Decadent dining at the Mandarin Oriental

The Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge is replacing pimped-up New York-style burgers with a hyper-trendy oriental import with today’s opening of The Aubrey in the space formerly occupied by Bar Boulud.

Named after the decadent fin de siècle artist Aubrey Beardsley, the Aubrey pitches itself as an “eccentric Japanese izakaya experience”, offering upmarket food and cocktails to a soundtrack of Japanese trap music – an oriental take on rap with generally politer lyrics.

The original Aubrey opened in February last year in the Mandarin Oriental’s Hong Kong flagship, in association with Maximal Concepts, a restaurant group with 10 other brands across Asia and North America including Mott 32, serving “refined Cantonese” cuisine.

The Knightsbridge Aubrey is Maximal Concept’s first venture in Europe, and if it anything like its Hong Kong namesake it will serve high-grade sushi and sashimi as well as cooked dishes from the robata grill and tempura.

Bar Boulud closed down last summer after a ten-year residency at the Mandarin Oriental. An offshoot of New York-based French chef Daniel Boulud’s group, it was known for its luxury burger with short rib and foie gras. The Mandarin Oriental’s other name restaurant, Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner by Heston, opened a year after Bar Boulud and remains in place.

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