Essenza

Essenza

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.essenza.co.uk/
  • Phone: 02077921066
  • Hours of Operation:
    Daily: 12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from Essenza
It’s no great leap to surmise that Essenza means 'essence' in Italian. What you get in this smart, intimate neighbourhood trattoria is the essence of fresh, seasonal, Italian cooking. This boxy little spot is simply trendy, with persimmon banquettes, white table cloths, wood chairs, a smart little bar, and it is packed to the gills with similarly smart and trendy Notting Hill locals who all seem to know the waiters and each other. The menu roams the regions, featuring excellent standards like starter of caprese or beef carpaccio, home made pastas like fettuccine with porcini mushrooms and bacon sauce, main course of grilled selection of shellfish, and dessert of chocolate and coffee tiramisu. The mostly Italian wine list features a couple of nice grappas, too. Express Business Lunch and thoughtful Children’s Menu are welcome extras.
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Essenza reviews from OpenTable diners
22 reviews since 25 October 2013
Average Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambience3.8
    Value3.6
76% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romance (11)fit for foodies (8)special occasions (6)group bookings (5)child friendly (4)business meals (4)sunday lunch (3)outstanding value (3)outdoor eating (2)pre/post theatre (1)good vegetarian options (1)Show More
  • Great boutique Italian but....
    FrequentdinerVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Great find with authentic food, and keen waiting staff. Arrive early if driving as it can take a long time to find parking in this predominantly residential area and you should be prepared to leave early as we were kicked out the minute new guests arrived. Otherwise, an great little find...
    Special Features:
    good vegetarian options, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    ggzarya
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Excellent food and service - No frills, gets the job done with good value and genuinely good fresh food.
    Special Features:
    business meals
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    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Brilliant
    Jaym
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Excellent food, with a great menu and ambience. Service was a little mixed, one waiter was excellent, another waitress was so so.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romance
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    • Ambience
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  • good food bad service
    joseVIP
    Dined on 1/9/2014
    The food was really good (a bit overpriced). The waiter didnt smile in the whole evening, actually he didnt talk at all. They forget a side of zuccini fritti with the mains, but it wasnt in the bill. 12,5% of service charged without service... I wiil not go again. No music, just noise
    Special Features:
    pre/post theatre
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  • Girls Night Out at Essenza
    GourmetGirl
    Dined on 21/8/2014
    I've been to Essenza with some female friends before and we previously had such a nice meal we decided to return. It was great to be back again. The antipasti was delicious and plentiful. The service as usual was friendly and professional and the wine and main courses were also delicious. The staff are always good humoured and made a fuss of us and showed us a great time. All in all another fantastic night out. Thank you to Essenza - we cannot wait to return, really love it there. Definitely worth making the trip across to Notting Hill to visit this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, group bookings, romance, special occasions, Sunday lunch
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    • Value
  • Fairly average
    kitkatVIP
    Dined on 30/6/2014
    Mediocre neighbourhood restaubnot ner early as good as sister places on same street
    Special Features:
    child friendly
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    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Great!
    fudreview
    Dined on 12/6/2014
    Lunch with an old colleague. Very good food, attentive service. Warm, sunny day - fine al fresco experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outdoor eating, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely food, friendly service
    DiGaVIP
    Dined on 31/5/2014
    Went for a casual meal out without the whole three-course shindig. The pastas are very fresh and delightful (and hearty!) and the desserts are also tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, group bookings, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Hidden gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 30/5/2014
    If you are near Portabello, you should try this place. Small, family run, but an above average wine list and great food. One of the best veal Marsala I have ever had. It is small and tough to walk through, so not recommended for large groups (over 6). I would go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dinner
    brunchtime
    Dined on 29/4/2014
    Food was good _ we all had pasta but terribly overpriced.
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  • Great family lunch.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 27/4/2014
    Very good Italian restaurant that does excellent fish. Wait staff are super friendly and very kid friendly. We will become regulars!
    Special Features:
    child friendly
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    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Nigel
    Dined on 26/4/2014
    I go regularly even though I live in the USA. Great Italian ambiance and the Dover Sole is fantastic . Very intimate atmosphere
    Special Features:
    child friendly, outstanding value, romance
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  • Good food, but a bit overproced
    ClaudiaVIP
    Dined on 28/3/2014
    One of the few Italian restaurant serving real Italian dishes, so would recommend the experience to whoever want to try authentic italian food (no penne Alfredo yay!). But I am not sure £13.70 is a fair price to pay for a Bolognese, and the £75 bill for two (for two pasta dishes, one starter to share, and house wine) felt a bit too much. It's Notting Hill prices I suppose, but still...
