Mar 1 2014

Wildflower Café

Wildflower Café is owned and run by my beautiful and amazing friend Leila with whom I went to school, so I was always going to like this place, but after the meal I ended up loving this place, not just liking it.  Wildflower Café is a breakfast, brunch, lunch and supper restaurant in Notting Hill, on Chepstow road. The outside of the restaurant is bright violet and in its cheerfulness stands out. The inside of the place is equally cheerful with different beautiful exotic flowers skillfully placed in pots and located on every table. They don’t have typical flowers, but interesting, colourful ones that are so nicely arranged. 

Leila herself is a very skillful and well-travelled chef (someone that has been to Noma more times than all the people you know that have been to Noma put together) and Wildflower Café portrays that as they serve food with influences from France, Mexico, Italy, South East Asia & the Middle East. They only use seasonal ingredients, all their produce is GM-free and they work closely with suppliers to make sure it is responsibly sourced. Also everything you eat at Wildflower, the cakes, granola, pasta & pastries is made fresh on the premises.

I came to Wildflower Café for dinner with my wonderful school friends and the dinner menu at Wildflower Café featured three starters, four main courses and two deserts and starters and main courses had a meat, fish and a vegetarian option. The place got really busy on a Saturday evening, it was lively and buzzing. Leila also tells me this is a great place for weekend brunch (from 11am to 4pm) with international dishes like eggs benedict, huevos rancheros and kedgeree (you can rarely find all three, from different countries, together in one restaurant). On Sundays after brunch you can get boards, casserole, roasts and other dishes designed for sharing. You can also come to Wildflower café anytime for some  coffee, cake or "fizz'n'chips", a portion of twice cooked chips served with a glass of prosecco, which sounds like an absolute guilty pleasure to me.

As there were a few of us having dinner at Wildflower Café we decided to order two (out of three) starters and share them – “smoked duck and watercress salad with pomegranate dressing” for £6.50 and “panko fried calamari with homemade aioli” for £7. I especially loved the duck salad which was topped with a beautiful edible flower (Wildflower Café quite frequently uses edible flowers to decorate their dishes and this is such a nice sweet touch, which makes the dish look so pretty). The duck was perfectly smoked, delicious and nice with the watercress and dressing. What I liked about the calamari was that it did not have too much batter, and the aioli was delicious.

The main courses on this particular day ranged from £12.50 to £21.75 and I went for the  “Osso Bucco” or braised veal shin which was served with risotto bianco & gremolata. I was surprised to see this on the menu as Osso Bucco is not easy to cook and even though I eat out quite often, I rarely see this on the menu. It was delicious. I finished the whole plate, so full of flavour and the risotto balanced it out nicely. Not the lightest dish but very delicious. Leila herself had the “butternut squash & goats cheese ravioli” with parsley, red amaranth, hazelnut and lemon” and said that this was one of her favourite dishes. Once again it was decorated with a cute little flower. The ravioli was seriously good, melt in your mouth delicious. I also very much liked a dish my friend Lily ordered, “Aromatic yellow cod curry with steamed rice and pickled Asian vegetables”. I have not had pickled vegetables with a curry before, but thought it was a great idea, and all of it together tasted wonderful.  And I really liked the colourful plate, the yellow curry, the red/pink pickled vegetables, and most of the plates served at Wildflower Café are bright and cheerful and very appetising. My friend Jodia went for the 28 day aged sirloin steak with twice cooked chips and béarnaise sauce. I tasted the chips and they were very moorish and tasty.

We also shared the desserts (£6 on average) and ordered “plum and apple crumble with homemade custard” and “dark chocolate and salted caramel cake”. I am not a fan of apple crumble, so I did not try this dessert but the chocolate and salted caramel cake was seriously good (once more with the cute edible flower). Unfortunately as I did not have my big camera with me I have not taken a good picture of it with my Iphone to show you, but the flavor was intense.

I love the flower theme at Wildflower Café, the flowers around the restaurant, the flowers decorating your plate which makes it just that tiny bit more special. But I think the main thing that makes Wildflower Café stand out from any other casual brunch/ dinner restaurant is that the food is much better than in other casual brunch/ dinner restaurants and comparable to some of the trendiest brasseries of London. The menu is small hence they can really focus and get the dishes that they do serve absolutely spot on, execution and taste of everything is great, I did not eat a single thing that I did not love. And because the menu is so varied, yet features dishes we all want to eat, it is very appealing. I will be coming back soon to try their brunch menu and take better pictures with my big camera.

Date: 01/ 03/ 14
Price per person that I paid at the end for shared starters, a main course and shared desserts and alcohol: £40
Location: Notting Hill

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Maija rated: 



Wildflower Café
108 Chepstow road W2 5qs
United Kingdom
Wildflower Café Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4