The latest edition to the fabulous array of restaurants found on Kensington Park Road has just opened its doors and is already a hit with locals. HAYA, a neighbourhood Mediterranean restaurant with Israeli influence, is the latest project of founder Victoria Paltina. Inspired by her visit to Tel Aviv, HAYA was ‘born of the lively, spirited culture she found there and will be open all day, with a focus on simple Mediterranean sharing plates and nutritious, seasonal ingredients’.
Pairing her experience and skills with head chef Oren King, who is from Tel Aviv and brings his knowledge of the cuisine with him, the final result is an incredible dining experience.
With interiors designed by Alessio Nardi of A-nrd, who is no stranger to designing for the gastronomy scene, the interiors are split across two floors. The ground floor is entirely dedicated to the dining room and open-plan kitchen, allowing guests to see the action in the kitchen unfold. Floor-to-ceiling timber sash windows, blush pink marble-topped tables and velvet and terrazzo-effect fabric brings life to this space to create an inviting feeling throughout.
Downstairs ‘takes on the warmth of a Tel Aviv household, with a large white marble sharing table and bold coloured walls lined with mirror and artwork, a subtle nod to the Art Deco era.’ An ideal contrast from the hustle and bustle of upstairs, this pocket offers the ultimate privacy.
Where to begin with the incredible food choices that HAYA offers. From shakshuka, fried polenta cakes topped with shaved parmesan and fried quail eggs for brunch to true Mediterranean-style seasonal sharing plates such as zaatar duck breast, freekeh risotto and seard tuna, dukka and homemade labneh in the evening. Have we mentioned the drinks? A short but considered wine list, the options vary from the country’s five wine-making regions alongside a handful of organic wines. However, our favourite has to be the tribute to Portobello’s very own gin, included as part of the house gin & tonic.
Elegant, cosy and an excellent new edition to what is arguably one of the greatest gastronomy streets in west London, HAYA is translated as ‘life’ in Hebrew, which is a word that ‘encompasses everything that I envision the restaurant to be: lively, social and familiar. Having family spread all around the world allowed me to live and grow up between cities including Moscow, New York, London and Tel Aviv, so HAYA takes inspiration from all of them and represents the best of each,’ as Victoria puts it.
184a Kensington Park Road, W11 2ES