Helen Wilcock takes a Scandinavian tastebud trip to Aster, a chic Scandi spot in the heart of Victoria
Over the past few years Victoria has become the trendy location of choice for restauranteurs looking to showcase the best of what they have to offer for nearby office dwellers.
However, it’s not just for the weekday workers. Available on Sundays only, Aster’s chef Helena Puolakk has created a stunning Summer Brunch that encompasses the tastes and aromas of Scandinavia. I visit the venue to enjoy copious amounts of delicious crayfish for myself.
When you arrive at Aster you are greeted with a beautiful flower archway which immediately showcases the chic design of the restaurant. As we are guided to our table, I can’t help but think how beautiful the marble tables will be for our Instagram shots!
I also catch myself in one of the many vintage mirrors which adorn the walls along with stunning art deco accessories. These add to the beauty of the interior design – it feels a world away from Victoria.
We began our brunch with two delicious Absolut cocktails, the Strawberry & Raspberry Sorbet (£12.50) with Absolut Elyx, strawberry purée, sugar syrup, lime juice and the Berry Sorbet (£12.50) with Absolut Elyx, pineapple juice, vanilla syrup, lemon juice.
Both were perfect for summer as they looked and tasted like an elaborate adult version of a frozen slushie, my favourite type of drink.
The brunch menu is clearly focused on the flavours of Scandinavia but it also offers the traditional brunch dishes that we all love. We began with the Wiltshire Crayfish, which can be ordered as 1/2doz or 1doz, served with toasted sourdough, butter and dill and the Egg Benedict.
The crayfish was simply divine, although not the easiest of dishes to eat (be sure to ask for extra napkins and plates for the shells). The bacon crumbs were a wonderful addition to a classic Eggs Benedict, giving another texture to the dish and who doesn’t love bacon!
For our mains we choose the Home-Made Linguine with Smoked Tomato Relish and Feta and continued our pescatarian theme with the grilled Sea Bream served with Potato Salad and Crème Fraiche Vinaigrette.
The sea bream was perfectly cooked with a delicious crispy skin. The whole dish was light yet full of flavour and ideal for a hot summer’s day. The home-made pasta did not disappoint and was coated in tomato relish which had a wonderful depth of flavour.
When the waitress asked if we would like dessert my companion and I looked at each other and smiled, we can never say no to dessert. We opted for Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Pineapple in Lime and the Chocolate Cookie with Butterscotch and White Chocolate Ice Cream.
The panna cotta had the perfect wobble that we hoped for when ordering the dish and the sharp pineapple helped to cut through the richness. The cookie meanwhile, was comfort food heaven.
Situated opposite Victoria station, Aster is a great meeting place if your friends are scattered across London. Once inside you feel like you have been transported to Mayfair with lavish interiors designed by the acclaimed Russell Sage.
The Scandinavian Summer Brunch is definitely for those looking for a leisurely Sunday (the wait time between dishes is questionable). However, it’s also filled with unlimited bubbles and Instagram opportunities, so be sure to make yourself comfortable on the leather bound booths and enjoy the feast.
Make it happen
Visit aster-restaurant.com or phone 020 3875 5555 to start the experience.