Seasonal and sustainable produce has been the focus of this family-run neighbourhood restaurant since 1984. Menus change monthly but you’re sure to see clever techniques and quirky pairings whatever the time of year. On a recent visit we enjoyed a starter of braised veal cheek, topped with slivers of foie gras and served alongside a zingy quince terrine. A main course of lardo-draped Megrim sole was exceptionally well-conceived, the fish served on an intensely savoury doorstep of bread soaked in black pudding liquor, the spice of this tempered by a rich confit egg yolk.
Dinner is available at a set cost of two courses for £30 or three for £36, with the same menu at lunch coming in from £20, depending on the day. For those looking for an affordable fine-dining experience, the 5-course tasting menu is available for the very respectable sum of £42 for dinner or £35 for a weekend lunch.
Read our review of Charlotte’s Place’s sister site, W5, Ealing, London here
16 St Matthew’s Rd, London W5 3JT
Charlotte’s Place, Ealing. Photo by Jade Nina Sarkhel
Ealing has long been a community hub for Polish people in the UK, and so Polish Sowa Restaurant is well-fit for the area.
The family-run restaurant sources its ingredients directly from small farms in Pomerania region of Poland and its ambitious chef Pawel Grygier keeps up with all the recent trends of fine cooking of traditional Polish food.
Watch the chefs create pierogi (Polish dumplings) from scratch while you are waiting for your meal. For starter we enjoyed smoked salty catfish with pickled onions and tart apple jelly, and traditional velvety zur rye soup with quail eggs.
For the main course at Sowa Restaurant tried perfectly pink veal loin Wellington with earthy porcini puree and blackcurrant jelly and salsify.
Pavlova with strawberry ice cream and unusual celery stalk garnish was a refreshing way to finish. Or pop in to Sowa Patisserie next door for one of their indulgent cakes or ice creams.
Sowa offers set lunch menus for £9.50, and starters from £4.50, main dishes are between £9.90 to £18.90.
33 High St, Ealing, London
Written by Kat Dziekan
In the heart of Ealing Broadway, you will find an unexpected offering from Mark Askew, former executive chef of Gordon Ramsay Holdings. The concept is all-day American diner, though you won’t find sticky red banquettes and triple-stacked burgers here. Spread over two floors, the restaurant is decorated in tasteful tan and teal tones, with chequerboard floor tiles.
The menu has seen a couple of changes since the 2014 opening but fortunately the buttermilk fried chicken for under a tenner remains on the menu. Limeyard’s version stands head and shoulders above most: perfectly tender chicken is served with sesame sauce and a peanut and coriander salad, which bring a fresh mix of flavours to the saltiness of the crisp coating. While meaty US comfort food dominates much of the menu, greens are not neglected and main course salads have been thoughtfully designed. The best is the Limeyard Super Salad, which you can get as a starter or main and combines tangy grilled feta, salty soy beans, crisp vegetable shavings and crunchy toasted seeds.
8 High St, Ealing, London W5 5DB
Ealing Park Tavern
This restored coaching inn has received regular praise from critics, most notably from a recent mention in the Michelin Guide 2016. The bustling dining room is light and welcoming, with a fire lit during colder months, and wood panelling and taxidermy asserting a modern country manor feel. The menu is ‘new traditional’ and centres around seasonal produce. There is heavy emphasis on sourcing, with locations name-checked throughout the menu. Stand-out starters include smoked River Test trout with fennel tops, pear and hazelnuts, and maple- and porter-glazed Norfolk quail with offal toast and shallots. European influence is permitted to creep in amongst the mains, where mushroom, truffle and trompette tortellini appears alongside pot roast red-legged partridge.
222 South Ealing Road, Ealing W5 4RL
Ealing’s proximity to Southall means a decent curry is never hard to come by. Urban Karahi is not just one of the best curries but one of the best restaurants in Ealing. Though a takeaway service is available, the restaurant itself is intimate and modern, with a shot of dahl provided on arrival. Expect all the standard choices, cooked unusually well, and for a good price.
That stalwart of the British curry house, the chicken tikka masala, is unexpectedly good, with the char of the tandoor discernable through the rich sauce. The okra of the bhindi bhaji is soft but retains its shape and bite, while the crisp-bottomed, garlic-basted naan breads are perfect for mopping up flavourful sauces.
7 Greenford Ave, Ealing, London, Hanwell, Greater London W7 1LP
The Golden Chip
Not strictly a restaurant, this tiny chippy has fed Ealing for more than 100 years. The 10-deep queue snaking out of the door on rainy Friday nights, though, should speak enough about the fish and chips here. For those who need further convincing, the fish is delivered daily from Grimsby, and is always crisp, while the chips have the perfect proportions of crisp penny scratchings to the fat ones that soak up the vinegar.
The Golden Chip
33 Boston Rd, Ealing, London W7 3SH
Shopping in Ealing
With many neighbourhoods in Ealing, there are several hotspots for foodie shopping. Head to Northfield Avenue or Pitshanger for an old-fashioned high street experience, with butchers, delis, fishmongers and greengrocers all thriving.
Best for… something sweet
WA café is a Japanese patisserie, serving up intriguing desserts such as matcha rolled cake filled with azuki bean cream and sesame cheesecake.
32 Haven Green, London W5 2NX
Best for… cheese
Though specialists in British cheeses, Cheddar Deli stock a range of European options too. They also offer gift boxes and cheese towers for alternatives to wedding cakes.
108 Northfield Avenue, London W13 9RT
Best for… meat
Family butcher Richardson’s has sold top merguez sausages for more than 60 years. For game, head to Ealing Butchers & Charcutier, who stocks anything from hare to pheasant, when in season.
88 Northfield Avenue, London W13 9RR
Station Parade, Uxbridge Road, London W5 3LD
Best for… something special
Harrison’s is out of the way, but here you can pick up a range of deli treats. You can find truffle carpaccio, duck rillettes and fresh Scotch eggs. The team are wine and spirits specialists, too.
60 Pitshanger Lane, London W5 1QY
Written by Sarah Hogg, December 2015, updated September 2017