43 Elystan Street
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Wed Oct 17 2012
The look of Tom Aikens’ eponymous restaurant has undergone a sea change, with Istanbul-based designer Hakan Ezer creating a deceptively simple aura wrought from canvas, wood and iron that is somehow evocative of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Food-related quotes are inscribed on the walls, adding to the sense of a timeless journey. Serving dishes have the solidity of shoreline stones, or jetsam washed up from another era.
The delicacy of the first ‘nibble’ – an almost crystalline salt-cod dip served in a glass bubble bowl, alongside translucent wafers of white and purple potato – comes almost as a shock, while its saline clarity seems entirely apt.
And so a quasi-poetic voyage of discovery goes on, from a bell-jar-contained duck egg sitting in a nest of smoking hay, seasoned with a deep-green swirl of sorrel sabayon, via a rock-pool of pearly cod in scallop-roe hued carrot dressing, to a ‘washed up’ symphony of chocolate foams, sand-like powders and smoky shells.
Those in search of earthier, meatier flavours will find the likes – even at set lunch level – of tender-crisp confit pigeon legs, and utterly porcine pork belly; or the startling notes of porcini-flavoured butter and ‘dehydrated’ carrots that taste candied and earthy at once. Breads are inviting and plentiful, petits fours a superb array, wines well-chosen (with a good few available by the glass).
We visited in the summer following the re-design; menus are set to change seasonally. Based on our last experience, we imagine that each will prove a revelation.
Tom Aikens 43 Elystan Street
020 7584 2003
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6.45-10.30pm Mon-Sat
Tube: South Kensington tube
Main courses £22-£32. Set meal (noon-1.45pm, 6.45-9.45pm) £60-£80 tasting menu
- 43 Elystan Street
- 020 7584 2003
- 43 Elystan Street
- Tom Aikens
Food and drink
Restaurant and bar facilities. Reservations required. Accessible facilities. General facilities. Private rooms
Business. Drinks. Wine buffs. Going in a group. Eating out. Celebrated chefs. Creative cooking. Fine dining. Romantic
- Type of event: