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Onima – Mediterranean-Asian Luxurious Restaurant in Mayfair:
I can do edgy. I go to eat in Hoxton, Dalston and Hackney Wick in restaurants where serious young chefs pickle and forage to their hearts content and make you sit in uncomfortable chairs. But sometimes I crave luxury; wonderful ingredients served by charming staff in surroundings that inspire you to be more…luxuriant.Onima is a new Mediterranean-Asian restaurant, bar and private dining space in Mayfair. The elegant five-floor historic townhouse it inhabits used to be the headquarters of Cartier’s watchmaking empire, so it’s posh and rather glamorous…just like me on a good day. It’s the creation of Alexandros Andrianopoulos who cut his teeth managing some of the most exclusive restaurants in Mykonos including Nammos and Interni, followed by stints in New York at Bathtub Gin and Bagatelle in Dubai. Onima Mayfair merges Italian, Greek and Japanese influences in both the food and drink offer. Excellent cocktails were sophisticated and beautifully blended. The Aki No Aji (taste of autumn) was a sultry mix of Japanese blended whisky giving it some bite, apple and chestnut shrub, port, and the creaminess of egg white. An elegant French Martini brought together vodka, the raspberry notes of Chambord, lime and a hint of sweetness from the pineapple. Post-cocktails we nibbled on excellent focaccia and flatbread whilst checking out the menu and drinking wine. We had moved onto a white Malagousia, Ktima Gerovassiliou from Epanomi in Greece. It had a great balance of acidity and minerality with pear and mango on the nose and citrus flavours – a great match for our food. Josper grilled octopus came with a Mediterranean salsa and was tender and crisp with an intensely smokey flavour – cooked Japanese style over Binchotan charcoal made from Japanese oak. Perfectly fried courgette flowers were stuffed with a fresh tasting mix of feta, ricotta and anchovies. You could almost taste the sunshine! Squid ink linguine was served properly al dente, cooked “aglio e olio” style and topped with deliciously fresh crab. Onima’s Josper barbecued scallops with girolles mushrooms has to be one of my dishes of the year. Super luxe scallops were drenched in butter with the girolles giving a terrific umami hit. Seasonally served on a bed of straw it’s one of those dishes you never want to end. I loved the “Guazzetto” stew with Sicilian prawns, red mullet and baby courgettes. It was a proper taste of the Mediterranean in a rich tomato sauce – only the right type seafood gives those flavours. Sides of truffle pomme purée and garlic broccoli also delivered. For dessert we tried a photogenic deconstructed lemon tart -sure to become an Insta hit – and luscious chocolate cookies semifreddo with a salted caramel sauce. Despite the luxury of Onima Mayfair, the food is gutsy and authentic with great ingredients being treated with skill and respect. A new reasonably priced set lunch menu (2 courses £32, 3 courses £38) features an array of dishes all infused with Onima signature amalgam of Mediterranean and Asian flavours. Starters include warm “Saganaki” cheese with lemon purée & crispy salad or zucchini & aubergine fritters with tzatziki. With mains such as slow-cooked rabbit with green olives & capers and roasted sea bass with aubergine purée & sautéed Italian chicory, and for dessert baklava with pistachio cream & vanilla ice cream, Onima really is for everyone.
1-3 Avery Row,
London W1K 4AJ
020 7078 9747
Other recommendations in Mayfair include Camillo Benso for fine Italian dining and Hakkasan Mayfair for reliable Michelin Starred Chinese dining