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A.O.K Kitchen

Restaurants, Mediterranean Marylebone
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

A restaurant and bakery, offering gluten- and dairy-free options, in Marylebone.

Worried about the world being engulfed by a series of environmental and political crises? Well, try not to worry, because the promise here is that it’s all going to be okay. Or, as they say: A.O.K. Self-billed as ‘chic and inclusive’, the menu has plenty of meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free options, while the restaurant bubbles with the chatter of ladies who lunch. The bottom line? Dishes are pretty to look at, but not good enough to justify the stiff bill.

Let’s start with the good stuff. Grilled tiger prawns were a big hit: about as fresh as it gets and drizzled with a delightful chermoula sauce. But at £35 for three crustaceans, so they should be. A precious-looking beef tartare had bags of potential: it looked gorgeous, having been artfully decorated with fresh radish, herbs and splodges of chipotle mayo. And the texture was excellent: all licks of capers and finely sliced gherkins. But it was unusually bland, and needed a slug of tabasco, after which it had the necessary piquancy. And we did love the crisp, gluten-free olive melba toast, too.

Other dishes were a mess. Sharp grapefruit and a pool of calamansi juice (a citrus hybrid) overpowering the sea bream in the ceviche starter: it tasted like a confused fruit salad. The manouri cheese salad was just as much of a flop. It looked nice enough, and the sesame seed croutons were ace, but the rest was a disappointment: lifeless, fridge-cold courgette; no sign of the promised mint; and an unpleasantly sweet honey vinaigrette. A.O.K wins points for its friendly service and inclusive menu, but it’s far too expensive for the food, which just doesn’t live up to its Insta-worthy presentation.

By: Ella Braidwood



Address: 52-55 Dorset Street
Transport: Tube: Baker Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £170.
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