Electric Brasserie

191 Portobello Road, London, England, W11 2ED, United Kingdom

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The Electric Brasserie is on the ground floor, next and attached to the excellent Electric Cinema, and there is also a private member’s club with a separate dining room on the floor above. It is part of the Soho House group, who own the High Road Brasserie in Chiswick, and several other ventures in London and New York. The dining room is narrow but deep, separated into two sections by an open kitchen with a few tables opposite the kitchen connecting the two areas.

The wine list fits into one closely typed page, with selections such as West Brook Sauvignon Blanc 2008 at £37 for a wine that costs £8 retail, Berberana Tempanillo 2007 was £25.75 for a wine that fetches around £8 retail, and the pleasant Valdemar Gran Reserva 2001 was £59.75 for a wine you can buy in the shops for about £17, so in general mark-ups are quite steep (remember that you have to add service to these restaurant prices). The Louis Roederer Cristal 2000 at £285 is technically the bargain of the list, since it costs perhaps £260 retail these days thanks to massive price inflation in recent years due to its featuring in assorted rap videos and consequently gained in popularity.

The simplest food here seems to be the best. It was interesting to contrast a tart of spinach, goat cheese and mushroom (£7), which was adequate but was fairly crude e.g. huge chunks of onion, rather than delicate slices (11/20), with a haddock fish cake. The latter (£5) had a crisp outer coating, well seasoned filling, and nicely cooked fish; haddock works well here, having enough flavour to come through the deep frying (easily 13/20).

A whole sea bass (£15.50) was served just as that, with no garnish other than a little lemon, but was well timed and had quite good flavour (13/20). Fish and chips (£12.50) had somewhat pale batter and a far from generous portion of fish, but at least had good chips, pleasant tartare sauce and reasonable mushy peas with a hint of mint (12/20). Just as with other locations in this group, the food is generally simple, appealing, and competently executed, though the bill always seems rather high for what you are getting.

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