Bryn Williams of Odette’s fame is the latest chef (following Tom Aikens) to oversee the network of rooms that make up the restaurant occupying the south wing of Somerset House. It’s a dramatic and moody setting, featuring comfy booths and stunning food photography, but the awkward layout of the space rather takes the edge off the atmosphere.
But what the restaurant lacks in good-time vibes, it more than makes up for in feel-good food. An on-trend menu makes vegetables the star of the show and, while the cooking might not be vegetarian, there’s no doubting where the focus lies in a dish described as grilled hispi cabbage with apple and pork chop. All the dishes we tried impressed, from a fresh-tasting dome of compressed watermelon topped with avocado and a generous helping of sweet Dorset crab, to a rich main of tagliatelle entwined with kale pesto and a liberal shaving of grated parmesan, and our friendly waitress’ dessert suggestion of lavender-scented meringue shards with tart blueberry ice cream.
To drink, there’s a European leaning wine list, cocktails involving the likes of rhubarb and beetroot, plus a draught beer bar that gives a reason to visit even if you don’t want to eat.