Thanks to its superb location, being in such close proximity to top-billing show venues, Aster is a go to pre- or post- theatre dining option in Victoria for mid-priced dishes. The second level of the space is where the main restaurant is housed. The rust-coloured plush furnishings, bleached marbled walls, and dimly-lit hanging bulbs create a retro lounge vibe, with an industrial twist.
The bar area is elegant and beautiful, and the selection of cocktails is genuinely exciting – promising a themed journey through London and beyond. The Ziggy Stardust (Brixton) cocktail was a wintry beverage of pear vodka and cinnamon, a lip-smacking combination. The non-alcoholic Oslo Tour featured well-measured tartness and sweetness courtesy of elderflower and fresh berries infused in Seedlip grove 42.
The starter of yellow fin tuna was moreish, the creamy, marinated cold fish married nicely with the avocado and crunchy onions. Confit duck and duck liver terrine, served with a fresh brioche and lively pear chutney was simply plated, but faultless. Colchester rock oysters were fresh, and presented nicely, although nothing out of the ordinary.
28-day dry aged beef fillet was definitely the highlight of the meal, cooked to perfection and served with green beans, béarnaise, and the ever agreeable triple-cooked chips. The grilled octopus felt more like a starter than a main, but was tasty, if a bit over salted, served with a rather dry salad of chickpeas, olives, and confit tomatoes.
The service was impeccable, the waiter was attentive and the sommelier was equally so, making the rounds offering wines to pair with the dishes – Kekfrancos, a refreshing Hungarian import, went well with the fish. Before dessert we were treated to a Greek Muscat, which was a nice way to introduce sugar to the palate.
We would definitely come back for the desserts which were creatively plated up. The Valrhona chocolate fondant was delightfully oozy and balanced, via a tangy passion fruit pate, while the salted caramel ganache stole the show with butterfly flowers, lime beetroot jelly, and a refreshing lemon sorbet - a riot of playful textures and artful splashes of colour.