A pale greyish green plate is topped with sliced salmon and green leaves

Orasay, London W1: restaurant review

Try sweet shell-on prawns, dainty but flavour-packed clams and posh rice pudding in Jackson Boxer’s new Notting Hill venture

Looking for restaurants in Notting Hill? Read our review of Orasay, and check out more suggestions for eating in Notting Hill here.

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Orasay in a nutshell

Modern, cool cooking in a posh end of town, with big flavours and the best British produce, particularly Scottish shellfish, from one of London’s most talked-about chefs.


Who’s cooking?

Chef-patron Jackson Boxer, who’s best known for St Leonards, his restaurant with Andrew Clarke (who has an interest here, too) and Brunswick House. The name of the restaurant, and menu, is inspired by family holidays in the Hebrides.

Jackson Boxer is wearing a grey tshirt and a denim apron. He is stood at the pass in the kitchen with a smile on his face
Chef-patron Jackson Boxer (who’s best known for St Leonards) is at the kitchen’s helm

What’s the vibe?

Perhaps not what you’d expect for the neighbourhood. Stripped-back 70s springs to mind with its comfy burnt-orange banquettes, rattan-panelled chairs, clothless, minimalist wooden tables, exposed brick and concrete, and flickering candlelight. We visit Monday night, only a few weeks in, and it’s buzzing.

A large open room is filled with wooden tables and wicker chairs. There is a splash of orange in the cushions, and striking dark blue canvases on the wall. There is a table with flickering candles on in the side of the image
Stripped-back 70s springs to mind with its comfy burnt-orange banquettes, rattan-panelled chairs, clothless, minimalist wooden tables

What’s the food like?

Any meal that starts with little fried shrimp, dusted in celery salt, that you’re encouraged to eat whole – head, shell and all – has got to be good. And it was, right through to the posh rice pudding at the end, hiding sweet and sour, Pink Panther-hued stewed rhubarb, fired up with ginger, and topped with a crisp brandy snap.

If you can resist not filling up on snacks such as fried bread with spring anchovies, or house bread with whey butter, pick from a selection of small plates to start. (Particularly those inspired by Jackson’s childhood Scottish jaunts.) Dainty Barra surf clams come grilled with a sticky, umami-rich XO sauce and a fresh, zingy ginger relish on top. A sweet Isle of Mull diver scallop meets its earthy match with creamy puréed celeriac, nutty browned butter and caramelised cubes of shiitake mushrooms.

A beige plate is topped with a scallop shell. In the shell sits Isle of Mull scallop with pureed celeriac and cubes of shiitake mushrooms
A sweet Isle of Mull diver scallop meets its earthy match with creamy puréed celeriac, nutty browned butter and caramelised cubes of shiitake mushrooms

Bigger, main-sized plates are still ripe for sharing, such as the Tamworth chop, its creamy sweet fat crisp and caramelised, the meat daringly pink and juicy. It would be special enough on its own, but it’s even better with its bed of stewed white beans (still with just a bit of bite – that’s proper cooking in action, folks), mellow garlic, a tickle of chilli, sweet shallots and bitter green turnip tops. Another plate of roasted brill fillet – skin crisp, fish milky and meaty all at once – was equally well partnered up with soft, buttery strands of leeks, cockles lolling around in their shells, and a sunshine-yellow pool of aïoli.

A white oval shaped plate is topped with stewed white beans with bitter greens and slices of Tamworth pork chop
Tamworth chop, its creamy sweet fat crisp and caramelised, the meat daringly pink and juicy

And the drinks?

Fresh and lively wines come by the tap here, as well as in bottles – look out for South African sauvignons, Burgundy chardonnays and young gamay from Beaujolais. It’s worth trying the drink specials, too – a non-alcoholic ginger kefir is a great palate cleanser to kick things off.


olive tip

Get chatting to the charming and knowledgeable staff – they’re exemplary in their hosting skills, understanding, with passionate detail, each and every dish and drink available on the menu.


Orasay, 31 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2EU

Words by Laura Rowe

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Photos by Stuart Ovenden