Electric Donuts / Electric Diner - A triumph for the sweet toothed

The remains

This week saw the relaunch of the Soho House group's iconic 'Electric' venue in West London. Situated on Portobello road, this cinema and restaurant was one of the first venues opened by Nick Jones as part of the Soho House members club. For those unfamiliar with the area, Portobello Road is one of London's 'guide book' destinations. It is scattered with sticky eateries and chains aimed at slow walking tourists who seem bent on avoiding eating anything remotely British. Consequently, local dining options have narrowed to focus on grabbing the tourist dollar, a slightly odd phenomenon given that the area is home to some of London's wealthiest residents.



Needless to say, the original Electric was a hit with the locals. Unfortunately, the good times came to an end earlier this year when a fire caused extensive smoke damage throughout this historic venue. In the interceding months the global members club, hotel and restaurant group has established a bit of a reputation for itself, opening the on-trend and slightly eccentric concepts Dirty Burger, Chicken Shop and Pizza East all co-located in Kentish Town.

It was thus perhaps of little surprise that the group recently announced not one, but three new concepts to take the place of the old Electric Brasserie - Electric Cinema, Electric Diner and Electric Donuts (note the Americanism). Brendan Sodikoff, a young American chef from Chicago has been parachuted in to take the helm and the concepts are a close relation to his own operations 'Au Cheval' and the 'Donut Vault' in the windy city.

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Whilst the column inches this week suggest that the Diner is once again a hit with both locals and the food-focused, it is the eccentric Electric Donuts which captured my imagination.

Featuring donuts freshly made every morning and flavours that rotate every week, these doughy jewels are priced at just £1.50 - that's less than the cost of a cupcake or waffle from concepts further up the road. A few of the flavours put forward include: Maple Bourbon, Birthday Cake, Bergamot & Orange, Ginger Chew, Mexican Chocolate and Berry Trifle. Shamefully, I must admit to visiting at least four times in the first week, sampling options as varied as Pistachio and Cinnamon Stack through to Blueberry and Birthday Cake. All served with a side of guilt and washed down with a £2 'bottomless' filter coffee.

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Coconut pie
If doughnuts seem like the 'the new cupcake', then the range of 'pies' at Electric Diner just next door might take your fancy - priced at £6 per slice, classic American staples such as Coconut and Chocolate Cream (stuffed with Oreos) are generously served up with a dollop of ice cream and a splash of sauce. If not that, then there's always a gigantic mille-feuille.

The cocktail menu has also been given a revamp and now features classics such as the Old Fashioned (now a standard in any tenuously American restaurant or bar) and the real 'classic' Horses Neck, made with bourbon and a slug of ginger. Dessert and drinks in Notting Hill?

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Mille-feuille
Old Fashioned
Horses Neck

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