3 Hereford Road London W2 4AB
This restaurant is one of the capital's best places to sample modern British cooking using nationally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Head chef Tom Pemberton, formerly of St John Bread and Wine, sets a high standard, using simple components like pork, mackerel and samphire, and transforming them into culinary gold with straightforward, honest methods. As with St John, he's keen on parts of the animal which are usually ignored (like neck, tail), and turns up some interesting combinations, though the cooking is never over-complicated, with no more than three ingredients per dish. The decor is as spare as the food, set in an old butchers' shop, with tiled walls and a functional feel, together with the obligatory open kitchen. The set lunch Monday–Friday (2 courses £13, 3 courses £15.50) is really great value and turns what could be a pricey restaurant into a something of a bargain for lunch. Well worth a trip off Portobello Road.