SEARCH:  
Twitter Facebook RSS Feed
No Sacred Cows  
Toby Young
Friday 11th October 2002

E & O

ES Magazine - 11th October 2002

I first set foot in E & O in Notting Hill just over a year ago as the guest of a friend who'd been invited to a "soft opening". As a West Londoner, I was a little dubious about it beforehand because of its East London associations. The owner, Will Ricker, also owns the Great Eastern Dining Rooms, a favourite with the Damien Hirst crowd, and this was his first foray out of Shoreditch. Admittedly, I live in Shepherd's Bush rather than Notting Hill, but such distinctions fade into the background when faced with an invasion of Young British Artists. It's like the French and the British making common cause against the Germans.

What illusions I'd had about looking down my nose at the clientele were soon dashed. It was packed to the rafters with every well-heeled trustafarian in the area. Even Tchaik Chassay, the Jed Clampett of the Notting Hillbillies, was there. Indeed, the "soft opening" in question was so oversubscribed that the manager had given away my friend's table and advised us to come back another time. Like, in six months or so, when they next had something available. Almost instantly, before it had even opened to the public, E & O had become the trendiest restaurant in West London. Kensington Park Road, the restaurant row of Notting Hill Gate, had been occupied by Will Ricker. He came, he saw, he conquered.

A year later, E & O is still going strong. It's been described as "the Ivy of West London", but a better name for it might be "Nobu Junior" given the type of food it serves. Alternatively known as "pan-Asian" or "South-East Asian", the cuisine at E & O is a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Thai, a combination that's as popular with Arab playboys as it is with anorexic models. Indeed, Will Ricker has now introduced a similar menu at the Great Eastern Dining Rooms. E & O is supposed to stand for "Eastern & Oriental" but it could just as easily stand for Eligible and Ostentatious. The typical customer has one foot in the All Saints Road and the other in St Tropez. When I went there last week there was an Aston Martin parked outside.

The fact that E & O has become such a "scene restaurant" has aroused mixed feelings in the locals. Take my dining companion, James Mendelson, a long-term Notting Hill resident. I asked him what kind of experience he'd had the last time he'd been there and he said it had been good and bad. The good news was he was sitting a few feet away from Nicole Kidman; the bad news was his waiter was so overexcited by the presence of an A-list movie star in his section he completely forgot to process James's order. It was an hour before his food arrived and James said that if the manager hadn't insisted on paying for it--the least he could do in the circumstances--he never would have come back.

James estimated that about 50% of the restaurant's clientele on the night we went there were "bridge and tunnel", ie, from outside Notting Hill Gate. Since that included me I couldn't get too worked up about this fact, but James complained that the area was now invaded by mini-cabs on a nightly basis. He reckoned that the trustafarian elite had all retreated to the Electric House, the newly-opened West London branch of the Soho House round the corner. This establishment, which boasts a restaurant on the first floor, has the advantage of being members only. No doubt the "bridge and tunnel people" will eventually scale its walls, but for the time being it's impregnable.

I think James was probably being a little hard on E & O. The manager, Marco Fazzina, claimed that three-quarters of the customers were locals and that struck me as about right. When restaurants are as hot as E & O, it's tempting to ignore the needs of your regular customers and pack as many people in as possible, but this spells doom in the long run. Will Ricker knows that the long-term health of any restaurant depends on its local clientele. E & O probably won't be the most fashionable restaurant in West London for much longer--that title may have already been stolen by the Electric House--but I think it's here to stay.

[ FIXED LINK ] Bookmark and Share





Twitter RT @JoJohnsonUK: It's time to debunk the myth surrounding two-year degrees link  (6 hours ago)

