A couple of months ago Pure Taste, London’s first Paleo restaurant opened in Notting Hill.
Unlike so many niche diets and restricted ways of eating, Paleo is one that I think makes sense (to a degree). The diet essentially focuses on foods that we would have eaten as cavemen, pre-agriculture, pre-processing and pre-Maccie d’s.
It celebrates meat and vegetables in all forms, absenting dairy, legumes and grains, which are essentially food groups that our bodies often struggle to digest – like lentils, beans, chickpeas and a lot of other ingredients that might make you parp, but render most salads worthy of eating. Damn it. Basically it is very protein-rich and high in fibre, so steak and red meats are certainly in. Smiles all round from these two carnivorous girls.
Visiting Pure Taste without knowing it was other than a normal neighbourhood restaurant, you might not have noticed, until looking at the menu. The restaurant certainly does not purvey the white surfaces, over polished air of impressed virtuosity that so many ‘healthy’ eateries do. With dishes like pork, cabbage and potato, fish bisque with prawns and aioli, guinea fowl with ‘bread’ sauce, they certainly don’t scream out niche diet either.
Its only when you get to the bottom and uncover the enigma code that their cover is blown. Each recipe is initialed and cross referenced to within an inch of its life to cater to any and every weird and wonderful diet you didn’t even know existed. Including the low fodmap diet (one of the most helpful guideline plans for anyone suffering with IBS).
To kick off the feast, we began with the bread basket. A superb selection of garlicy foccacia and a sourdough, with a suspiciously green butter (which is lated discovered was avocado butter) and an olive oil, balsamic bowl for dunking. Tempted by their selection of bio dynamic, organic wines, but with the intention of turning up to afternoon meetings un-wobbly, we opted instead for the kombutcha and green juices. You can imagine the intention was more for the health, so I will breeze over the details on the taste.
Starters were the beetroot slivers covering nut cheese (it looked a bit like nigiri sushi) and raw sea bass with vanilla rhubarb and salad leaves. The nut cheese was good in texture and worked well with the beetroot, but lacked a bit of the rich cheesey flavour I was hoping for. The rhubarb and vanilla was a nice idea , but the sliminess of both components wasn’t so texturally pleasing.
Luckily where the starters fell a little short, the mains more than made up for! Beef short ribs cooked for 16 hours and halibut with dukka and greens.
My ribs were heaven on a plate…. Marbled fat, leaking into the tender meat creating the most mouthwatering pull-apart texture. No knives were needed! A pool of creamy apple sauce, lightly steamed kale and and a charred onion added freshness, sweetness and texture.
Tender flakey fish in a light, creamy sauce. A nice crunch from the dukkha (a combinations of roasted hazelnuts and aromatic spices) resulted in a delicious and very photogenic fish dish too.
To finish up we shared the lime and kiwi cannelloni with sweet basil leaves. The twills were rather odd in texture, being neither soft, nor snappable, but a little chewy. It was not my favourite dish, still it made a nice palate refresher after the tender beef.
I also rounded off with a cup of white tip tea. It took me a while to choose, their selection of teas was nothing short of spectacular. Any and every infusion you could think of was one offer and served with a little timer to ensure the perfect cup every time.
The lunch was certainly enjoyable, despite the eerie quietness of place. We left with happy full, yet pleasingly unbloated tummies.
I have to say the abundance of protein and lack of carbs kept me feeling satiated until dinner. No sugar or afternoon snacking at all. So there is certainly something to be said for the Paleo way. I certainly felt more energised than usual too.
You can find the menu and more informations about Pure Taste here. Swing by/ drop is are possible for lunch, but if you are planning a trip on the weekend it is certainly worth booking. They are also shut on a monday.