You’ve been served: The 108 Garage in Nothing Hill, London
The 108 Garage opened in January 2017. The owner, Luca Alessandro Longobardi, a financier married to a former Miss Brazil, was “ready to sail on a new adventure,” when he opened his first restaurant on Golborne Road in Nothing Hill, London. The story gets an unexpected turn when the owner chooses to advertise to find a chef – as well as 25 other members of staff – on Gumtree, the local add website, best known for selling cars than finding top-notch chefs. Fast forward 18 months and the man that answered to the add, Chris Denney, made quite an impression; Former head chef of Four to Eight in Covent Garden and, before that, the Michelin-starred, Hambleton Hall was described as “The kind of chef that only comes around once or twice in a decade’ by the food critic Giles Coren.
What to expect at the 108 Garage in Nothing Hill?
Contrary to the rough interiors, the food is sophisticated, elegant and refined. “Giddily life-enhancing,” raved Fay Maschler; “deftness and skill like this is, is worth shouting about loudly and often,” said Jay Rayner. The 40-year-old won the heart of the critics with his butter-poached cock crab, beef short rib, and chocolate crémeux with artichoke ice cream.
What is the design like at the 108?
The dining room is what you could describe as industrial glamour: “a mix of mid-century furniture, bare bricks, corrugated iron and washes of copper. A display of pipe fittings hangs on one wall which faces a painting that’s half Henry VIII and half Vigo the Carpathian from ‘Ghostbusters II’” As Time’s Out wittingly puts it. An open kitchen is in one corner, alongside the wine storage. Denney and Longobardi have opened a second restaurant Southam Street nearby on Golborne Road, which includes a robata grill, raw bar, and saké room, and we’re told there’s more in the pipeline. Stay tuned.
Maison Flaneur recommends:
The bar is a fun place to sit, as you’ll see 108′s young chefs prepare elaborate dishes in front of you. Be ready to be surprised by unique ingredient combinations: Asparagus and Matcha tea, sweetbreads with white peach and buckwheat, and obscure ingredients like lampascioni, the bulb of the sea hyacinth.