Nama

Restaurants, Vegan Westbourne Grove
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
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Nama (full name: ‘Nama - Artisan Raw Foods’) may not be the cuddliest of vegan eateries – the staff and diners are far too cool for the hugging of trees – but what it lacks in warmth it makes up for in frighteningly good un-cooking. Rice is fashioned from tiny grated kohlrabi (a sweet cabbage); in the must-order ‘sushi’ this is combined with tiny pieces of cashew (for richness) as well as cucumber, avocado and sesame (for authentic flavours); in the Thai coconut curry it’s sprinkled with black sesame seeds and served with a creamy yellow-curry-ish sauce and folds of mandolin-thin pickled fennel. All against an austere yet stylish backdrop (stark white walls; high ceilings, throbbing low beats) that’s more art gallery than restaurant. 

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Nama
Contact:
Address: 110 Talbot Road
London
W11 1JR
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
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Reena P
tastemaker

With the plant based diet becoming a health trend recently, Nama Foods is a jewel for the vegan scene in London, Notting Hill to be precise. You can find lots of the popular healthy eateries, including Farmacy and Planet Organic in this area. Not many restaurants can boast about including dishes made of raw foods cooked below 42 degrees on their menus, but Nama Foods has a whole menu and catering service dedicated to this. 

 
I used the Time Out offer which included a 3 course meal and a drink for £22.95. Excellent value considering a main meal here can cost you up to £16.50 - sadly clean eating is usually quite spenny! 
As much as the food was fun to try and it was a great dining experience, I have to say the smoothie was my favourite part of the whole meal. Smooth and scrumptious with names as heavenly as they taste. I started with the Kohlrabi Ravioli which was very different to ravioli I’m used to in terms of texture, size and flavour. Beautifully presented and strong flavours. I can’t say I’m ready to give up on ordinary ravioli just yet!
I opted for the Pizza Fungi for my main meal. Don’t expect it to taste anything like pizza you’re used to, but its a great earthy take on it. I’m a big truffle and nuts fan so I enjoyed this. I also tried my friends pasta with autumn truffle and yellow coconut curry which were both hearty and flavourful.

Dessert was disappointing. We shared three desserts: tiramisu, battenberg and salted chocolate caramel cake (nut free). Sadly all three tasted quite similar - like those healthy snack bars of fruit, cacoa and nuts cold pressed together. They were all very rich but it was too much of the same sort of flavour. My sweet tooth wasn't overly impressed.

Overall the service was average, a bit slow and I did have to get up from my seat to ask the waiter to finally take our order. The service did improve after that and the staff were helpful and friendly.

Kishma S
Tastemaker

Although I am a dedicated meat eater, I decided to try Nama to expand my mind when it comes to eating vegetarian/vegan food. The raw element was just to add another dimension. I think it's safe to say that my mind has been blown rather than just expanded.

The menu is very varied and appealing, but more importantly than that, it was delicious. I was not disappointed with any of our choices (ravioli to start, curry and autumn pasta for main). I was also surprisingly full because I was half expecting to leave needing to stop for a take away on the way home. But that's clearly my ignorance on how tasty and filling raw food can be when done right.

My praises don't go quite as high for the deserts but it's hard to compete with the sheer awesomeness of a chocolate brownie with premium vanilla ice cream when you're a raw food restaurant so they did good with what they had.

Negatives for me were the toilets, the basement dining area and the time it took to get served. First of all I said toilets but actually there is only one. This may be ok during the day but the restaurant can hold at least 20 diners and 1 toilet is not good enough in my opinion.

The basement dining area is also where the open kitchen is so a lot of heat is generated from is area. As a result the area under the skylight is mouldy. I understand how damp works and I appreciate that it can be a constant battle. However mould can be cleaned so at least it would not be such an unpleasant feature of a dining space.

I would say it took about 15 minutes for us to even be approached after we were shown to our table. We weren't told what we could or couldn't have with our vouchers either. Drinks also took a long time to arrive with my request being made twice when the table next to me ordered after me but were served before me.

The food is truly amazing here and I think even though fussiest of eaters could find something to enjoy here. For me though I need more than just good food and this is where Nama let's itself down.

Alexandra L
Tastemaker

With so many restaurants constantly opening up in London, it’s sometimes hard to pick out the ones that genuinely seem to offer something different; boasting an entirely vegan and almost exclusively gluten free menu of raw food, Nama in Notting Hill most certainly does that.


Innovative, original, exciting and – most importantly of all to those of us blessed with big appetites – delicious, Nama is a small, modern & understated spot near Westbourne Park station at which to whet your raw food appetite and it was the ideal spot for a pair of food adventurers to have a celebratory birthday lunch.


Staff are, quite frankly, lovely. Unassuming, mild mannered & utterly charming, we were welcomed with a quietly gentle smile and a big side order of calm and ushered without delay to a table; honestly, if Buddhist monks decided to start waitressing for a living, I think this is the spot they’d end up at. Nama might boast a niche menu but word has certainly spread and the place was full for the entirety of our meal. It’s not a huge location and I imagine at peak times you may find yourself queuing but the stripped back décor and a Paltrow-esque toned colour palette of perfect neutrals are easy on both the eye and the Instagram account.


The weekend brunch menu has a nice choice of smaller plates for sharing – and somewhere like this is absolutely the right place for you to go with friends, ordering several things you’ve never had before and dipping in and out of each with an exploratory fork – as well as larger options and a generous dessert menu. A Blueberry Pancake Stack was elegant in its simplicity, the three sticky, chewy pancakes layered with banana, maple syrup drizzles and a heaping pool of silky coconut ‘mascarpone’. Pine nuts gave the dish a sweet, earthy flavour and unlike their transatlantic cousins, these pancakes didn’t leave us feeling in need of a gastric band immediately afterwards.


