken stock I believe. Alongside that was more bread, this time lightly charred and topped with cods roe and red chilli whilst another plate contained artfully presented spears of asparagus with a golden yellow yolk surrounded by a vivid green sauce. A whole head of roasted cauliflower was a decent veggie main topped with crunchy almonds, dill and spring greens, however it was the grilled sea bass which had the winning combo of juicy, fat broad beans, fresh mint and a citrus spike from the pomelo which well and truly won us over. Something we’d happily eat all summer long.
Make sure you leave room for dessert though as the chocolate, malt, coffee combo is well worth ordering. Although be warned, it’s def big enough to share and super rich. If you’re after something a little lighter, strawberries and pistachios in a tangy frozen yoghurt embrace are just the ticket.
Oh and did we mention Nigella – yes, the queen – was sitting behind us? Yeah, like we said, just your regular neighbourhood joint…