BEST OF THE WEB

The Warlock Hunt by Claire Berlinski - the-american-interest.com
Is classical liberalism conservative? by Yarom Hazony - jerusalemletters.com
The Implosion of Western Liberalism by Patrick Lee Miller - quillette.com
The Eton of the East End - Daily Mail
The reactionary temptation by Andrew Sullivan - nymag.com
The book that scandalised New York intellectuals by Louis Menand - newyorker.com
To understand Britain today, look to the 17th Century by Adrian Wooldridge - economist.com
The crisis in France by Christopher Caldwell - city-journal.org
A Visit to Michaela School by Patrick Alexander - prospectmagazine.co.uk
Why parenting may not matter by Brian Boutwell - quillette.com
Trump Establishment's Cultural Significance Explained by Michael Wolff - newsweek.com
Branching histories of the 2016 referendum by Dominic Cummings - dominiccummings.wordpress.com
Putin's Real Long Game by Molly K McKew - politico.com
The Flight 93 Election by Publius Decius Mus - claremont.org
How the education gap is tearing politics apart by David Runciman - theguardian.com
What's wrong with identity politics by Graeme Archer - conservativehome.com
Grammars and the grain of truth by Jonathan Porter
Anti-Brexit: Britain's new class war by John O'Sullivan - nationalreview.com
The English Revolt by Robert Tombs - newstatesman.com
Democracies end when they are too democratic by Andrew Sullivan - nymag.com
Human beings really are making progress by Steven Pinker - edge.org
What ISIS really wants by Graeme Wood - theatlantic.com
A society ripe for Submission by Douglas Murray - quadrant.org.au
Beware the soft Stalinists of the campus by David Aaronovitch - thetimes.co.uk
Why I'm a Conservative Teacher by Jonathan Porter - conservativeteachers.com
Corbyn's Inconvenient Truth – He wanted the IRA to win - youtu.be
Corbyn's first seven days - theguardian.com
Corbin's cabinet chaos by Darren McCaffrey - news.sky.com
Why I've become Tory scum by Tony Parsons - gq-magazine.co.uk
Inside Westminster's free school - telegraph.co.uk
Jeremy Corbyn's politics are a fantasy – just like Alice in Wonderland by Tony Blair - theguardian.com
Robert Conquest obit - telegraph.co.uk
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite – it's so much worse than that - news.stv.tv
In defence of free schools by Toby Young - standpointmag.co.uk
 

BLOGROLL

Andrew Lilico
Andrew Neil
Andrew Sullivan
Arts and Letters Daily
Bagehot's Notebook
BBC News
BBC Sport
Benedict Brogan
Brendan O'Neill
Bruce Anderson
Coffee House
Conservative Home
Damian McBride
Damian Thompson
Dan Hodges
Daniel Hannon
Ed West
Frank Furedi
Guido Fawkes
Harry Phibbs
Iain Dale
Iain Martin
James Delingpole
James Wolcott
Joe Murphy
John Rentoul
Labour List
Mark Steyn
Matt Drudge
Mehdi Hasan
Melanie Phillips
Michael Wolff
Nick Cohen
Nick Robinson
Nikki Finke
Normblog
Paul Waugh
Peter Hitchens
Political Betting
Right Minds
Rob Long
Rod Liddle
Slate
Sophy Ridge
Stephen Pollard
The Arts Desk
The Corner
The Daily Beast
The First Post
The Omnivore
The Onion
Tim Shipman
Tim Stanley
Tom Shone
 

COLUMNISTS

AA Gill
Aidan Hartley
Allison Pearson
Allister Heath
AO Scott
Boris Johnson
Charles Moore
Cosmo Landesman
Daniel Finkelstein
David Brooks
Fraser Nelson
George Monbiot
Giles Coren
Henry Winter
James Delingpole
Jan Moir
Janan Ganesh
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Warner
Jim White
Jonathan Freedland
Lloyd Evans
Manohla Dargis
Martin Samuel
Mary Ann Sieghart
Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew Norman
Maureen Dowd
Michiko Kakutani
Owen Jones
Patrick O'Flynn
Paul Krugman
Peter Bradshaw
Peter Oborne
Philip Collins
Polly Toynbee
Quentin Letts
Rachel Johnson
Rod Liddle
Roy Greenslade
Tim Montgomerie
Trevor Kavanagh
 
UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the book on Amazon.com


  • UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the book on Amazon.com


  • Audio Book Cover

  • Buy the audio book from
    Whole Story Audio
  • DVD Cover

  • Buy the DVD from Amazon.co.uk

  • Buy the DVD from Amazon.com


  • IMdb Page on the film