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September 13, 2012

Top London Restaurant: Novikov

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Italian RoomAsian RoomLounge BarWith a prime location in Mayfair and glamorous décor to match, Novikov is the stuff of elite dreams. The venue is in fact two restaurants in one, with the dark, clubby Pan-Asian Room leading to the more traditional tones of the Italian Room. This is the first restaurant outside Russia for Arkady Novikov—a restaurateur with over 50 venues in Moscow and St Petersburg—and London’s jet set has fallen head over heels with the place.

Japanese-trained Head Chef Jeff Tyler leads the team in the Pan-Asian kitchen, creating eye-catching dishes including sushi, sashimi, dim sum and barbecued and charcoaled cuts, as well as spicy lamb cutlets and Miso black cod. The Pan-Asian Room also features a lacquered ebony bar decorated with a jade stone, which makes a great spot for an aperitif while the glitterati swan through the doors.

The Italian Room serves regional Italian fare with a contemporary twist. The menu features antipasti such as tartare di salmone o tonno and carpaccio di Manzo, and a range of homemade pasta dishes. Fish choices include branzino arrosto con caponata (roasted wild sea bass fillet served with sweet and sour Sicilian vegetables), while the piccione al forno con cavolo nero (oven-roasted pigeon with sautéed cavolo nero) is a highlight of the meat dishes.

The warm, elegant mood in the Italian Room is enhanced by a wood-fired oven, suede wall paneling, Moroccan tiles, oak-framed mirrors and chandeliers with thick candles. A clever lighting system also changes the atmosphere from sunrise to sunset, according to the season.

Downstairs you’ll find the Lounge Bar, a lively nightspot in its own right, where Mayfair’s beautiful people come to neck flash cocktails and dance to DJ’s or live music. The interior is inspired by the traditional London gentlemen’s club—think rich leather arm chairs, book cases, vintage Union Jack—but injected with a cosmopolitan party vibe.

Phone: +44 (0)207 399 4330
Address: 50 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 8HA, UK

See more top London restaurants in the Elite Guide to London

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