Last night I tried to get into the new Rowley Leigh restaurant in Bayswater Le Café des Anglais. Cornelia and I didn’t book a table but tested our luck anyhow. Tough luck. The swanky new venue in Whitley’s shopping centre was fully booked and even Cornelia’s strong sense of persuasion wouldn’t persuade Hannah at reception to find us a corner. We will try again, but not for an intimate one-on-one. The huge dining space is nothing but intimate.
Instead, we went to the second floor of the Oak on Westbourne Park Road, near Ledbury Road, where there was plenty of intimacy to be had. England was losing to Croatia at the same time so there was enough space in an elegant and still terribly cool room. The tapas were delicious. We had some beef carpaccio with truffle oil and a most luscious consistency and a vegetable antipasti with Buratta. What is buratta? Well, it’s sort of the new mozzarella. Not quite new (it has been discovered in the states quite a few years ago and invented in Italy in the 1920’s) but definitely the new rage in the London restaurant scene. It is a soft cheese made from buffalo milk. It comes from Puglia and is best eaten within 2 days of its production. It is so creamy you only need a small knife-scrape of it. The taste is heavenly and a small online search shows you can get it from Manicomio restaurant/deli on the King’s Road in Chelsea.