The London outpost of superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s US chain, Spice Market remains an annoyingly underperforming melting pot of ‘swanky but impersonal’ platitudes and unfulfilled expectations. The handsome, moodily lit first-floor dining room ‘feels like Dubai’ with its caged lights, black lacquered tables and a huge wall of spices, while a smart ground-floor bar dispenses fusion cocktails including a cracking ginger margarita. Meanwhile, the menu of stylised pan-Asian sharing dishes runs from spicy chicken samosas with coriander yoghurt to tempura soft-shell crab with zesty Thai basil and lime sauce – although the results can range from ‘fantastic’ to ‘forgettable’. For us, offbeat desserts such as Ovaltine kulfi with caramelised banana and spiced chocolate sauce provided the highlight. Generous bento boxes also make Spice Market a good option for pre-theatre dining or lunch on the run.
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