Don’t be put off by the silly name: this all-day Marylebone restaurant is one of the best-looking dining rooms we’ve come across in some time. Chocolate brown wallpaper covered in floral prints forms a focal wall, there are mirrored surfaces galore in which to admire it all and, most eye-catching of all, a faux tree festooned in white blossom which stretches its branches across the ceiling.
The chic interiors are matched by a refined menu, much of it gluten- and dairy-free and all of it free from refined sugar. We kicked off our dinner with a starter of burratina: a wobbly dome of creamy mozzarella finished off with a handful of diced heritage tomatoes. Elsewhere, we loved fleshy wild tiger prawns dusted with lightly spicy chermoula, while a standout side of blended sweet potato ‘mash’ (more like a purée) was a moreish delight.
For dessert, expect novel twists on classic puds, including a pumpkin sticky toffee pudding served with ginger ice cream, and an ‘almost cheesecake’ which swaps out cream cheese for a set coconut yoghurt – cheesecake often feels heavy, but this version is both refreshing and light, and is all the better for it.
Staff are sweet and friendly, while there’s a decent selection of wine and cocktails. Our only gripe with A.O.K is its pricing. True, it’s slap-bang in the middle of Marylebone village, but with several of the mains around the £30 mark, the bill won’t end up being much shy of what you’d end up paying at some of the area’s long-established big names nearby.
Breakfast and brunch (lots of egg-based dishes, gluten-free pancakes drizzled with organic maple syrup) are available if you want to try A.O.K. without committing to a three-course blow-out, while we've already earmarked the chic terrace as the place to lounge on sunnier days.