Notting Hill's Al Fresco Seafood Spot
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ULI would do a roaring trade at this time of year, no matter what the food was like. Terraces like this one aren't in great supply in Notting Hill; a retractable roof and removable windows keeping the dining as al fresco and airy or sheltered and heated as the British weather might demand.
It's lucky for the punters taking up every single table on the Saturday evening we visit that the food lives up to ULI's terrace game. Pan-Asian, but a mix of dishes with different origin stories, rather than fusion on each plate, the ULI menu is a Tetris of higher-end versions of Thai-pub staples and greatest hits from your local Chinese takeaway.
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It's not actually a seafood restaurant, not explicitly. But the big hitters from our dinner — apart from a brilliantly forceful, chilli and black bean-covered bowl of asparagus chunks — are the seafood dishes. The calamari is perfectly crunchy-shelled, perfectly tender-centred. Steamed sea bass is light and gently lemongrassy, falling off the skin in soft, gingery chunks.
Nothing's massively surprising — they're not reinventing the crispy chilli beef here. It's just the Thai/Chinese/Malay/Singaporean classics, done well. On a very nice terrace.
ULI, 5 Ladbroke Road, W11 3PA.
Last Updated 25 June 2019