Harden's survey result
This two-year-old, near Piccadilly Circus – in the glossy St James’s Market development – is an offshoot of one of Manhattan’s most celebrated restaurant stalwarts, and here, as in NYC, “everything is made following Nordic traditions creating really delicious dishes” with “great Scandinavian fish and meat” (“even the bread is something you won’t forget”). But while to some reporters its big windows and expensive decor are “truly glamorous”, to others the ambience is “cold” – “a bit see-and-be-seen, and somehow a bit soulless”.
“A bit of a goldfish bowl with big windows” – this “awesome-looking” St James’s yearling (sibling to one of NYC’s most famous restaurants) has yet to reach its full potential. To fans it’s “a big, bustling, brassy brasserie with really well-executed Scandi food (and cracking Aquavit)” that’s “an excellent place to impress”; to sceptics, it “somehow lacks something” – “it looks beautiful, but feels cold and clinical” and the food is “quite sophisticated, but a bit soulless, mixed in realisation, and not a patch on the one in Manhattan”.
With its “classy and spacious” Manhattan-esque decor, this spin-off from the Big Apple’s acclaimed Nordic fine dining stalwart, in the new St James’s Market development, is “ideal for people-watching”, and – with its “clean-tasting Scandi fare from exceptional ingredients” – both “a great addition” to the capital, and one that’s “perfect for a business lunch”. On the downside, the “cavernous space is slightly sterile”, and muted ratings overall mean this is “not yet a chip off the NYC block”.
Manhattan’s famous Nordic fine dining restaurant (est. 1987), with an emphasis on tasting and prix-fixe menus, is opening a London outpost in Haymarket’s new St James’s Market development in autumn 2016. Exec chef is Emma Bengtsson, whose claim to fame is being the second US female chef to win two Michelin stars.
Aquavit Restaurant Diner Reviews
"The lunchtime set menu represents exceptional value"
"While the food is good and typical, the service is disappointing"
|Wine per bottle||£29.00|
St James’s Market, 1 Carlton St, London, SW1Y 4QQ
Mon - Fri 7.30am - 11am, 12 - 2.30pm, 3pm - 10.30pm, Sat 11am - 10.30pm, Sun 11am - 10pm