Essenza

4.4
198 reviews
£26 to £40
Italian
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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 198 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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e
elisab
London
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience3

Essenza is a very cute restaurant in a very trendy area in Notting Hill. We sat outside. There were 5 of us on a Sunday lunch and I had:
parmigiana, very very poor, not fresh. It seemed reheated over and over
Arancini, poor, rice overcooked and they seemed old
prosciutto, good
penne all arrabbiata, overcooked pasta quality and full of sauce (definitely not fresh). Being Italian, II can tell. It was one of the worst pasta I have ever tried and none of us at th table could eat. Terrible
Cotoletta Milanese, average
roasted potatoes, good
We spent £190, super expensive! I wouldn't have minded if the food would have been good.
It's a pity as the space is really lovely

D
vipDavid
London
5 reviews
Dined on 16 June 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Food is so disappointing, had to re order three times because they kept forgetting my order. Buratta wasn’t as good as some from Waitrose, ravioli are clearly not handmade, one of my orders wasn’t served. Will never return

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience3

We were seated outside but it was pouring with rain and we weren’t offered indoor seating. Service indifferent and brusque. Food reliably good though.

NB
vipNiklasvB
London
12 reviews
Dined on 4 November 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday Dinner at this long-standing Notting Hill gem was once again outstanding. Can’t wait to return once the restrictions are lifted. Perfect for family dinners and casual dining. Perhaps a little pricey but worth it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
5 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect for that casual evening meet with a few friends. Food great, service perfect. We dined during Covid restrictions and they struck the right balance between looking after us and hitting that ‘home by ten’ deadline without making us feel rushed or uncomfortable. Thank you.

k
klvinci
1 review
Dined on 23 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Essenza is always our first choice in the neighborhood. There food is top notch, and the service is great.

MP
MarkP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 18 September 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Generally very good food, fair portions and decent service ... when you can get their attention. Having said that, there are only a few wait staff and they are very busy. They did forget my coffee but got it too me quickly once I reminded them.

SK
vipScottK
London
4 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Really good authentic Italian. Service was first rate and the food is consistently good. There was a larger group that made the noise levels higher but normally mainly couples and smaller groups. In my view the best Italian in Notting Hill.

d
dianam
London
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’m looking for an Italian local that is a bit cheaper so I can go once or twice a week. Essenza is lovely but quite expensive.

S
vipShana
London
80 reviews
Dined on 19 August 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Not impressed by the arrogant attitude of staff and management of Essenza. In these difficult time for restaurants, their attitude was that of doing us a favour with a surly welcome when we arrived and being totally uncaring about my seat right next to the front door with all and sundry passing by. Followed by seating other diners further inside who arrived after us.

C
Chawton
London
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Our first "date night" after lock-down on a Tuesday evening. Classic Italian menu, the salads were good and fresh while the tuna tartar was very good and a generous portion, although a little more seasoning wouldn't have gone amiss. Our service was excellent, attentive but not overwhelming. My partner's veal masala was excellent, rich and tasty, served with fresh peas. My grilled mixed seafood was a bit disappointing: the squid was good and well cooked but the prawns were mixed, some good but some mushy, while the monkfish was just thumb sized. A reasonable wine list although it starts to get pricey quickly, for what is really a neighbourhood Italian. All in all we'll be back but will be very cautious about the seafood.

PM
PatrickM
Chicago
54 reviews
Dined on 18 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved this restaurant! Only a block off the really busy portobello road and a fun and tasty location. Well worth the lunchtime visit. The food was delicious and the service experience was great with just the right amount of attention! Gem in this area!

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love it. The food is incredible as is the service

c
christinah
London
2 reviews
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall5food3service4ambience5

Food is amazing !

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 4 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Everytthing authentically Italian and delicious.

P
Paul
London
1 review
Dined on 14 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really good restaurant with great quality food and very big portion sizes. All 11 of us were very happy with our food. Even the hosue red was amazing. Would recommend and go again. We went for a Christmas dinner and per head came to £45 all in including tip and we didn't skimp on the menu. Very happy and highly recommend. Staff are very friendly and all have that Italian flair. A great evening was had by all.

