E&O (OR reasons I will be devastated to leave Notting Hill – part II)

Was childishly excited yesterday. Not only had I secured an evening pass to go out for dinner with a girlfriend, but I’d managed to get a last-minute 8.30 pm cancellation at E&O.

Now, ever since it opened in 2002, E&O has been phenomenally busy and getting a table there at a time when a sensible person might be feeling hungry is well-nigh impossible, even if you only live three minutes round the corner as I do.

E&O is a ‘see and be seen’ sort of trendy West London media place – the sort of place you have to pretend to be slightly disdainful of whereas in reality you really want to join in.

And yes, it is full to bursting with beautiful people (particularly beautiful men dining in pairs), the decor (though not really my taste) is coolly minimalist, featuring lots of black wooden slats, and the cocktails are New York excellent. However I suspect the real reason why it has been so consistently popular is that the pan-Asian food is beautifully presented, reasonably priced for the area, healthy enough for the thinnest supermodel to tuck into and uniformly delicious.

My friend and I shared the edamame, steamed prawn and chive dumplings and the famous chili-salt squid from the dim sum menu – all superb – followed by the mixed vegetable tempura, duck and watermelon salad and peppered tuna sashimi. Everything was perfectly cooked and the flavours crisp and clean and perfectly combined. We finished our meal with a selection of sorbets – mixed berry, melon and coconut.

I hadn’t seen my friend for over a year, so we had a good old gossip and left feeling relaxed and beautiful – and you can’t say fairer than that about a restaurant.

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