Rowley Leigh At Laylow London Food Review

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Chez Rowley at Laylow

A new west London residency for iconic chef Rowley Leigh

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“A bistro with nostalgic dishes and classic technique at its heart”


Bella Freud’s West London glam


Main Courses £14.40 – £34


Excellent classic dining in a stylish space

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It’s a return to the kitchen for Rowley Leigh, the much-loved chef behind the old Le Cafe Anglais and the long-gone trailblazer Kensington Place. He’s back with a residency at Golborne Road’s Laylow, the stylish Bella Freud-designed townhouse known for its parties and creative vibe. It’s not the most obvious pairing, but it’s a winning one judging by the busy dining room on our midweek visit.

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The space is lovely, with a glamorous, bohemian vibe that’s part 1950s Soho boudoir (tassled lampshades, velvet booths, ) part Art Deco (monochrome plates, shiny tabletops) and part 21st century Notting Hill with its mixed crowd of ageing Rowley Leigh fans and young party people.

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Leigh is in the kitchen, sometimes wondering around the room greeting people, and the menu includes old favourites from his well-known repertoire as well as new Italian-leaning dishes that are said to take inspiration from family holidays in Europe. So there’s parmesan custard and anchovy toast, a classic from Le Cafe Anglais, and a traditional steamed Dover sole, as well as the Mediterranean style poulet Antiboise.

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To start, we have a beautiful plate of beets, stracciatella, capers and croutons which comprises wafer thin slivers of red and white beets with excellent creamy stracciatella and tiny sharp capers in a sweet, light and lovely mix. Raw sea bass and scallops with fennel, bottarga and lemon is a striking all-white plate of fresh flavours. Then there’s John Dory with purple sprouting broccoli, ceps and beurre blanc, a flawless and classic dish, and Featherblade steak with dripping toast and sauce gribiche: the steak perfectly cooked and sauce gribiche a classic French variation on mayonnaise. A side of brocolli comes with excellent crunchy chilli breadcrumbs, and everything shows skill, consideration and experience.

For pudding there’s a highly alcoholic panna cotta with raspberries and grappa and another Rowley classic: grilled pineapple with coconut ice cream and chilli syrup.

The residency continues until 23 December so now’s the time to book.

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