Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Aquavit

Silver Award

Nordic noir, hygge, Noma – the world has become obsessed with all things Scandi in recent years, although New York’s two-Michelin-starred Aquavit has been banging the drum since 1987. As expected, its handsome new London outpost showcases all those enviable Nordic design tropes, from superb lighting to close-set, unclothed tables set with Georg Jensen cutlery and staff in Filippa K uniforms. The food is defined by clean flavours, simple presentation and healthy ingredients. A smörgåsbord of small plates might include Shrimp Skagen (small shrimps marinated in dill, mayonnaise and lemon), velvety black pudding sharpened with mouth-puckering lingonberries, pots of pickles, and an excellent version of celeriac rémoulade. To follow, a rich veal cheek set off by dill and salt-baked onions also hits the mark, likewise an ‘Arctic bird’s nest’ pudding involving an ‘egg’ of goats’ cheese parfait nestling in a tangle of tuile strands. This is on-trend cooking served in a beautiful room that epitomises cutting-edge Scandinavian design rather than the homely comfort of hygge.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Fine dining, Glamorous, Lively, Luxury
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating

About Aquavit

The London outpost of New York’s two Michelin-starred Nordic restaurant Aquavit is found in St James’s Market, stablemates with other acclaimed London haunts such as high-end West African operation Ikoyi and fusion concept Scully.

Aquavit’s dining room is a stylish and striking affair split across two floors, but the space still manages to feel warm and relaxed. Attractive lighting and glossy marble floors add a sense of glamour and there is a standalone bar too, where you can pull up a stool to enjoy some pre-dinner sips of Aquavit with tonic or a selection of house made cocktails.

The menu at Aquavit is an extensive a la carte offering, although set lunch pre-theatre options are also available. On your visit, you can kick things off with your choice of smorgasbord, with combinations of toppings to choose from including duck liver parfait with cassis compote and toasted kavring or pan fried diver scallops with burnt leeks, fish veloute and dill. For your main course, tuck into the meaty likes of Swedish meatballs with lingonberry, pickled cucumber and mashed potato or braised ox cheek with swede puree pine oil and tenderstem broccoli. There are fish options too, such as Norwegian halibut with palourde clams, samphire and a saffron butter sauce, while vegetarian diners can delight in dishes such as pearl barley and wild mushroom risotto.

You can pad out your meal with side orders of braised red cabbage or truffled mash potato, while Aquavit’s list of puddings features sweets treats such as blueberry poached pineapple with fresh berries and mint, and Kladdkaka (a sticky chocolate cake) finished off with white chocolate ganache and lingonberries.

Drinks wise, Aquavit offers a wide selection of cocktails and global wines by the glass or bottle, as well as a few Champagnes, plus international gins and whiskeys.


Can you book Aquavit?

Yes, booking in advance is recommended but walk-ins are welcome when there is space.

Helpful? 0

Are there vegetarian options on the menu at Aquavit?

Yes, there are vegetarian options on the menu at Aquavit.

Helpful? 0

Does Aquavit serve a pre-theatre menu?

Yes, a pre-theatre menu is available Tuesday to Saturday between 5.30-6.30pm.

Helpful? 0

This venue also offers

Private Group Dining



1 Carlton Street, Piccadilly Circus, London, SW1Y 4QQ

020 7249 9848


Opening Times

All day
Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-22:00
Wed 12:00-22:00
Thu 12:00-22:00
Fri 12:00-22:00
Sat 12:00-22:00
Sun Closed


Share your thoughts with other diners

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7 Reviews 


22 June 2021   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Working lunch

The quality of the food was excellent and some wonderful flavours and fillet steak that literally melted in your mouth. Never come across steak like it in my life. As we are still coming out of lockdown the lunchtime buzz probbaly wasn't as it normally was but still a very enjoyable experience

Michael W

28 June 2019  
The perfect place for a business lunch, crisp fresh Nordic fare and fantastic service.

Mikkel G

21 March 2018  
Excellent all round.

Richard F

18 December 2017  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Trio for lunch
Although we were delayed and the restaurant busy we were greeted by the front of staff who could not find my booking. All was revealed when I had inadvertently booked for the following day - huge embarrassment for me! Nevertheless within five minutes and a few phone calls they were able to locate a table so a big thank you to the staff and to the people who decided not to take up their reservation. We chose the set lunch which was very good, all enjoyed with a Bergqvist favourite from Quinta de la Rosa, all in all, good value for money. The staff, once again, attentive and charming despite being a full house. Thank you!

Matthew A

09 May 2017  
Amazing food which delivers every time. Customer service on point. Great scandinavian art deco hang out.

Alexandra D

04 May 2017  
The cuisine is lovely, the fresh Nordic theme is great for a not so heavy lunch or dinner. The service was very prompt and attentive, with the waiters always checking if you have enough drinks etc. The decor is sleek and modern and the outdoor seating is great.

Lynn W

08 April 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 5
Excellent lunch
A sunny spring day and lunch with a girlfriend, lovely light room and a great value, though brief, set lunch menu. I had the cured salmon with dill, radish and buttermilk, beautifully presented and with the crisp seeded knäckebröd and dense rye bread I was back in Copenhagen. This was followed by perfectly cooked cod with carrots, leeks and cardamom, all very delicious. And we tried the warm rosehip soup with vanilla ice cream and almonds for dessert, not something I've had before but it was simple, light and fresh. Overall quite delightful and I am looking forward to going back there already.
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