Contemporary dining in the heart of Victoria.
Aster opened in the heart of Victoria in 2017 in the ultra-modern glass development named “Victoria’s vibrant new nova quarter”. Part of the D&D Restaurant group, it was initially a Scandinavian restaurant, but now serves a more modern European menu.
Set over two floors with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Victoria, this vast yet elegant restaurant, café and bar designed by Russell Sage Studio creates a contemporary reworking of the European Grand Brasserie.
The bar and cafe on the ground floor has a central marble-topped bar with a station styled clock hanging over it, along with Art deco fittings, retro-styled chandeliers, mirrors, and olive-green banquettes. Serving throughout the day and evening, everything from breakfast to pre-theatre, Saturday brunch, and Sunday roasts, plus a kids’ menu.
On the Wednesday evening of our visit, it was buzzing with a young post-work crowd. Before dinner, we sat at the grand bar and perused the inventive cocktail menu – The Aster Journey, which offers a selection of different cocktails going around the London tube map.
We opted for a Skyfall Martini (Embankment), based on a Vesper martini. It was well blended and effortlessly elegant, with Ketel One, VII Hills and Vermouth di Prato. And, The Royal (family), Green Park, of course, was perfect for gin lovers like me, slightly sweet with a quinine bite – Tanqueray 10, quinine honey, peach liquor, strawberry beer, champagne “caviar’’ and elderflower tonic.
Then for dinner. The statement staircase took us upstairs to the restaurant, an impressive space which offers even better views of the city. There’s a choice of areas including two different sized private rooms lined with wine bottles or the main area which is expansive and airy with parquet floors with a pallet warm orange tones, mottled grey walls and a dramatic sculptural floating ceiling mixed in with industrial interior air ducts. There’s a rather sexy lowly lit bar area too, with high orange bar stools and seating booths and tables on different levels with burnt orange chairs and honeycomb banquettes and that is where we sat.
The menu shies away from the small plate trend and instead offers an à la carte menu both for lunch and dinner.
We kicked off with an exceptionally tasty bread selection of rye, baguette and black bread with caraway and some juicy Nocellara Sicilian olives.
The wine was excellently paired with our meal by the sommelier course by course.
To start with, a beautifully presented yellowfin good quality tuna and avocado stack with coriander, spring onion, sesame, miso, and soya, it provided a great textural blend of crunch and softness, with a hint of spice. Matched with a Provençal Rosé, Côtes de Provence, Cuvée Elegance, Thomas Carteron, France. A salmon pink colour with light acidity, a floral nose, and bitter citrus notes.
The finely sliced Severn and Wye smoked salmon and crunchy potato rösti with a tangy horseradish cream worked well the light, Sauvignon Blanc, Dourthe no.1 Bordeaux, which was bursting with grapefruit and grassy aromas.
My deconstructed beef bourguignon was tender and flavoursome, served with a creamy potato mousseline, succulent carrots, mushroom and salty bites of bacon it really was good winter comfort food. The Chardonnay, La Crema, Monterey, USA was buttery with oaky notes and aromas of citrus, apple, and banana and bold enough for the richness of the dish.
The chunky Icelandic cod was a great piece of fish, perfectly cooked with a delicious beurre blanc and a classic crisp fennel salad with blood orange and a side of smooth potato purée. Matched with a Gavi La Fornace, Cinzia Beraglio, Piedmont, Italy, medium-bodied with zesty acidity and notes of grapefruit, melon, and stone
One forgets what a good idea a palette cleanser is, so it was a pleasure to be brought a lovely crisp fresh lemon sorbet with fruity chunks, which did just the job before indulging in sweet treats.
The warm apple strudel was beautifully spiced and served with velvety vanilla sauce, perfectly paired with a glass of sweet and viscous honeyed Sauternes, Castelnau de Suduiraut, Bordeaux.
The rich chocolate and yuzu Jivara milk mousse was quite an eyeful perched on a crisp sesame and poppy seed tuille with coconut sorbet, the sweet cherry Carl Koch, Silvaner Beerenauslese, Germany made a good match.
Aster is a chic and contemporary dining destination, relaxed yet sophisticated. Ideally situated just a stone’s throw from Victoria Station, perfect any time of day, and just the place for after-office drinks and dining or a pre-theatre dinner.
150 Victoria Street
Phone : +44 20 3875 5555
Email : email@example.com
Open for dinner Mon-Sat 5-10.45pm, weekday lunches 11.30am-2.30pm, weekend brunch 11am-3.30pm
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