    Special Features:
    business meals, romance, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Essenza is a small family
    Kman
    Dined on 31/12/2013
    Essenza is a small family run restaurant which holds approx. 30 people and give a feeling of intimacy with its low lights and simple decoration. I love the relaxed feel of Essenza - like a comfortable dining room in a friends home with a welcoming smile and a feeling that you have known the staff for years. The food is amazing and have a great selection of wines. I have been back several times since. I recommend it to all my friends.
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions, child friendly, group bookings
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 8 ratings-only reviews submitted since 25 October 2013
    • Average Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambience3.6
    • Service3.6
    • Value3.6
  • The following 90 reviews are from the Essenza reviews archive.
  • ok
    KikiVIP
    Dined on 1/10/2013
    I am not going that often as the menu has not changed for more than 3 years now...
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  • Upmarket quality Italian
    gabsNHVIP
    Dined on 14/8/2013
    This Italian is a reliable choice for lovely quality food with especially great fish & veal choices. Not the average neighbourhood pasta place for sure and I also find it too pricey to go more regularly, but no question this is a good chef which makes us want to return!
    Special Features:
    business meals, romance, fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood Gem
    Francisco
    Dined on 25/6/2013
    We were looking for a great Notting Hill neighborhood dining experience with our two Italian food-loving teenagers and Essenza really filled the bill. After a brief wait for our table, we entered a small but lively dining room. Lots of animated discussions going on around us but we soon adjusted to the noise level. Attentive wait staff and genuine Italian menu. Moderately priced wine selection. Everyone chose a pasta dish and the were all excellent. Great desserts as well. Good neighborhood / local feel with very few tourists.
    Special Features:
    romance, special occasions
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    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday dinner
    wineandfoodgourmet
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    We celebrated Grandma and two granddaughters, all of whom have their birthdays between May 10 and 22. We had a marvelous evening with excellent food and drinks that pleased everybody! We will be back!! Cheers, Carl
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, child friendly, outstanding value
    • Food
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    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A good Italian restaurant.
    robno
    Dined on 14/1/2013
    A good Italian restaurant. Service could have been a little friendlier, but the food was tasty and fairly priced. Happy to return there, although it wouldn't be top of my fine dining League table.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Distinctly Average
    Peter
    Dined on 5/12/2012
    Perfectly fine restaurant if you’re hungry; nothing to rave to friends about though and overpriced. Rather nondescript.
    Special Features:
    child friendly
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    • Service
    • Value
  • Essenza
    DCDCVIP
    Dined on 14/10/2012
    Enjoyed lunch here, although tuna was done medium well rather than rare, it was changed very graciously and quickly.
    Special Features:
    child friendly
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  • Authentic food with bad service
    katmckenneyVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2012
    This place is extremely over priced for what it is (generic Italian food with bad service). I couldn't tell if the poor service was down to an ineffective kitchen or the personnel serving the food but it was diabolical. Although perfectly friendly people, our food was brought ill-timed (e.g. my antipasto was brought within minutes whereas my dining companion had to wait 20 minutes for his risotto). It's not rocket science, just wait for the risotto to be ready and then bring my antipasto at the same time. Because he was so hungry when my antipasto arrived he decided to order an antipasto which then didn't arrive until after his risotto which totally defeated the point and which we had to inquire about 3 times before they brought it.
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  • Excellent service and the
    Florentine74
    Dined on 12/8/2012
    Excellent service and the food was gorgeous.wine extraordinarily good
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, outdoor eating
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    • Ambience
    • Service
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    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Essenza consistently great
    Nigel
    Dined on 4/8/2012
    We live in the USA and have a flat in London. We have been there probably 20 times and the food and ambiencebid always terrific. It is intimate and once we took over the restaurant for a party which too was excellent.
    Special Features:
    romance, child friendly, fit for foodies, special occasions, group bookings, good vegetarian options, outstanding value, outdoor eating
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  • Lovely food, agonising service.
    Foody247
    Dined on 7/7/2012
    My partner and I love going out for food and are always keen to try new places. It was a birthday dinner to be celebrated with a few friends. As Essenza is sponsored on google, we thought we'd give it a go. It took 20 minutes to be seated to our booked table with one chair missing and two places not laid up. The waiters were friendly no doubt, however it took up to half an hour for courses to come out, we had a three course meal, spending most of the time waiting. The deserts came out at different times, when the final desert came out it was not the desert ordered. More so, plates were cleared when people were still eating. The food was delightful but don't expect an A* in time keeping or observational skills.
