My experience at Ripe Tomato reminded me of the childhood lesson that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The little Notting Hill Italian establishment is a definite must-do, and I regret how long it’s taken me to realize that.
My husband lived on All Saints Road during our long distance relationship. Since we only saw each other every few weeks, we made the most of the four days we would have together hopping from the bedroom to a restaurant, on repeat. During those many dates, we always skipped Ripe Tomato. My husband thought it looked like a chain pizza place, and just not very interesting. The typeface for the restaurant’s storefront reminded me of the 90s hit, Comic Sans, which we always used when we typed notes to our friends in computer class. It’s outdated and not very chic, which led us to believe the same thing about Ripe Tomato.
So, fast forward to a few years later when one of my girlfriends suggested it for our monthly catchup dinner. I originally hesitated, but decided it was time to give Ripe Tomato a chance. And I’m glad I finally did.
The inside is actually a lot more interesting than it appears from the outside. It’s older and more eclectic than you could tell from the street, and reminded me of a friendly restaurant you would actually find in Italy. The owner seemed nice and very involved in his restaurant’s ongoings, and the staff was attentive.
So, within the first five minutes, I was already impressed with the restaurant’s staff, look, and location. Then I began looking at the menu and specials board. The prices seemed very reasonable and I became torn between five entrees. I was extremely hungover and dying for food, so that could have been part of it, but it really seemed like I had found the restaurant with the most appealing menu in town. I settled on the the Insalata Tricolore, which was basically a Caprese salad with avocado, and the Gorgonzola Gnocchi as my main. Both were delicious and hangover cures. You can’t really beat multiple types of cheese and cream when you’re suffering from last night’s good time. I also sampled my friends pasta and another’s pizza. The crust was amazing and a perfect vehicle for my gorgonzola cream sauce.
At the end of the night, we all split up our bill, which also included a few glasses of the house white, and the amount was shocking. I owed just £30 for two courses and a buzz. What a steal.
I wouldn’t choose Ripe Tomato for your big Saturday night date and can think of other places to entertain out-of-towners, but for a weeknight or a lazy Sunday meal, it won’t disappoint. I can’t wait to grab a cozy table with my husband, split a bottle of wine, have some comfort food and show him what he’s been missing all these years.
So, don’t be like us and miss out on years of decent food. Head to the local favorite, Ripe Tomato, for nice food at attractive prices.
7 All Saints Road
London W11 1HA