Ava and I felt so trendy recently night in London – we were invited to the Opening Night of a hip pop-up restaurant called One Star House Party, located inside Unit 1 Gallery in Notting Hill. We didn’t quite know what to expect when we got out of the taxi in a random warehouse neighborhood (clearly not Julia Roberts’ Notting Hill), and it turned out to be a truly outstanding evening.

The owners of One Star House Party are a talented group of young chefs and restauranteurs with quite a shared pedigree, all with the common goal to pop up 20 restaurants in 20 countries in 20 months. They literally traveled the world, learning about local cultures and cuisine along the way in order to build a menu as unique as their global experiences. The outcome is a spectacular mix of dishes, each true the roots of their origin country.

Setting up a working kitchen inside an art gallery can’t be easy, but these pros made it seem so

8 Courses

We sampled eight courses from countries they visited, including:

  • Oman – a warm aubergine bread of some kind with a dipping sauce that was out of this world.
  • Vietnam – barbequed pork belly in a sweet and salty marinade and lettuce cups that had us eating the remnants off the serving platter.*
  • China – charred and sliced raw scallops in a delicious broth with maybe white beans and some mystery spices.
  • Mumbai – a vegetable curry with a dollop of cheesy paneer for the perfect blend of textures.
  • Cape Town – A delicious beef filet with Biltong spices, complemented with chestnut butter and beetroot drizzle.
  • Thailand – another dessert that I can hardly remember because wine (always blame the wine).
  • Nepal – From the sherpas of Mt. Everest came this unbelievable concoction of baked pumpkin/porridge/custard inside a hollowed and still-warm mini pumpkin. So good that Ava also ate the guy’s next to her before he could notice.

That’s seven. For the life of me I cannot remember the eighth! I’m positive it was as delicious as all the rest.

Both beautiful and delicious, this beef with South African spices is drizzled in smoked beetroot

Gallery Space

On top of all that, the art gallery space in which we dined set the perfect tone for our meal. Unit 1 Gallery is a rotating space for interesting exhibitions, this one featuring the work of Hermione Allsop. Her pieces are a combination of everyday objects, reformed into interesting sculptural shapes. Unit 1 is owned by American expat Stacie McCormick, an artist of great significance in her own right. This is a must visit when you are visiting London.

We can’t wait to see where this talented group pops up next! Maybe in a city near you…..

The plain white tables and walls were the perfect partner for Hermione Allsopp’s colorful sculptures

*We loved the story behind the Vietnamese dish. Evidently they were riding bikes along the road and came upon two Vietnamese women cooking on the side of the road. Upon sampling their dishes, the chefs convinced these women to allow them to come to their home at 4 a.m. the next morning, helping to  prepare the meals for the next day in order to learn how to make them.

The Unit 1 Gallery loft contains work in progress by artists in residence