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Food & Drink Life

Aubrey

  • April 22, 2022
  • 5 min read
Aubrey

The Aubury manages to avoid the kind of identity crisis that often comes about when an old and familiar restaurant space is reinvented and refurbished, and given a new name. When seated you melt into comfortable spaced booths that are low lit in five distinct areas. The wall hangings evoke the rising sunburst of the East with Ukiyo-e prints set in marble wood and brass. However, this is married seamlessly to The Aubury’s early century roots of an Englishman abroad (think Aubrey Beardsley) and the panelled splendour of a country mansion. Add to the mix attractive wall hangings and original turn of the century oils crammed into every knock and cranny, and you have the ultimate East/West fusion – and it works!

Upon arriving we were ushered in through a discreet entrance by the doorman and passed through the cloakroom into the bar. Adrian, the impossibly young and immaculately dressed barman, took us on a ride of knowledge as you descend into the world of Japanese inspired cocktails of immense detail and complexity. Order The Death of a Lion (Ki No Bi Gin, Yuzu Liqueur, Quinine and Lime Leaf Cordial), for a trip through a Japanese connoisseurs mind set. This cocktail will set you back £21 but is worth splashing out. Yuzu, a citrus fruit and plant from East Asia, is used in several of The Aubrey cocktails and dishes. It may be best described as an intense lemon concentrate, albeit an expensive one, as Adrian informed us. Yuzu is what a real lemon should taste of! Add dark chocolate and ginger, and you’re in for a splendid citrus treat.

For the adventurous foodie, Robert Worthen, the deputy restaurant manager, is on hand to guide you to your table. He’ll greet you with open and warm conversation, which can only be found in a man born and bred in Las Vegas. De Nero himself could not have done better with a “high roller.”  

Andre Camilo the head chef had prepared a tasting menu of six courses to cover the range of his talents and also a snapshot of his current menu. As you listen around, the immaculate, attentive and highly trained staff interact with the customers. Each course is described in detail and with a knowledge of each ingredient and the way it’s been cooked and presented. The sommeliers are equally as attentive in their descriptions of the carefully selected wines from the wine list (try the Chardonnay alongside the Edomae-nigri zushi) the efficiency and knowledge of the staff is a genuine testament to their training. They never miss a beat on every question, or nuance of the menu.

The Chilli Daikon Ponzu oysters could not have been sweeter and the sesame baby spinach was a revelation.  The Charcoal Chicken Karaage with Yuzu Mayo is an acquired sight rather than a taste and the blackened flavour of the chicken, once in the mouth, melts. What you gain in taste that you don’t from prospect, are the delicious flavours of succulent chicken infused with the subtle heat of shredded chilli. However, rather like the following dish, Edomae Nigiri Zushi, topped with sweet ants, the Blackened Chicken requires a leap of faith in the dining out department, to reap the delicious reward.

The meal was crowned with the Wagyu oxtail and bone marrow fried rice, which was sublime. The dish arrives with the softened marrow ready to be scooped out and added to the rice, to your own amount and taste. Finally, if this wasn’t enough, The Aubrey signature White Miso Soufflé, took your breath away. Cooked to perfection, the soufflé was light and airy, and the delicate flavour of the White Miso was a final reminder that whilst you were dining out at a luxurious London address, it was the flavours of Japan that would stay with you for the rest of the evening.

Discreetly set back between dining rooms, sits an empty DJ booth, which from Thursday through to Saturday nights, provides dinners with an explosion of sounds, as the bar comes alive, and a mixture of guests and celebs descend. Note to self, dress up a little for the occasion!  This is where the fun, fun, fun starts!! For those who like to throw private parties, The Aubury has its own secret bar and dining room too. Whilst it is shut away from the rest of the venue, it still captures the playful spirit of The Aubrey but with a little extra class for those who want to pay ??? a night for the VIP experience.

Like the Phoenix, The Aubrey has proved that the restaurant business has risen from the ashes of the 2020 pandemic fire, to flap its dragon like wings, offering the freedom to diners to eat and play well.

All in all, the owners of The Aubrey have created an eccentric ambience, where the quality of the dining out experience can be considered first class. The Japanese inspired  restaurant, complete with its own DJ, relaxed cocktail bar, secret party venue, library dining room (yes, filled with Classics from top to bottom) and a marriage of furnishing from the East and West, make this by and far, one of the coolest restaurant experiences in London.

The Aubrey London

66 Knightsbridge

SW1X 7LA

020 7201 

https://www.mandarinoriental.com/london/hyde-park/fine-dining/japanese-izakaya/the-aubrey
About Author

Philip Ashby Rudd

Philip Ashby Rudd, a Dorset-based writer, artist, and hotelier, boasts a colorful past. After rubbing shoulders with Damien Hirst at Goldsmiths College, he took a brief detour as an army officer—albeit a short-lived one, thanks to a memorable encounter involving a taser and one too many drinks. Under the tutelage of Raymond Blanc, he honed his culinary skills before acquiring Bishops Cottage, a hotel in Lulworth Cove, once home to Bishop Wordsworth, the poet's great-nephew. Where he once spent his days channeling the spirit of Jeffrey Barnard, he now critiques restaurants for EyeOnLondon, a venture he co-founded.

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