Avenue Restaurant – walking distance from Green Park, a stone’s throw from Pall Mall and located in the very heart of all that is quintessentially London as a place could ever be. It’s famed for business lunches amongst city types. In the past it was considered to be a little taste of Manhattan in our cold, misty city.
Recently however, Head Chef Andras Katona has overturned the menu to bring his Asian influenced dishes to our attention. I was curious to learn if the restaurant famed for business lunches could stand up to entertaining five very fussy dinner guests with vastly different preferences? So I invited friends along to find out.
Ambience and Menu
My guests were impressed with the location in that although a little tucked away it was easy to find. The ambience was relaxed and staff attentive – a deal breaker for my invitees. We started with champagne and stuck to it. With five vastly different food opinions and preferences the menu still offered a considered choice of starters, Robata grill, mains and desserts without any of it seeming out of place or generic.
White Crab and Black Ink Tortellini with Lobster and Lemongrass Essence
I am a black tortellini devotee particularly when it is stuffed with soft white crab. I’ve also been fortunate to taste exceptionally good versions of it many a times across Europe. So imagine my delight to find this on the menu at Avenue. With much anticipation and lowered gaze I tucked in. It was everything I had hoped it would be; Perfectly cooked with flavours of crab and lobster tied together with the unmistakable presence of lemongrass. This dish was simply divine. I only wish that I hadn’t offered to share it with my companions.
Gochujang Marinated and Grilled Rack of Lamb with Red Cabbage Mash and Raw Mango Chutney
My mains of Korean inspired grilled rack of lamb was surprisingly impressive. I am not a fan of over-seasoned grilled meat but this was exquisite. The flavour was delicate and the meat seared faultlessly. The raw mango chutney blended with the red cabbage mash magnificently and this fusion simply worked. The amounts of each component on the plate were shrewdly accurate which made it impossible for one flavour to over power the other. It was genius.
Lime and Ginger Cheesecake with White Chocolate and Yuzu Cream
The dessert of lime and ginger cheesecake was as splendid as I expected. It’s impossible to get ginger and lime wrong. However, it’s the use of yuzu and white chocolate in the cream that is worth mentioning. The combination delivered a magnificent citrus punch to die for.
So did my guests enjoy the evening and the food? Yes, unequivocally yes. Amongst us was a vegan and a pescatarian and we were unanimous in agreeing that the food and wine was a resounding success. We would return in a heartbeat.
Avenue is located at: 7-9 St James’s Street London SW1A 1EE. For more information and reservations visit: www.avenue-restaurant.co.uk