At first glance, Goode & Wright is in a cracking location on the Portobello Road not far from the Electric. The site is small but cosy and the restaurant is styled as a French bistro drawing in a mixed crowd from the Notting Hill area, giving it a fun and relaxed feel. Already well known as a brunching haunt for hungover weekenders (I hear the chef’s special, Eggs Benedict, is a “must try”), the management team (who also own the site) have been ramping up the dinner menu and will soon be serving cocktails in the evening by the Talented Mr Fox. Last week we went to see what was going on.
My first impression of the menu was that it was ambitious, and perhaps verged on the unusual, including options like seared diver scallop with black pudding, smoked eel Yorkshire pudding, roast marrowbones and even foie gras with salted caramel ice cream! Spoilt for choice, I went (perhaps too) safe with the devon crab with avocado which was nice and fresh but I felt there were more exciting options on the menu. In fact, I spent most of the starter eyeing up my dinner partner’s impressively presented taretare of wild trout which I hear – because I wasn’t allowed any – was quite delicious. To follow, I was little more adventurous and went for the quail with Jerusalem artichoke mash. Given its price (£15) I thought it erred too close to being home cooking and I have to admit that I was left feeling slightly queasy by the chunks into which the quail had been cut. Across the table, initially there was more smugness with her choice of a very tender chicken schnitzel which was marinated in buttermilk. However, as she removed her belt half way through the course, I got the distinct impression that the size of the portion and richness of the marinade became too much. Limping to the finish, she was then barely able to force down a couple of mouthfuls of salted caramel ice cream but I had room for the house special pistachio and apple tart which ended my dinner on a high.
Final thoughts as we left? Nice atmosphere and there seemed to have been moments of genius in the cooking but I got the sense that this restaurant was a work in progress, especially considering the price – starters range from £5-£9 and mains are £15-£18. However, with plans to renovate the bar and restaurant other the next 6 months and the arrival of the cocktails, I look forward to revisiting once it’s all done.