Absolutely reviews Notting Hill ULI, a local institute offering high flavour asian cooking in a magical setting
Words Miriam Carey
ULI originally opened on All Saints Road in Notting Hill 1997, where it was a firm favourite among locals and with critics. At its new home on Ladbroke Roa, the restaurant benefits from a terrace area – a gorgeous enclosed space with a hanging garden, full of greenery and lights. It provides the magic of outdoor dining but protects diners from the elements, with blankets and heaters on hand for when the weather is extra chilly.
ULI, in its new home, is still a gorgeous restaurant serving pan Asian food, a curated selection of Chinese, Thai, Malay and Singaporean cuisines. The dishes are cherry picked to provide a perfectly balanced menu that does not repeat itself. It features Asian favourites such as edamame beans, thai crackers, dumplings, spring rolls, crispy calamari, aromatic duck, and thai green curry.
Everything on the menu is delicious. The scallops covered in chilli and coriander are tender yet packed full of punchy flavour, and the perfect portion size for a small starter to taste. The soft shell crab is light and crisp, served as a dish big enough to share, and impossible not to keep picking at.
The Peking duck rolled up in pancakes and smothered in hoisin is incredibly more-ish, and the crispy shredded beef sweet and crunchy – just how you want it to be. The pad thai is fragrant and filling, with a hint of zesty lime, and a scattering of peanuts.
For dessert, a mochi ice cream selection cleanses the palate perfectly and comes in a range of flavours including green tea, chocolate and vanilla.
They also have a cracking wine and cocktail menu with oriental twists on old classics such as a Japanese bellini made of jasmine tea and prosecco, and a lemongrass bloody mary made of vodka, tomato juice, and sriracha chilli.
The atmosphere in Notting Hill ULI is quiet when we arrive, but fills up with families and friends, becoming more buzzy and vibrant throughout the evening. ULI is the perfect destination for a quiet dinner for two, a special occasion, or a celebration with friends.
Visit Notting Hill ULI at 5 Ladbroke Road, W11; ulilondon.com