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>> Tom Aikens
43 Elysian Street,
The Darling boy of the London restaurant scene may have just opened his second venture on Cale Street but itís his original Chelsea restaurant on Elystran street thatís still causing a fuss amongst the cityís dinersí. He may have lost both his Michelin stars a few years back but heís just regained one of them and popular consensus predicts that it shanít be long before he recaptures his second once more. Still a young man, Aikensí (36) offers up dishes that possess a maturity and appreciation of flavor that one would normally associate with chefs like his old mentor Joel Robuchon. Who else in London possesses the skill to conjure up pigís head lasagne with two dainty pork chops, several slivers of fried shallots and a whole lot of squid, served both pan-fried and in deep-fried beignets? And as a signature dish nonetheless! With both his delectable a la carte offerings and decadent tasting menu Chef Aikens continues to set the bar for original French cuisine in London. Gearoid Devaney is always on hand to offer wine pairings from an accomplished list which he personally selects and supervises. The ambience in the plain yet elegant black and white dining room is laid back and un-daunting and service from the personable, polished staff makes for a resplendent experience. If there is a drawback itís that courses can meander somewhat slowly from the kitchen, meaning an average evening may take up to two hours, but when the food is this good this may not be a bad thing. Cuisine here is an assault on all the senses and as anyone whoís began an Aikens habit will tell you, itís worth savoring for as long as possible.
FORMAL FINE DINING
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