Located at Sister Jane Townhouse, a stone’s throw from Portobello Road and on the edgier side of W10, this newly opened collaboration between the whimsical London fashion brand and Cha Cha – purveyors of Latino scrumminess – is very welcome indeed.
The vibe is cosy but elegant and the first thing that struck me was how gloriously turned out the staff were – all wearing Sister Jane. This dining space, all dimly lit corners and beautiful people is perfect for a date or a juicy catch up with a pal.
We started with one of Cha Cha’s legendary margaritas – I’d heard all about them. It didn’t disappoint – tangy and with a ferocious punch.
If I’d had another, game over, so on to a gorgeous bottle of Vin de Pays du Var from Provence. Cha Cha’s style is tapas, my absolute favourite, so you get to try a bit of everything. Because I’m greedy, I can never decide, but the staff were very knowledgeable and knew the menu inside out. And in keeping with COVID rules, all ordering was done via an app.
This was sharing plates as I’d never seen before — no prawns pil pil or croquettes in sight. Think more experimental flavours with a delicate balance. We began with chargrilled hispi cabbage with goat’s curd, raisins and walnuts. Before you sneer at cabbage as a main, this was delicious. Light and crunchy with the added creaminess of the soft cheese.
Beetroot carpaccio with melon and Campari and tenderstem broccoli with almonds were also excellent. If you’re veggie, fear not, this menu won’t let you down.
Another dish that really stood out was the slow-cooked beef ribs with tahoon chimichurri and celeriac crumb. The sauce was so rich it was almost chocolatey and was pure melt in the mouth.
A plate of deep-fried Padron peppers stuffed with prawns and some tasty tuna tiraditos finished us off nicely. Then, a little pause before pudding.
There’s no rush at Cha Cha. None at all. With the wine flowing and the lights a-twinkling, we could have stayed there all night. The showroom is on the second floor and was closed when we visited on a Friday evening, but according to the waitress, brunching and shopping at Sister Jane is very popular on the weekends. There is also a delightfully hidden secret play room to tantalise you…
And we can see why. The all-day menu includes cachapa corn pancakes with pulled short rib and truffle ricotta, smokin’ brothers salmon, homemade granola, and of course the signature cocktails.
We finished our evening with two half baked chocolate chip cookies with dulce de leche and gin ice cream, and of course, a customary parting shot of deep, smoky mescal.
A deeply satisfactory supper. Tapas can sometimes leave one feeling a bit underwhelmed and hoping you didn’t miss a “house special”. Not at Cha Cha. When we told our waitress what mood we were in and how hungry we were, our menu was recommended accordingly.
If you’re not familiar with this part of London, make haste to Cha Cha. Notting Hill is bohemian but moneyed, and Ladbroke Grove, a bit of rough. This place is plonked exactly in the middle.
Soon as you can, put this fabulous place in your dairy for some exceptional tapas, sublime mescal and if you fancy, a new frock while you’re at it.
To discover more, visit: sisterjane.com
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