Review of 'Da Maria'

Ok, this is not the fanciest of places and you could be forgiven if you have even just walked on by. This hole in the wall is on a busy junction and is immediately beside the cinema and seats probably about 24 people - If they are very close friends. The walls are covered with pictures of fans and, it seems, family. That is the overwhelming feeling of this place - It is family. The menu is unassuming, cheap and full of items you would find in (seemingly) a typical Naples home. It is also a bit loud particularly if the TV is playing Italian football when you come in.

Reservations? Are you kidding me?

I have always been someone intrigued to try this place so the other day we managed to have a visit. Sitting outside at the two small, wonky, tables set aside for smokers we perused the short menu waiting for a table to become available inside.

Eventually welcomed in, we started with two starters: Arancini (rice balls with meat ragu' sauce, peas and mushrooms; £2.50) and “Potato Croquette” (potato with cheese; £1.50. The Arancini was full of flavour whereas the croquette not so much so. But both we were happy with served as they were (at this price) plain on the plate…

Mains were Lasagna Al Forno for myself (£6.50) which was quite good if not a massive flavour hit. The pasta was, expectedly, a bit over-cooked but the meat sauce was wonderful though the dish appeared to be missing any white sauce…My companion's Canneloni (spinach and ricotta; £6.50 also) she found quite bland and did not look terribly inspiring.

Michelin dining this is not but reasonably tasty and a comfortable atmosphere. Service was adequate and quite friendly with, seemingly, the son helping us out. The desserts, though we did not try them, looked basic (tiramisu, and various pies) but tasty. They do not have a licence so if you want wine you will have to bring it in yourself…Their selection of coffees and Italian soft drinks was quite good though.

Pleasant and comfortable. Very cheap for the area. Home-cooked dinners. Tasty if not terribly inspiring dishes. We liked it even if just for the family atmosphere the place seems to give off…

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2012-09-05

Cuisine: Italian

Address: 87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JZ ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Notting Hill Gate

Location: London (England) - Notting Hill



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Telephone: +44 (0) 7733143191