EL
ELENAG
London
1 review
Dined on 6 December 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Good food, cosy place, nice service and price in line with the overall quality. We have a new favourite italian resturant in the neightbourdhood.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
4 reviews
Dined on 24 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always looking forward to next visit on New Years Eve

PH
vipPeterH
Nashville
23 reviews
Dined on 18 October 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

All you would expect from a well established Italian restaurant. Lunch for five old friends was fine.

A
Alfonso
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Comida en familia muy agradable, destacar la atención de Juan Carlos el camarero

Report
C
vipCybermenou74
London
12 reviews
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Italian near home

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Even though we had a late reservation, they accommodated all of our requests and were very pleasant and friendly. The food was excellent! Would definitely eat here again.

s
saram
London
1 review
Dined on 22 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service! They prepared a nice birthday song with dessert for my husbands birthday.

SB
vipSouthBeach
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as usual
A favorite when in London

A
vipAnna
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on 17 April 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Wonderful meal in a cozy spot in Notting Hill. The staff was very friendly, and they even re-made a pasta for me to cater to my dietary needs! Both the pasta and the fish were fresh and delicious. We will definitely try to get back soon - thank you all so much!

N
vipNafez
London
16 reviews
Dined on 28 February 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Service greatly fluctuates - pretty disappointing this time

m
mirandad
London
4 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent fresh ingredients expertly prepared. Intimate small bistro ambiance, quiet enough for our whole party to be able to chat together without shouting — overall wonderful place.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
3 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing!!

NB
vipNiklasvB
London
12 reviews
Dined on 10 February 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect Sunday Night Dinner, the service was great, the meal excellent. A true Neighbourhood gem and always a reliable Italian with a solid wine list and excellent specials.

BG
vipBelindaG
London
20 reviews
Dined on 29 December 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent food. Great location!

DO
vipDavidO
London
4 reviews
Dined on 26 December 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely neighbourhood restaurant. Start with the Rosemary crisp bread which is fantastic. Th past was amazing and we enjoyed some lovey wine.

M
Michael
London
24 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2018
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Great local restaurant with an authentic, quality vibe. Restaurant was almost full on a Monday night! However, this did mean starters were a little slow but the mains were quicker and the food itself was great. The staff were friendly too. I would recommend :)

SB
vipSouthBeach
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on 11 December 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as usual. A favorite always when we are in London!

T
Tarantinette
London
33 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2018
Overall3food3service4ambience2

This is a difficult review to write because basically the restaurant didn't do anything wrong. I think the fault is mine because I was led by the staff rather than looking at the menu - for example, I asked for a glass of dry white wine, perhaps a Sauvignon. He recommended a Gavi, which was indeed very nice, and so it should have been for £12.50 a glass (which I only realised when I received the bill). He explained that porcini mushrooms were the special of the day. Looking at the menu, I saw a pasta dish with mushrooms and bacon for £14.50 so I asked if I could have that with the porcinis. That turned up on my bill for £25. So yes, I had a perfectly pleasant lunch with my business colleague - but I was genuinely gobsmacked to get a bill for just under £130!

QP
QPDi
London
6 reviews
Dined on 24 November 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent food and lovely atmosphere. We had a lovely intimate dinner whilst still enjoying the buzz.

R
Rafaela
London
2 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cozy...great food..friendly service..nice feel ambiance in a quiet neighborhood. Fresh and tasty food, reasonably priced.

LI
LucyI
London
2 reviews
Dined on 10 November 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lovely restaurant with great food and great service. Italian owner and run. Here was a constant stream of delivery drivers collecting take out which was not distracting but does speak to the quality of the food.

C
Charlotte
London
1 review
Dined on 19 October 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent, authentic Italian food that is so tasty. Fresh ingredients and excellent value for money. Will definitely go back!

N
vipNafez
London
16 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic Italian food

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 10 September 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I have eaten here a few times and the food is outstanding every time

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Essenza using the Order Online button. Essenza also offers delivery in partnership with Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Essenza also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at 020 7792 1066.

Essenza is rated 4.4 stars by 198 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.