A short walk from Notting Hill Gate station is a little yellow door, a bright narrow pane hidden between a boutique clothes shop and a tacky tourist store. Number 68, Notting Hill Gate (what a superb coincidentally rhyming address) is home to a few friendly flatmates who have transformed their flat share into a now permanent pop-up restaurant and bar. Taking the foodie scene by storm, The Little Yellow Door is open to anyone up for an informal bite to eat in a casual, house party vibe.
Last Wednesday I was invited to decode and devour their newly created Emoji Menu, evidently popular for the recent Emoji Day. I took my friend Rachel over to the mysterious door where we knocked, buzzed and waited for our 6pm reservation. A little while later after getting through to a voicemail, we were told that the flat had just been live on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube channel and was just setting up for the evening. After 20 minutes of waiting outside the door (as a few others turned up for a taste of emoji chicken), we were invited upstairs.
Climbing the steep staircase I was reminded of my uni house share, where I spent many nights trying not to fall down those ridiculously tall stairs in giant heels!
As we entered the flat, we took a seat on a cosy cow print sofa, taking in the eclectic furnishings and even stranger wall art. Nothing matched, each seat was completely different, but it was quirky and casual, a friendly space to chill and catch up with friends.
Batman was projected on the walls whilst music pumped. On each table was an old school photo album, containing pictures of previous house parties and descriptions of some pretty interesting cocktails!
We were each presented with the famous emoji menu, a cocktail of choice and two courses – should you be able to decode it. The menu takes inspiration from current resident Hank’s American roots. To order, you are given a whatsapp number to text your selections, or you can simply just tell the friendly waiter of the night!
Rachel went for the less conspicuous looking watermelon cocktail whereas I went for the first option that translated to The Little Yellow Door’s House Punch. They were both delicious, mine a pineapple-rum based drink, Rachel’s a sweet fresh juicy refresher.
The starter was definitely the hardest to decode. In my mind I saw an ox, chicken wing and flying money paired with a carrot and diamond shaped cheese? What on earth! Rachel was way more talented at it, pointing out that it was probably buffalo chicken wings with crudites and blue cheese dip – duh.
We popped our choices into whatsapp, spending far longer finding the emojis than it would have taken to order normally, but it was great fun and a humorous way to start a meal!
The flatmates are incredibly accommodating, offering glamorous alternatives for Rachel’s gluten and dairy free allergies compared so some places that present you with a lettuce leaf. For seconds I managed to work out that a steak baguette with rocket and truffle mayonnaise was on the cards, with Rachel choosing the chicken and bacon salad.
As we clicked send, we looked around, surprised at how quickly the flat had filled up! I was expecting it to be full of moustached hipsters and scrunchie wearing girls but I was surprised by the diverse mix of people – after work suits, a girly catch up and a introductory business meeting across from us. We were rather jealous of the group who managed to secure the cosy space through the back wall, filled with patterned cushions, bunting and fairy lights – a space worth requesting for a large booking.
Our starter came quickly, presented on one tray with mine and Rachel’s chicken wings in separate piles. The dips were incredible – hummus, strong blue cheese and a creamy one so delicious that we couldn’t resist asking for the recipe. It was made with olive oil, egg white and avocado – I’ll be giving that a go!
The wings were a hot mess – quite literally. They were super sticky and spicy – just as wings should be.
Not long after came our mains. Rachel was massively impressed with her gigantic salad, filled with every kind of vegetable.
My choice of steak baguette was perfection. Thinly sliced pink beef was drizzled with truffle mayo, stuffed into soft fresh mini rolls with rocket. I will happily hold my hands up and say it was one of the best steak sandwiches I have ever eaten. I was pretty damn sad when it was over.
I can honestly say that The Little Yellow Door surpassed my expectations. Its not the poshest food on the block but its bloody delicious and incredible value. Yes its the definition of hipster, but you don’t have to don a man bun or dungarees to be invited up to the colourful flat. I wouldn’t hesitate to return and try some of their other creative menus including a boozy tea party on Saturdays and Friday dinner parties for 40 people. You might not take your Nan here, but she sure would be welcome.
Our emoji meals were complimentary.