Open Mon 5.30pm–11pm, Tue–Fri midday–3pm and 5.30pm–11pm, Sat–Sun midday–11pm
Geales first opened in 1939, and has remained a neighbourhood favourite for over 70 years. Tucked away on a quiet side street just off Notting Hill Gate and mere minutes from the tube station, Geales is a hidden enclave, surrounded by pastel-toned Georgian rows and minimal foot traffic.
Refurbished and relaunched in 2007, it describes itself with the motto ‘fresh fish, no frills and fabulous service’. While they may be playing fast and loose with the term ‘no frills’—it feels more family-friendly-yet-smart than seaside chippy—the fish was certainly fresh, and the service was in fact excellent.
With a menu spanning from oysters, oak-smoked or wild poached salmon, lobster and the more standard battered cod, all the way to sausage and mash, various steaks, Nicoise, avocado, Caprese and Caesar salads and Korean crab tempura, there really is something for everyone—from the traditionalist, to the fusion food fanatic, to the small child loving their first ice cream sundae.
With inside and (limited) outside seating there’s a more informal pavement culture outside. On the sunny summer evening that we stopped by, the crowd was mainly made up of couples and a few families with well-mannered, quiet children. There was a mix of nationalities, with an Italian family behind us and a French couple seated nearby.
We brought the tone down (or up?) when the waitress brought us sailor hats—as a keen sailor this may have been my personal highlight. Relaxed touches like this add to the sense of fun at Geales, without feeling brash or gaudy.
The food and drink:
To start I opted for the Tempura Soft Shell Crab with Korean Mayonnaise (£11.95). Melt-in-your-mouth tempura batter and fabulously fresh flesh really made this the stand-out dish. We also tried the Salt and Pepper Crispy Squid with Sweet and Sour Sauce (£8) which was perfectly lovely, but nothing to write home about.
To follow we both chose the Grilled Whole Lobster with garlic butter and hand cut chips (£37.50), which was wonderful, served on a griddle with a dark leaf salad on the side. The garlic butter had whole pieces of diced garlic, which only added to the hand-made-with-love feel of the place (plaice? Sorry).
The staff were smiley, knowledgeable and attentive—the kind of staff who enjoy going to work.
In a nutshell:
A great classic fish restaurant that’s also child-friendly. Both traditional and forward-thinking, but always delicious.