Double-take: Robert Aikens back in London after 30 years stateside

A new floating Franco-American brasserie will open in Canary Wharf this summer, under chef Robert Aikens (pictured), the identical twin brother to Tom Aikens of Muse in Chelsea.

Marceline, which is scheduled to open in August, will occupy the upper level of a floating pavilion in the Wood Wharf development, with Greek restaurant Hovarda below. The neighbouring pavilion hosts steakhouse Hawksmoor.

Robert trained under the Roux brothers at Le Gavroche, but left London 30 years ago for the United States, where he has enjoyed a varied career from Manhattan and upstate New York to Philadelphia and Washington DC.

After studying Mexican cuisine in Mexico City and Oaxaca he opened a taqueria in Washington called Las Gemelas (Spanish for ‘the twins’) which was visited by President Biden in 2021. His most recent post was at Pastis, a popular bistro in Manhattan’s Meat Packing district which he revived.

Robert’s menu at Marceline will range from such French classics as steak tartare, tuna Niçoise, escargots de Bourgogne and French onion soup to more innovative plates including eclair with duck liver mousse, skate Kiev with pomme puree and ravioles du dauphine.

The restaurant will also have a terrace and a bar called Salon Marceline, where the Manhattan influence is evident in what is billed as a ‘two sip- martini’ costing £6. 

Elsewhere in Wood Wharf, Roberto Costa’s Fish Game has closed down after less than a year. A spinoff from his successful Italian steakhouse group Macellaio, Fish Game specialised in seasonal British game and fish.

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