Restaurant review: Cha Cha x Sister Jane, London

Cha Cha x Sister Jane restaurant
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The recently opened, well-appointed, detached Sister Jane Townhouse in Notting Hill, London is a new concept store by Sister Jane in collaboration with restaurant Cha Cha.

On the ground floor is the Cha Cha x Sister Jane restaurant (more on this below), and the upper floors are Sister Jane’s retail store for vintage-inspired designs, and roof-top garden. The idea is that daytime visitors can pop in for some brunch from Cha Cha’s menu, then head upstairs to shop at Sister Jane.

Cha Cha x Sister Jane concept

Sister Jane and Cha Cha have joined forces to create the ground floor restaurant with a common aesthetics of distinctive retro warmth created through a palette of burnt oranges, creams and walnut timber. Most of the bespoke furniture fits this 1970s retro feel, including  two chairs that definitely used to be in my grandma’s living room. Additions like the orange mirrored tables and spherical lamps give the space an authentic 70s feel.

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Visiting in 2020, during COVID-19 restrictions means that there is plenty of distance between tables, and face masks need to be worn when moving away from your table – the friendly staff will remind you. But other than that, neither food, service nor atmosphere for our Wednesday evening dinner was impeded by pandemic restrictions.

Menu

The Cha Cha menu is described by Head Chef, Anthony Garlando, as European with a twist of Latin. All dishes are sharing plates with 5-6 being more than plenty for 2 people (though we advice reducing that number slightly to hold space for dessert). We tried a selection of:

  • Creamy Burrata with heirloom tomato on sourdough bread (£10)
  • Robata grilled octopus skewers with piquillo peppers and fried potato (£16), which we ordered twice as the octopus scented with lemon zest was cooked to perfection.
  • The Beef fillet tartare, served with pickled shallots and cha cha sauce plus optional Baeri royal caviar (£12 + £7), which was presented as a canvas decorated with edible leaves and flowers.
  • The Salt cod croquettes with jalapeño mayo (£7) and Robata duck skewers with barbacoa sauce and spring onion (£15) were both good, but neither wowed like the octopus of beef.

Cocktails

We tried a couple of other signature cocktails, including the Portobello-gin-based Flamingo (£11). All were delicious and well-presented. However, it is the Cha Cha Margarita (made with Cabrito tequila, cointreau, ginger syrup and fresh lime juice) (£11) that is the standout drink of choice. The real reason you want to try one of these, and why we have decided that these are the best Margaritas in North London, is not just because of twist of ginger syrup, but the Tajin-dusted rim. Tajin is a season made with chili pepper, sea salt and lime juice i.e. the perfect accompaniment to rim your Margarita glass. Be warned, once you’ve had one, you will want another. And we did.

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Overall thoughts

Cha Cha x Sister Jane is the perfect place to arrange for a catch-up or break when shopping (whether upstairs at Sister Jane’s or elsewhere in Notting Hill). The retro décor combined with friendly service made for a relaxed and homely experience. If nothing else, order a Tajin-rimmed Cha Cha Margarita – the best Margaritas in North London.

Before you leave, there’s a hidden garden room to be found: downstairs via a secret entrance in the antique armoire, open the doors to explore an intimate garden experience where seating is courtesy of Italian carousel horses, of course.

Address: 36 Golborne Road, London, W10 5PR

For more information and to book a table, visit: sisterjane.com.