Time Out says
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Please note, Aster Restaurant is now a modern European brasserie. Time Out Food editors, OCTOBER 2019.
Aster is a stylish Nordic/French joint in Victoria from the D&D group (Bluebird Café, Launceston Place, Orrery and so on). It’s set across a bright ’n’ airy corner site on the outer reaches of the steely Nova development, with a cute little bakery out front, a cavernous café/ bar and a well-designed upstairs restaurant, replete with snazzy light fittings on pulleys, a neat dusky colour scheme and views onto Victoria Street.
The food was delicate and technically competent, but failed to dazzle – a textbook case of a menu reading better than it eats. Given the location, pricepoint and D&D’s reputation, too many dishes lacked the expected ‘wow’ factor. Take the starter of squid with smoked reindeer, ink and herbs – an earthy, delicate and savoury dish screaming out for a sharp element to lift it from ‘good’ to ‘GOOD GOD!’. A main of zander – a white freshwater fish and cousin of the duckling-terrorising pike – had a similar problem. For a muddy river dweller, it was undoubtedly refined and clean-tasting but lacked a truly killer flavour. On the other hand, gnocchi – crisp on the outside, béchamel light within – with vinegary walnut cream and smoked cheddar was truly marvellous. A pudding parfait of sea buckthorn and skyr (an Icelandic cheese) was excellently sour with orange berries.
Aster’s missteps could be easily remedied, but as it is, it’s another attractive almost-hit for Nova (and Victoria in general). In this formerly food-barren bit of town, that’s still something.
150 Victoria St
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £110.|
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