Are there places that you just want to like? You just have a good feel about a place and think it is going to become a favourite or a regular. Well, that is how I felt about Lisa’s. A Scandinavian restaurant opened on Portobello Road in a spot refurbished from a second-hand furniture shop and looking very nice. The floors and walls have been white-washed, here are tables for 2 against the walls, a small bar area.
After having to call a couple of times to book a table as my message was not returned, the lady who answered was lovely and very helpful and offered me a table outside. When we arrived, there was no table available outside as someone had called an hour before that and wanted to have a big party seated outdoors. That was not the best start since it was one of the few truly nice summer evenings in London.
The menu is small but sufficient. On the night we dined, there were 2 mains and a special, a number of tapas and a couple of sides. The wine menu consists of a dozen or so bottles which are written on a blackboard which is brought to each table upon request.
There was no cocktail menu but bartender offered to list the drinks available. We chose a Riesling (£30)from the blackboard and it was one to remember, simply delightful. I will be searching for it on other menus and retail locations.
We started with the prawns (100g) which were small but delicious. They came with two sauces, a saffron one and an aoili. Peeling the prawns took a bit of work but well worth it as they were well-seasoned throughout. The only disappointment was that before we finished, my main was finished and a cook brought it out. When he realised we were still having our starter, he placed it on the table behind me and walked away. Very strange.
I chose the lobster special for my main (£15). It was half of a lobster with horseradish cream and a warm potato salad. All were delicious but unfortunately the portion was just not enough. The lobster was only 3 bites so not enough to satiate my hunger. My husband had a traditional dish, the Swedish Meatballs, (£15) but was brought the fish pie initially. His came with potatoes. His dish was also petite.
We opted for waffles for dessert (£4) which came with cream and strawberry sauce. Very good and I would expect, a preview of breakfast options from Lisa’s.
All in all, I liked the place but the service was disorganised and the portions too small. I have heard others speak of leaving a restaurant hungry and having to go elsewhere for a top-up, but I cannot remember another time having felt that way. And having spent £90, a shame really. I might go back for breakfast or an evening drink but am unlikely to go back for dinner in the near future. Maybe once they have a bit of time to work through the kinks of starting a restaurant, it will be a good place to go.