210 Kensington Park Road
Notting Hill Gate
London, W11 1NRNeighbourhood:
ItalianPrice: £26 to £40
- 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
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.Continued
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Essenza reviews from OpenTable diners
20 reviews since 4 June 2014
romance (10)fit for foodies (8)special occasions (6)group bookings (5)child friendly (4)business meals (3)sunday lunch (3)outstanding value (3)outdoor eating (2)pre/post theatre (1)Show More
- BrilliantJaymDined on 5/9/2014Excellent food, with a great menu and ambience. Service was a little mixed, one waiter was excellent, another waitress was so so.Special Features:
- good food bad servicejoseDined on 1/9/2014The 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 noiseSpecial Features:
- Girls Night Out at EssenzaGourmetGirlDined on 21/8/2014I'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:
- Fairly averagekitkatVIPDined on 30/6/2014Mediocre neighbourhood restaubnot ner early as good as sister places on same streetSpecial Features:
- Great!fudreviewDined on 12/6/2014Lunch with an old colleague. Very good food, attentive service. Warm, sunny day - fine al fresco experienceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely food, friendly serviceDiGaVIPDined on 31/5/2014Went 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:
- Hidden gemOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 30/5/2014If 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- dinnerbrunchtimeDined on 29/4/2014Food was good _ we all had pasta but terribly overpriced.
- Great family lunch.OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIPDined on 27/4/2014Very good Italian restaurant that does excellent fish. Wait staff are super friendly and very kid friendly. We will become regulars!Special Features:
- NigelDined on 26/4/2014I go regularly even though I live in the USA. Great Italian ambiance and the Dover Sole is fantastic . Very intimate atmosphereSpecial Features:
- Good food, but a bit overprocedClaudiaVIPDined on 28/3/2014One 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Essenza is a small familyKmanDined on 31/12/2013Essenza 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 90 reviews are from the Essenza reviews archive.
- okKikiVIPDined on 1/10/2013I am not going that often as the menu has not changed for more than 3 years now...
- Upmarket quality ItaliangabsNHVIPDined on 14/8/2013This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Neighborhood GemFranciscoDined on 25/6/2013We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday dinnerwineandfoodgourmetDined on 10/5/2013We 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, CarlSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A good Italian restaurant.robnoDined on 14/1/2013A 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Distinctly AveragePeterDined on 5/12/2012Perfectly fine restaurant if you’re hungry; nothing to rave to friends about though and overpriced. Rather nondescript.Special Features:
- EssenzaDCDCVIPDined on 14/10/2012Enjoyed lunch here, although tuna was done medium well rather than rare, it was changed very graciously and quickly.Special Features:
- Authentic food with bad servicekatmckenneyVIPDined on 8/9/2012This 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.
- Excellent service and theFlorentine74Dined on 12/8/2012Excellent service and the food was gorgeous.wine extraordinarily goodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Essenza consistently greatNigelDined on 4/8/2012We 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:
- Lovely food, agonising service.Foody247Dined on 7/7/2012My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Essenza, in Notting Hill GateavamDined on 1/4/2012Essenza, 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.
- Good meal at Essenza, nearGS78Dined on 24/2/2012Good 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.
- A very pleasant little restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 27/1/2012A 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.
- White truffle pasta specialOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 26/11/2011White truffle pasta special - rare, but brilliant!
- Excellent meal at EssenzaBrightonianDined on 24/11/2011Excellent 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.
- Essenza in Kensington ParkBrettSinclair1Dined on 6/8/2011Essenza 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.
- Excellent meal again at EssenzaBrightonianDined on 20/7/2011Excellent 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.
- Great place, fairly priced,OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 12/5/2011Great place, fairly priced, good atmosphere and the people are authentitically italian
- Essenza London- great placeBfastVIPDined on 22/3/2011Essenza 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
- Essenza is a very reliableMKreviewVIPDined on 21/3/2011Essenza is a very reliable and comfortable Italian restaurant where the staff make you feel welcome and the food makes you feel good.
- I am a great fan of EssenzaBrightonianDined on 11/3/2011I 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!
- Good, reliable Italian foodOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 12/2/2011Good, reliable Italian food in a location quite close to the hubbub of Portobello Markets. Have the bruschetta!
- Went to Essenza last nightOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 27/11/2010Went 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.
- Really lovely and relaxedOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 13/9/2010Really lovely and relaxed meal with friends at Essenza!
- Having eaten in its sisterOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 11/9/2010Having 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.
- Essenza in Kensigton parkOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/9/2010Essenza in Kensigton park road, like the word prefer the sustance to the image delivering excellent tasty food at reasonable price. Nice clean environment, just a little cramped
- Delighted to have found aOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 1/9/2010Delighted to have found a decent Italian in Notting Hill amongst the serial disappointments in London. Like many of its competitors however, the menu was perhaps a touch on the large side - I would have preferred a variable specials menu rather than the full catalogue of Italian classics. That said the specials themselves were delicious: fresh pasta, fresh ingredients as the cuisine was intended. Our mains from la carte took a few suspicious seconds to prepare! Strongly recommended nonetheless.