36 Golborne Road London W10 5NR
Tel 020 3752 0530
Food: 4.5 stars
Service: 5 stars
Decor: 4.25 stars
Value for money: N/A as this was a complimentary lunch
Overall: 4.5 stars
West 36 outdoor terrace. NHYM 2015. All photos in this post courtesy of NHYM.
June is for me, the ‘birthday month,’ with so many birthdays to attend, I am trying out all sorts of new or need-to-try restaurants, so you will see lots of restaurant reviews coming up. This week, I have 3 birthdays to attend/organise/surprise. So, when I needed to take one of my dearest friends out to lunch and I was simultaneously invited to try West 36’s lunch, the timing couldn’t be better. I booked myself in for lunch with Anna at West 36 this past Monday.
Anna enjoying the sunshine while waiting for my arrival. NHYM 2015.
When I arrived, the waitress led me to the best table on the terrace, where my gorgeous friend Anna was waiting and a few other people were finishing their lunches. West 36 has a lovely outdoor terrace on their first floor, which seemed highly under-used on a warm day. They had immediately offered her a glass of Champagne on arrival, perhaps mind-reading that it was her birthday. Or perhaps just because they were trying to impress me. Either way, it was a very nice touch and I like being impressed. The terrace itself is cosy, with striped grey and white cushions to sit on, channeling a Shoreditch House vibe, with hanging lightbulbs and and an industrial landscape. The music in the background was Cafe-del-Mar-like, putting us a in a light and happy mood confirming that, yes, it is really the start of the summer.
Raspberry mules posing for the camera. NHYM 2015.
Our lovely waitress brought us some raspberry mules cocktails. Vodka cocktails for lunch you may ask? Well, it was her birthday, and I was celebrating a day of hard work in the land of blogging. Could be worst. She was wearing the requisite bowtie and suspenders, which I personally love, and made the affair even more theatrical and enjoyable. Later, she brought two more glasses of Champagne. It’s been a long time since someone (anyone) was trying to get me drunk.
West 36 menu 2015.
Now for the food. Usually, the food at West 36 tends to be on the heavier, meatier side, but we were able to find lighter fare on the menu and prepared ourselves for a light lunch. We were salivating at the Cheeseburger next door, but our lunch ended up in pure decadence, with our multiple courses.
Grilled squid starter. NHYM 2015.
We started with a grilled calamari starter with broad beans and a summer salad, drizzled with fresh lemon. Summer succulence at its best. It was light, tasty and perfectly grilled. This could have been enough as a main salad for lunch, but as we were sharing, this was just the beginning.
Mains of Chicken, lemon sole, and artichoke. NHYM 2015.
I ordered the lemon sole, one of the few sea-dwelling dishes on the menu apart from lobster and the shellfish platter (I did think twice about ordering the shellfish platter, but felt a smidgen guilty about this Monday afternoon decadence). As a side dish, I had the artichokes and broad beans, with mint and raisins. The actual fish taste and texture was OK for a sole, nothing terribly special, but not necessarily the chef’s fault. Not all fish are created equal, and perhaps I just got the luck of the draw of a mediocre fish. The tarragon butter and and sea kale did lift its spirits up, which made up for it, and the artichokes were great. I loved the mint, a summer herb which fills me of memories of Pimm’s and fresh summer salads. My friend had the half chicken with herbs, which was huge, as the portions are known to be here.
The famous Apple Pie. NHYM 2015.
When we were asked if we wanted dessert and we were told the apple pie would take 15 minutes to make because it would be freshly made, we thought, well we’ve been here already almost 2 hours, we might as well make it a record. We ordered fresh mint tea and continued our long discussion on life, the difficulties of raising children, and how fast the passing years seem to be now that we have children. Yes, I know, but this was after 2 champagnes and cocktails at 1pm. We had a good excuse for our nostalgic narrative. The Apple Pie was excellent, much better than the last time I had it here, perhaps because they were trying to impress, or perhaps because it is just very good.
Two and a half hours later, we stumbled out of West 36, filled with great food, great conversation and lots of bubbly. This had been a perfect lunch on a perfect afternoon with great company. Off we went in our separate directions for school pick ups, worried that the other mums would notice our tipsy states and start whispering about our mid-day alcoholism. West 36 is great for lunch, although it was quite empty. But the good news was that 1) the service was excellent 2) we had plenty of room (which were some of my previous complaints) and 3) we could gossip all we wanted without anyone listening to our conversation. You can’t have it all.
For those who find West 36 too busy at night, the daytime, during-the-week alternative is just the opposite, quiet, relaxed, and understated, and it is wholly being missed out by many, probably due to its out-of-the-way location. But next time I am looking for a terrace to sit at on a lovely sunny day, this terrace is one to book.