The Residency

They Say

‘Within these four walls, you’re home.’

The Style

The immediate impression we get as we walk in off Westbourne Grove on a dark Thursday evening is that the place is buzzing. Light wood panelled walls and flooring, intimate lighting, teal leather banquet seating and comfortable, slightly paler blue velvet mid-century armchairs give the front dining and bar area a welcoming, clubby feel. The reason for the buzz tonight is that a party given by the Maddox Gallery on the corner of Westbourne Grove and Chepstow Road has taken over the bar/dining area, so we are seated opposite the open kitchen, in close proximity to our neighbours.

Danio, the handsome, charming manager, tells us that he wants the place to be a home-from-home for locals and this is achieved with aplomb: the walls are hung with artworks by local artists (some Afro-Caribbean, which is reflected in the menus), generous discounts are offered for locals (handy for us as we live a minute’s walk away in Hereford Road), and we even spot local legend Charles, who owns the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery – a few doors down from the Maddox Gallery – dining, as is his wont, with a beautiful blonde half his age.

The Crowd

As I have mentioned, we are seated opposite the busy open kitchen, and in close enough proximity to our neighbours to make for some supremely entertaining eavesdropping. The table to my left is host to a party of four girls in their twenties, who are downing red wine at a rate of knots and whose discussion ranges from Pilates to Sézane (achingly chic Parisian designer shop on – you’ve guessed it – Westbourne Grove, not the differently-spelt Provencal post-Impressionist).

The slightly older group of three women to my right can’t remember whether they’re recalling a party, festival or club. The oestrogen pitch is high. One says, ‘Burning Man is my lifelong ambition. I literally cannot wait for my kids to leave home.’ Hilarity predictably ensues.

Everyone seems on their way to being very well-oiled, and fun levels are at pre-pandemic level. This sets the scene for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The Food

I start with ‘grilled king prawns served with hot smoked paprika garlic foam’ (£16) and very yummy they are too, vast beasts of crustaceans pleasingly blackened under the grill, piquant with allium and pepper. They are impossible to eat with any semblance of dignity. My husband Andy opts for the ‘mushroom on toasted brioche: creamy wild mushrooms served on a toasted brioche muffin’ (£12.50), which are exactly that: a lovely big pile of mushrooms in a creamy sauce on sweet, yielding brioche.

To follow I go for ‘pan-seared sea bream with truffle butter served with parsley new potatoes and grilled baby gems’ (£18), which is a nice portion of perfectly cooked fish with exactly the right accompaniments: faultless. At Danio’s recommendation, Andy tries the ‘chargrilled boneless chicken thigh topped with a sweet bell pepper and onion jus’ (£14), which is cooked sous vide, then finished on the grill, which gives meltingly tender meat with the smokiness of the barbecue. The sauce is full of Caribbean punch.

We finish by sharing a ‘chocolate surprise: triple chocolate ganache with caramel sauce’ (£11.50) which is served with a theatrical flourish. The very sweet waitress asks if we want to take a photo for our Instagram, which I’m afraid isn’t my thing, but this is a very Instagrammable place (in a good way). Prices are more than reasonable for the area, a positive bargain if you add the locals’ discount. I hope we become regulars. Anyway, I digress. The chocolate surprise is rich and decadent, as satisfying to the stomach as it is easy on the eye.

The Drink

We start with cocktails, which seem appropriate: Casa Amigos, The Residency Special (£15) for me: ‘Casa Amigos Reposado tequila, pineapple juice, fresh lime, sweet syrup, coriander leaves, fresh chilli’. It’s terrific, fruitily sweet and refreshingly sour with a good kick from both the chilli and the tequila. Let’s just say that Andy’s very pleased indeed with his The Residency Old Fashioned (£11): ‘Bulleit bourbon build with a truffle made infusion and a special mix of bitters and spices’. We share a delicious bottle of Vila Nova Alvarinho 2020 (£33) to go with our main courses. A couple of glasses of Sauternes 2018 (£7 each) finish our meal off nicely and we leave with a spring in our step, thoroughly uplifted by a most enjoyable evening out.

In a Nutshell

The kind of local neighbourhood restaurant that makes you extremely happy to be a West Londoner.

The Details

50 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH

020 7792 5157

Open all day from 10am to midnight

Restaurants |