You may not have heard about DSTRKT. Situated just off the tourist hub of Leicester Square amongst recognisable fried chicken, pizza and steak joints, it’s not the first place you would expect to find innovative cuisine.
A £25 million development boasting the world’s only VIP bar made from precious stone, DSTRKT has the biggest bottles of ‘Cristal’ known to man and a thumping sound system that will have one ‘getting down’. But it also hosts a restaurant away from the booty shaking beats that is frankly remarkable.
On entering the spacious dining room, your eyes are drawn to the mesmerising light fixture that resembles a cluster of jellyfish hovering within the depths of the sea. The glowing, gently pulsing lights shimmer in front of the open kitchen where chef George Yaneff (formerly at the Bazaar Restaurant by José Andrés in Beverly Hills) is at the helm.
We dined on the tasting menu which offers excellent value. What came was a succession of dishes, the number of which I cannot recall, all delivered to the table in a style designed for sharing together.
To kick things off, sous-chef Alex appeared at our table with a handful of raspberries and liquid nitrogen, and then submerged the fruit into the minus 210 degree bath. The intense flavour and ensuing cold smoke you exhale is the stuff that makes you giddy with joy. Rock oysters with lemon air were a delicious taste of the sea with the right amount of citrus flavour.
Foie gras lollipops coated in popping candy sound like madness; they were so moreish that I could easily eat a dozen of them. Venison Tartar with olive, paprika and truffle oil hits the mark both in flavour and presentation. More extraordinary creations followed; the scallops with saffron and pumpkin sauce were also perfectly executed.
Hake with a vanilla cream sounds unusual but was actually very subtle and worked incredibly well. Next up, seared wild seabass with confit fennel(!) was an brilliantly original take on a classic combination.
Smoked cauliflower is marvel, served in a jar with the white mist still rising out whilst the air around the table was like that of BBQ – never a bad thing. Grilled flatbread with macadamia pesto, topped with glistening tomatoes, goat’s cheese and baby rocket is the kind of thing I want to eat for lunch every day.
We decided to skip dessert and finish the meal with a selection of British cheeses and a good bottle of red. If reading this relentless list of dishes puts your head in a spin, it’s because dining here will do that (in a good way). DSTRKT’s restaurant is so excellent, it is a huge surprise that most have not heard of it. My suggestion is to go now and experience it before everyone else cottons on!
9 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DG
Tue – Sat: 5pm – 11pm
Mon – Sat: 5pm – 3am
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