Skipping from the sweet to the savoury, a Cheese & Pickle Sandwich was like none I’d ever tried before; artisan raw almond & walnut bread was wafer thin and fully of nutty flavour wrapped around cashew cheese (which I can only describe as looking like the very best version of American sliced cheese and tasting addictively creamy and oozy) & fresh cucumber and onion pickle as a pile of crispy, cheesy kale crisps sat alongside. It might not be cheese & pickle as my dad knows it but it was a creative and intriguing 2016 take on the classic and I adored it.


I’m afraid my sister’s Blood Cleanser Juice looked a little too much like that which it was aiming to clean for my liking (scenes of Buffy replayed through my mind as it was placed in front of her!) but she loved it; I headed for the super-food rich rain-forests of South America with my Luscious Lucuma Smoothie, a drink so creamy & delicious I downed it as if I was a 16 year old stowaway in Clapham’s Infernos chugging back her first bottle of Wkd.


A slate streaked with simultaneously sinful and guilt-free temptation rounded off lunch with truffle, brownie and energy ball sitting side by side, cooing virtuously up at us – such a great way to see how you feel about raw desserts which, if you’re anything like me, you feel pretty damn great about!


There’s an awful lot to like about Nama and its ongoing efforts to introduce the ever increasingly health conscious Londoners to the benefits of raw food; unprocessed, organic and as close to its natural state as it can possibly be, this is food treated with respect and served with a real passion for the ethos behind it.


You won’t have tasted anything like it before but that’s part of sheer delight of London living – you can circumnavigate the cuisines and the trends of the world without having to set foot across your own zone and you can find enough edible inspiration to instigate foodie hot spot holiday bookings for the next decade and beyond.

Jennifer S
Tastemaker

Second visitt:


Man, this place just has great food. On a second visit, it didn't disappointment although the same can't be said for service. I got the Italian pizza this time: a crunchy walnut and courgette  pizza crust, covered in "ricotta" with sliced black olives, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and almond parmesan. The menu says tomato sauce but I didn't detect that. Nonetheless, it was DELICIOUS. It also arrived so quickly; guess it helped I was the only customer in there as it was near closing time. 


I got the pad thai as takeaway for well. The portion is huge and the rich sauces that accompanies it are amazing. 


For desserts, I got the bounty bars and chocolate ganache cake as takeaway. The bounty bars are even better than the original IMO; a rich blend of coconut and dark chocolate. The ganache... is very good but I think would be much better if it wasn't in the fridge.


Now on the service...a young man waited on me and then after he served my food, disappeared. I mean, I saw him behind the coffee/tea counter a few feet away but he never bothered to ask how my food was, if I wanted anything else, etc. I was debating on a smoothie whilst I was eating but he never bothered to come around to ask me. I gladly removed the optional service charge from my bill. That being said, I took home the lucuma and the cocoa smoothies from the fridge and they are phenomenal. The second tastes just like a chocolate shake. 


First visit:


Great food! I got the coconut porridge for brunch today and while pricey at 8 pounds it was still quite yummy. The portion size was also decent. My friends got the avocado toast and while the avocado looked quite creamy the "toast" points were quite dinky IMO. However, my other friend got pad thai and it looked DELICIOUS and was a very good portion in comparison. My chai latte was pretty bland without the coconut sugar.I got the hazelnut milk with it. Honestly, without cow's milk, chai lattes just suck. On the positive point,I got the brownie and "oreos" for takeaway. The former really isn't a proper brownie so don't be fooled- it's more of a sticky, chewy bar. I LOVED the oreos however- crumbly base with a very nice cocoa flavour.


There are tons of items on the menu I want to try so will return!

Emma M

Everything is insanely delicious and filling.

Quite hard to get a table when it's lunch rush. The staff can be a bit disapproving of not understanding where to order.

Only nut and plant based milks on the premises.

Your bill at the end will be extremely expensive.

Unfortunately, you pay for what you get. Which is delicious food that is incredibly good for you.

MissLDN
Tastemaker

Nama is a hidden gem close to Westbourne Park Station and away from all the bustle in Notting Hill. I suggested the restaurant to meet a vegan friend (though I am vegetarian myself, it's been a good excuse to try a vegan place and I have recently become more conscious about the food I am eating). The staff has been really friendly and although the interior seemed pretty cool at first, the place grew on us within minutes.

The menu is great and it's hard to decide what to choose - that's why we ended up ordering two sharing platters to try as much as possible (and I have already made a list of all the dishes I'd love to try). When the food had been delivered it was nearly too beautifully served to be eaten, but as we were to curious (and hungry) we happily tried all the different bits.

Though the best was still to come - I don't tend to have a sweet tooth, but after reading the dessert menu even I couldn't resist (I have been fiddling around with clean eating since Easter, so Nama is the perfect place to eat without regret). I'd never usually order a dessert or even cake, after a lovely meal, but I have been really grateful for my friend to suggest ordering it. Each sweet treat had a different note to it and I still can't decide which is my favourite.

I could go on and on about all the different flavours, but I'd strongly recommend to go and try for yourself (note: don't be scared of by the prices, as they are well worth it. Especially with the friendly staff, who really seemed to enjoy working there). I'll definitely be back anytime soon, as there is so much more to discover - especially the breakfast menu.