When Mac Met Cheese, Porchester Road, W2

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Mac and cheese; the essence of comfort food and it doesn’t come better than at When Mac Met Cheese. This little venture started off as a stall/pop up at various markets all over London before moving to Translate bar for an exclusive weekend in December. Then last month it finally found a (temporary) home on Porchester Road in Bayswater. Herbie was the first to say we had to go!

Having sampled many a mac ‘n’ cheese all over the city, we knew that WMMC would offer something great. There is a cult following when it comes to mac ‘n’ cheese and it’s easy to see why. The menu consists of three choices, Mum’s classic, Carlos the Cactus and Cheesy Green Afro. Alongside these we have two types of ‘macancinis’ and deep fried oreos. A simple menu means good things to us as it shows they’ve honed their skills and created some special dishes; we weren’t wrong.

The Mum’s Classic has mature cheddar, red Leicester & parmesan cheeses with nutmeg. Carlos the Cactus swaps red Leicester for mozzarella but adds jalapeños, rocket & cherry tomatoes. Cheesy Green Afro has vintage Stilton, mozzarella & broccoli. Once you’ve picked one of these stalwarts, you can add bacon lardons or pork & veal meatballs and being the carnivores that we are, we added both to Mum’s Classic! To be fair this was Herb’s day out so we may as well make the most of the meat options on offer! The ‘macancinis’ are a nice twist on arancini balls but have mac ‘n’ cheese in the middle (obviously!). The options here were truffle & wild mushroom and jalapeños & cheddar. The former was better than the latter in our eyes, mainly for the truffle but we sampled some on the house so we cannot complain too much. The venue is lovely and been decorated in all the right ways: bright walls, great artwork and intimate lighting. There is a small area near the entrance where we had cocktails, wine and beer while we waited for our table. Arriving at 7pm (doors opened at 6:30pm) and the place was already full! We had to wait for quite a while but that was not a problem as we had drinks and complimentary macancinis and deep fried oreos!

Once we were seated and everyone had ordered, a round of the truffle macancinis arrived and they were good. So good it would have been easy to eat quite a few. However we were sensible as the mac ‘n’ cheese wasn’t far away. There are times where fine dining is great, where a burger is craved but there are also times when you just want hot melted cheese. This was one of those definitely one of those times. WMMC have clearly put some serious effort into their ingredients as you won’t have had mac ‘n’ cheese this good for a long time. All three options were something to write home about and the meatballs plus extra bacon was just what this dish needed to promote it to the non-veg masses. Once these were polished off (quicker than we’d hoped for), some deep fried oreos arrived and these, we have to say are excellent. Clearly not for the non-sweet-toothed but who doesn’t love something deep fried? An oreo coated in batter and sprinkled with icing sugar = winning.

The drinks menu is short and sweet. A small amount of cocktails, red and white wine, some bespoke bottles of beer and the usual soft drinks. It’s clear you need to arrive early if you’re in a big group but if there are only a few of you then you’ll be seated relatively quickly. An option here is to drink and eat at the bar which quite a few people took up. The staff are friendly and if you get a chance, shake hands with the owner just to show he makes the best mac ‘n’ cheese we’ve had.

When Mac Met Cheese
43-45 Porchester Road, Bayswater, W2 5DP

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