    Special Features:
    group bookings
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    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Essenza, in Notting Hill Gate
    avam
    Dined on 1/4/2012
    Essenza, in Notting Hill Gate London, is a very pleasant restaurant (although for people with back problems the chairs aren't the most comfortable). My friend had a side salad for a starter, and I had the carpaccio of beef. We both enjoyed our starters. My tuna and my friend's seabass were also good. We enjoyed our red wine and our coffees to follow. I would recommend Essenza as a very pleasant, although not special, restaurant.
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  • Good meal at Essenza, near
    GS78
    Dined on 24/2/2012
    Good meal at Essenza, near Ladbroke Grove. Starters and fish excellent, slight disappointment with pasta at this price point. Wines superb - short winelist but both we tried were excellent. Not cheap and on a Friday night either and exciting buzz or rather noisy depending on your point of view.
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  • A very pleasant little restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 27/1/2012
    A very pleasant little restaurant with a nice cosy atmosphere and good service. Menu choice is typical for an italian restaurant of its type but broad enough in choice. Food was good but not excellent. Would go again - very decent value.
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  • White truffle pasta special
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 26/11/2011
    White truffle pasta special - rare, but brilliant!
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  • Excellent meal at Essenza
    Brightonian
    Dined on 24/11/2011
    Excellent meal at Essenza in Notting Hill Gate last night. Despite being full the service was also first class. It consistently lives up to it's reputation as one of London's finest neighbourhood Italian restaurants, Try the veal in a cream and mushroom sauce--delicious.
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  • Essenza in Kensington Park
    BrettSinclair1
    Dined on 6/8/2011
    Essenza in Kensington Park Road is a stylish, romantic Italian restaurant. This was our second visit and it didn't disappoint. The service was excellent - attentive, helpful, warm and friendly. The food was also really good - great seafood and pasta dishes (though the spinach side was not very nice as it tasted more like old cabbage!). At £120 for two, without wine it's not exactly cheap but it is very nice and overall it was a lovely evening. Recommended.
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  • Excellent meal again at Essenza
    Brightonian
    Dined on 20/7/2011
    Excellent meal again at Essenza this week. Hard to beat as a neighbourhood Italian. Consistently great food, warm atmosphere and first class service. Strongly recommend the ossobuco.
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  • Great place, fairly priced,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/5/2011
    Great place, fairly priced, good atmosphere and the people are authentitically italian
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  • Essenza London- great place
    BfastVIP
    Dined on 22/3/2011
    Essenza London- great place but watch time of arrival, we were 15mins late and eventually sat down 45 mins later although they were very generous with the proseco
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  • Essenza is a very reliable
    MKreviewVIP
    Dined on 21/3/2011
    Essenza is a very reliable and comfortable Italian restaurant where the staff make you feel welcome and the food makes you feel good.
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  • I am a great fan of Essenza
    Brightonian
    Dined on 11/3/2011
    I am a great fan of Essenza in Notting Hill Gate but unfortunately they didn't live up to expectations on Friday evening. Shame because I had given them a big build up to our American guests! Whilst the Osso Bucco was great their speciality Veal in a cream and mushroom sauce (too may peas!)was disappointing. Atmosphere was buzzing and service excellent. Everybody has an off day!
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  • Good, reliable Italian food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/2/2011
    Good, reliable Italian food in a location quite close to the hubbub of Portobello Markets. Have the bruschetta!
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  • Went to Essenza last night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 27/11/2010
    Went to Essenza last night in Notting Hill, what a fabulous meal. Place is buzzing, great Italian staff who really know what they are doing, packed and loud, must reserve, very popular place with the locals. Calamari starter was excellent, shared one between 2 people and was ample. Main of spaghetti with half a lobster was excellent, great flavours, perfect portion size. oh and a divine bottle of Amaroni to wash it all down. Will definitely be back, think I've found my new favourite Italian.
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  • Really lovely and relaxed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 13/9/2010
    Really lovely and relaxed meal with friends at Essenza!
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  • Having eaten in its sister
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/9/2010
    Having eaten in its sister restaurants, Osteria Basilico & Mediterraneo, I was very much looking forward to Essenza. Two doors down from E&O in a bustling location, Essenza is a small little Italian joint that will not let you down. We all ordered something different and we all agreed that the food was delicious (mine was the seabass- a must try). The staff were very friendly & the restaurant was full creating a buzzy environment. They also have the best tiramisu I have tasted outside of Italy.
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