I am a big pasta lover – I think I could happily eat pasta every day for the rest of my life. So when I heard London pop up When Mac Met Cheese were taking up a long residency in Bayswater (near Paddington), I just had to check it out!
The WMMC pop up restaurant is around a 10-15 min easy stroll from Paddington or 5-10 from Royal Oak tube in an unassuming row of shops. We were warmly welcomed on arrival and shown to the bar as there was a short wait for a table. It gave me a chance to appraise the decor: cosy but simple with a rustic charm – retro style filament light bulbs, comfy leather swivel bar stools and varnished wood tables and chairs.
It also gave me an opportunity to sample something from the cocktail menu – I saw a couple of cucumber and mint martinis being made up which looked absolutely scrumptious but I was being brave and plumped for an Elderflower and Apple Martini – and I can tell you it was delicious.
We were also able to order a starter while waiting, so I took advantage and ordered Macancini. They are WMMC’s version of the Italian classic arancini, except the risotto rice is replaced by macaroni (of course!) I tried the cheddar and jalapeño version, but there was also truffle and mushroom. The deep-fried coating was light and crispy but not overdone, while the inside was creamy and soft… extremely cheesy, just how I like it! The jalapeños added a slight heat which wasn’t overpowering, and cut through the cheese subtly. I could have eaten a million but settled for two. I’m not yet at the point as a blogger where I can remember to stop eating to take photos of the inside of of my food, so you’ll have to imagine the gooey cheesey-ness.
Having moved to our table (with impeccable service – my drink carried for me!) we perused the menu and I settled for Mum’s Classic (mature cheddar, Red Leicester, parmesan cheeses & nutmeg) with added bacon lardons; my friend went for the special of the day, which was Carlos the Cactus with Ragu (mature cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, rocket, sun-blushed plum tomatoes – minus the usual jalapeños!) They arrived in cartons a little while later looking admittedly rather similar on first glance – but the taste was very different. The layer of ragu in my friend’s Carlos made it become like some kind of desconstructed lasagne, while mine was so cheesy with the addition of the stronger Red Leicester I felt like I was in cheese heaven… Yet again I was too busy eating and catching up with my friend to take pictures but our cartons were empty by the end (I might have licked it, but I was in public so refrained.)
I’d already seen before I came that the dessert option was Deep Fried Oreos. Chococlate biscuits. Deep fried in batter. Obviously for the sake of my readers I felt it was my duty to give them a try. The batter was extremely light and I was surprised to find that inside, the Oreo had gone very soft and almost creamy. If you like Oreos, chocolate cake or light doughnuts you will absolutely love them, that’s all I’m going to say.
All in all the meal hit the spot for me. The service was excellent and the food and drinks were lovely and well made. The location was a bit out of the way for me – I work centrally but live in South East London; however the trip to Paddington was worth it. I’d definitely show up again soon (once I’ve managed to work off all those calories in the gym!)
When Mac Met Cheese are now in Bayswater until 5th July 2014! Check out their Twitter page here for more info: @MacMetCheese
When Mac Met Cheese, 43-45 Porchester Rd, W2 5DP
If you want to read some of my other London restaurant reviews, see below: