80 Chepstow Rd
Paddington,UK W2 5BE
Tel: (020) 7313 9491
May 15, 2012 – Dinner
Written by: Second Stomach
After having spent a day at Westfield Shopping Centre, we checked our Frommer’s guide for some possible restaurant suggestions. The Prince Bonaparte was suggested as an inexpensive pub and was not too far away by tube in Notting Hill. The Prince Bonaparte is classified as a “gastropub” – so I was hoping for good food and beer in a casual atmosphere. We walked in and saw that many people were indeed enjoying a nice meal, often with a glass of wine or beer. The atmosphere was comfortable and not boisterous or noisy like a typical pub.
Here’s a look at the menu:
For dinner tonight, we chose:
Kilvarock Pork Loin, Duchess Potato, Braised Chicory & Bayonne Ham, Cider Veloute
Char Grilled Skate Wing, Warm Chorizo, Asparagus, & New Potato Salad, Caper Butter
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Amstel Beer (Lager)
Kilvarock Pork Loin, Duchess Potato, Braised Chicory & Bayonne Ham, Cider Veloute – 15 pounds
- The kilvarock pork loin was prepared simply – flavored simply with salt and pepper with the juice from the pork. Although there wasn’t any predominant flavoring here, this was done very well. Simply prepared but well executed.
- The chicory was soft and wrapped in bayonne ham. The stuffed potato was lightly buttered and probably would have been whipped a bit smoother.
Char Grilled Skate Wing, Warm Chorizo, Asparagus, & New Potato Salad, Caper Butter – 16 pounds
We asked our server what a “skate wing” was – and found out it is a type of fish, very common in Europe.
Later, on my trip to Paris, I found skate wing at a local fish store. Here’s a picture of skate wing:
Here’s a closer look at the char grilled skate wing:
- Again, this dish was prepared very well with the goal of having very simple flavors come through. In this dish, the skate wing was plainly flavored highlighting the char grill flavor. The salty flavors came from the capers – which was a very nice touch.
- The salad was also prepared simply (not even any vinaigrette on the salad) with the addition of the chorizo which helped to add the salt flavor. The lettuce was crisp and warmed by having the skate wing on top of it.
- I was really fascinated by the texture of this white fish. The fish meat came off very easily – like strips as you can see in the photo above. Although we got bones with our fish, it didn’t affect our experience because it separated so easily from the meat.
- As usual, Snowman and I each shared our meals – in this case, Snowman wanted to highlight how much “cleaner” he is at eating the fish than I am.
- On the left, you can see the long bones of the skate wing – Snowman did a “better” job of eating this part. On the right, is my side of the fish. I guess I was too hungry and ended up breaking the bones while I ate the fish. I really wanted to clean off all the bones really well.
- The texture of the bones is really interesting. Each of the bones are long, thick, and flexible. It was really easy to remove the meat off the bones but also to clean off the bones through sucking on them.
Sticky Toffee Pudding – 5.50 pounds
- Seeing that we are in London and Londoners appear to like toffee (we were noticing this theme in many of the desserts here), I had to order the sticky toffee pudding.
- This toffee pudding was a moist cake served very warm. It came in a pool of caramel toffee sauce and a scoop of creme de leche ice cream.
- Surprisingly, this wasn’t sickenly sweet. Snowman was skeptical about ordering this because he doesn’t like how sweet these desserts can be but he actually thought this one was pretty good.
- I was hoping that this dessert came with more toffee bits – it would have provided more of a crunchy texture to contrast with the moist cake. Otherwise, I also enjoyed this very much.
Here’s our bill for the two of us tonight:
The Prince Bonaparte is indeed a gastropub. Situated in Notting HIll, this “pub” appears to cater to locals. The atmosphere is casual (we saw a number of dogs inside the restaurant while we were dining) and somewhat intimate. It isn’t your typical boisterous noisy pub. It very much is a place for those who want really good food in an intimate atmosphere without being overly pretentious. All the food we had were really very well executed. There wasn’t any complex sauces or flavors with our dishes but our dishes were all very well prepared. I’d like to think that the dishes are simple flavors that bring out the flavors of the main ingredients. I don’t think it’s easy to execute “simple flavors” well and I am very impressed with the quality of the execution here.
- Well executed dishes, presented very well
- Not a typical “English” pub if that’s what you’re looking for.