One of the highlights of my trip to London was our foodie tour {full story coming soon}. Despite how delicious it was, the best dinner all week wasn’t part of the tour, but rather a happy accident.

We found ourselves in Notting Hill around dinnertime, standing on a corner debating our options: a fast food spot to save a few pounds {the money kind, obviously} or splurge on a unique meal. You know that moment when you round a corner and it’s as if the clouds have parted and there lies the answer to your question? {It’s like you hear a chorus of singing angels. No? That’s just me?} Well that’s essentially what happened.

I looked up to see a sign that read “Recipease: a Jamie Oliver Restaurant.” Jamie Oliver. That name sounds familiar. I think he’s a famous English chef? The building was all glass, so from the street we could see that the first floor was a kitchen shop with a modern looking dining space on the second. Why not stop in? We can peak at the menu and, worst case, we’ll peruse the shop before going to McDonald’s. The prices were reasonable and the menu looked intriguing {much better than Mickey D’s} so we headed upstairs to give it a try.

Recipease is a mash-up of a shop, a restaurant and a cooking school with a decor as busy as the many functions of the space. On the second floor is a bar that serves everything from FullandFearless_London_recipeaseclasscoffee to wine, seating along the windows that overlooks the high street, and shelves covered in bottles of wine, olive oils, sauces and other items for purchase. In the middle of it all is a top-of-the-line kitchen, an island with long granite countertops wrapping around every side. This is where the cooking classes take place, for the viewing pleasure of all diners.

The Recipease menu is best described as comfort food with an upscale, yet accessible, twist. Being near ravenous at this point, we started off splitting the mozzarella salad. It was the perfect pairing of fresh flavors. The beefy and juicy tomatoesFullandFearless_London_pesto tasted as if they’d been picked that morning. The pesto was, by far, the best I’ve every had. It was a perfectly balanced blend of garlic, green basil, olive oil and lightly toasted pine nuts, resulting in a pesto so fresh I swear it was poured straight out of the food processor onto our plate. But the piece de resistance was definitely the semi-soft buffalo mozzarella. I savored every bite.

As we were scooping up the final remnants of the appetizer, our main dishes arrived: the fragrant Thai green curry for me and the ultimate burger for Adrienne. At first glance I had a bit of food envy. The beef patty was piled high with caramelized onions, pickles, spiced mayo and English mustard, arranged on a soft brioche bun. It was one good-looking burger. But I ended up being far from disappointed in my meal.

FullandFearless_London_ThaicurryCurry is to London what Mexican food is to Texas – definitely not the original, but delicious in its own right. Jamie Oliver added an additional twist with his signature green curry sauce. Fragrant was an accurate description of this chicken dish, as it had a spicy scent with sweet undertones. The first bite was an explosion of tastes. The zesty Thai curry blended with the cherry tomatoes and fresh coriander {cilantro} in a pleasant and delicious burst of flavors. The poppadoms {thin savory wafers, traditional in Indian food} and the pistachio nuts added the perfect crunch. After a few mouthfuls the heat of the dish slowly turned up. But with a squeeze of lime and a bite of rice, it remained a nice spicy simmer. Curry is almost never my go-to, so I don’t know what possessed me to order this dish, but I’m extremely glad that I did. It was fantastic.

FullandFearless_London_recipeaseshopRecipease has an “exit through the gift shop” set up, so naturally we perused a bit. I love all things cookware, as you all know, so it was a good thing that London was only our first stop in Europe or I undoubtably would’ve come home with a picnic basket {seriously, they were too cute!}, a Jamie Oliver cookbook and goodness knows what else. In the middle of the first floor shop there was also a smaller kitchen, for more classes or cooking demonstrations. Jamie seriously thought of it all.

If you ever find yourself in Notting Hill I highly recommend that you stop into Recipease. They have a breakfast and lunch menu as well, that looks amazing!

Until then, have a great weekend and Happy Foodie Friday!

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