Georgie Clarke tastes a fusion of Asian and South American flavours from Avenue’s explosive new menu
Rooted in the bustling heart of St. James’s, Avenue exemplifies a perfect union of classic fine dining with contemporary culture. On entering, I’m guided passed a long bar where cocktails are being served to young, old and everyone in-between looking to let their hair down after a long, city-fuelled Thursday.
We’re led to a cosy table for two nestled into the side of the restaurant – as I would describe it, their ‘sit soft’ area – a perfect spot to relax and catch up with a friend over dinner and drinks.
Already relaxed from impeccably polite and friendly staff, I wait for my friend and peruse the scene. I notice an incredible, show-stopping feature located in the middle of the room – a chandelier-like sculpture made up of hundreds of twinkling wine glasses above an impressive, wine-filled de-canting bar.
This contemporary glamour is continued throughout the restaurant with gold lamps and bronze bas reliefs covering the walls – a fittingly artistic décor nodding towards Avenue’s surrounding location as a hub of London’s finest art galleries.
The restaurant is glamour and comfort combined – the ideal setting for casual drinks, first-time dates or a lavish group dinner.
When they say their new menu is explosive – they definitely aren’t lying. Inspired by the volcanic belt known as ‘The Ring of Fire’, the dishes incorporate an incredible range of different flavours inspired from Asia and South America, fused together to take you on a tasting journey like no other.
For my starter, I go for White Crab & Black Ink Tortellini, Lobster & Lemongrass Essence, whilst my friend opts for the Marinated Baked Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese and Maple Dressing.
Not only to the ochers, oranges and burgundies jump off the plate like that of an erupting volcano. Both dishes are totally unique in flavour but interestingly share a similar combination of qualities: fresh, light, delicate, indulgent, rich – and just the right amount to leave us satisfied but wanting more.
For those who love a lamb dish, the chilli-flavoured Gochujang Marinated Grilled Rack of Lamb with Red Cabbage Mash and Raw Mango Chutney is a must-try. A rack of red meat wouldn’t usually strike me as ‘pretty’, but this is an undeniably pretty plate, dotted with bright orange mango chunks and a fluttering of greenery that makes the dish look like an edible Spring garden – subtle yet eye-catching, savoury, sweet and spicy all at once.
Although we could’ve eaten every option on the pudding menu, I am (dare I say it) a self-confessed peanut butter junkie so couldn’t resist digging into the warm Chocolate Brownie with Peanut Butter Ice Cream, alongside with a selection of Beillevaire Cheese with Quince Jelly and Crackers. I assure you – you will never have a chocolate brownie like this one.
Provoking multiple ‘mmms’ from both of us and a genuine fight for the last lick of melted chocolate mixed with rich creamy peanut butter, we were left in a self-induced, chocolate and peanut butter-infused coma – a pair of satisfied volcanoes ready to explode!
If you’re a fan of contemporary fine dining and a fanatic for a cultural flavour fix – look no further than Avenue’s Asian and South American-inspired menu.
At only £25 for the Set Menu, including a three-course meal and a glass of champagne, you’d be hard pressed to find food like this for such good value.
Make it happen
Where: 7-9 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EE
Price: £25 per person for the Set Menu (includes three courses and a glass of bubbly), £40-£50 for A La Carte (excluding wine), £60-70 for A La Carte (including wine)