Notting Hill’s Kuro only opened in 2021 but it quickly gained a rep as one of the best coffee shops in town, and the team have wasted no time expanding, opening Kuro Eatery across the street, Kuro Bakery round the corner (where they’re turning out freshly baked sourdough, seasonal croissants and danishes, and Japanese milk bread shokupan), and putting plans in place to add beehives and veg beds the rooftops of all the sites in the autumn of 2022.
The 30-cover restaurant has the same minimalist vibe as the coffee shop, with a wide stone counter, lots of light wood, and dried flowers set against the back wall. It certainly could look a bit stark in the daytime but with low lighting and candles flickering in the evening, it’s rather romantic. Andrianos Poulis (ex-Rovi, Cornerstone and Mazi), is heading up the kitchen, showcasing both his Greek heritage and love of fish on the Mediterranean-leaning menu – a meaty tranche of brill paired with spoon-soft overnight cabbage and beurre blanc showed just how much he loves it.
Pearlescent slices of cod ham, cured to the right side of salty and given a real butteriness from a hearty drizzle of extra virgin olive oil summed up what Kuro is all about – the use of top quality ingredients to lift deceptively simple dishes to a new level. As well as that olive oil, there was fermented hot honey adding a kick to a thick pillowy flatbread topped with goat’s cheese; port and walnut sugar enhancing the sweetness of beetroot on cashew cream; bottarga bringing extra umami to clam spaghettoni; and parmesan-laced olive oil for dunking rugged crispy roast potatoes.
Given this mini-empire boasts a bakery, you’d expect the puds to be on point, and both the tarte tatin, a sweet little individual pastry whose sweetness was tempered with a savoury goat’s cheese ice cream, and the chocolate mousse, made richer with olive oil, were excellent.
From the interiors to the quietly efficient service, Kuro Eatery appears understated, which only makes the food pop even more. If you’re local, get down this gem asap (the breakfast sounds well worth a go) and if you’re not, make the journey anyway.
5 Hillgate Street, London, W8 7SP