When Luca Longobardi opened 108 Garage up on Golborne Road in autumn 2016, it was only a matter of time before it began to attract legions of followers, not to mention the admiration of some of London’s most critical food critics. Perhaps a little surprising coming from the man who had just abandoned the world of finance to pursue his true passion, but it turns out Luca knew exactly what he was doing. Armed with co-owner and chef extraordinaire, Chris Denney (found unbelievably through an ad on Gumtree), Longobardi has created one of the most exciting spots for Notting Hill foodies to come and let their taste buds play.
It wasn’t by chance that Luca chose a garage for his first project. For him, a garage is a place of research and repair; whether it’s researching new recipes, constructing and deconstructing plates or repairing souls. Although softening its raw, industrial roots with an eclectic mix of furnishings and artefacts, 108 is still pretty far from your traditional restaurant. Chris’ menu is inspired by his global travels and features a unique seasonal mix of textures and tastes, influences and artistry. Many of the dishes change daily, but signature creations include the likes of lamb heart agnolotti with swede dashi and pink onion, Jacob’s ladder with black garlic and dill pickle tartare, and chocolate cremeux with artichoke ice cream and wild rice. When we went to try out the new hotspot for ourselves, the prospect of chowing down on skewered, devilled chicken hearts was initially a little daunting. In the end though, we were totally sold on every item of the inventive, flavourful menu.
On Sundays - and in a definite departure from the usual roast - Chris tests out potential new additions to the 108 Garage menu. The Sunday Experiment comprises ten different plates, from which diners can choose six for a total price of £35 a head. A pretty reasonable offer for this sort of 'art on a plate'! Together, the kindred spirits, Luca and Chris have built 108 Garage from scratch. With plans now underway to document their story via a TV series called The Garage, their journey has only just begun.
108 Garage: 108garage.com