A veteran of the London dining scene since 1996, Avenue has had a makeover in terms of both food and decor. Visitors can marvel at the wine-glass chandelier and moody modern art while sampling a menu that now takes in South American and Asian influences, from ceviche to seared salmon with bok choy (as well as burgers and steaks).
A simple but cleverly assembled avocado salad starter with pickled apple, edamame and mango dazzled visually and taste-wise. The kitchen kept up the tempo for the mains, with a Korean-spiced rack of lamb served with red cabbage mash and raw mango chutney particularly impressing, while wines were paired intelligently throughout from an interesting list.
But while the food, drink and service all impressed, the atmosphere fell flat and the 112-cover venue felt decidedly cavernous. A location at the bottom end of St James’s Street and some fairly steep prices go some way to explaining this, but Avenue needs to trumpet its strengths better for it to be as full as it deserves to be.