Chi-chi, smart and exclusive. More than the froth!
Where is it?
Located on Elystan Street, on the borders of South Kensington and Chelsea, it's not far from South Ken tube station or drivers can park on nearby Pelham Street.
What's it like?
With an interior by Anoushka Hempel, the stark and minimalist design can be a little sterile. Expect black and white, hard chairs, dark floors and simple flower arrangements. The restaurant attracts an in-the-know crowd of foodies, businessmen and celebrities. Despite his relative youth, Tom comes with considerable pedigree, having earned two Michelin stars by the time he was 26 and served stints at La Tante Claire and Joel Rubuchon Paris. As such, his staff can be somewhat pompous and ceremonial, and the dress code is positively antique - suits and dress shoes only, please! The food has a bit more flair though - your amuse bouche arrive in test tubes or milk bottles, the crockery is mismatched and differently sized. It gives you a talking point, though conversation will soon turn to the cuisine itself - choose from a la carte, tasting or classic menus (priced £65-100 a head). Tom Aikens' dinners come with certain landmark touches, such as his infamous 'froth' and foam, and technical ability coming to the fore. The food is perfection, although sometimes it can feel like a bit of an exam as it is all rather complicated.
Why does Johnny Ikon love it?
I overlook the showy nature of the food in favour of its "wow" factor. Tom Aikens deserves his place at the top of every foodies' must-do list.
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