Caroline Garland is blown away by Ours, the SW3 restaurant from the team that brought you award-winning Mayfair nightclub, Cirque Le Soir
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Brompton Road but it reassuringly looks the same, smart houses, boutiques, perfect people, café culture but new to me is the hidden secret of South Kensington – Ours Restaurant. With so many celebrity diners – Justin Bieber, Rita Ora, Jonny Depp, Dita Von Tease, Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner to name a few recent guests, it’s one of the hottest places outside the West End.
The entrance to Ours is probably the most Instagrammable corridor in London, with hints of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the zen of a Japanese Temple, it’s a perfect runway to walk, pose, snap. The dining room is a high ceilinged secret garden, huge plants, pretty lighting, private booths or tables out on the floor, a vertical garden on one side and a mezzanine floor above so you knew there was more to explore later, I couldn’t help feeling I’d fallen down the rabbit hole into a magical hidden wonderland.
Firstly we met with Francesco who would be mixing our cocktails for the night, he knows all there is to know about blending flavours and creating drama in a glass. We started with Kiss Me, Absolute Elyx vodka, Four Fox sake, rose wine, cherry syrup, cherry air and pair of lips somehow printed on top (£15), it was sweet but light, looked so good and packed a punch. Our waiter, Mourad, was next to the table, and talked us through chef Douglas Santi’s menu – a mix of Asian, Mediterranean and Latin small plates with locally sourced produce where possible: it’s got the best of everything. It was hard to choose but, thanks to the recommendations, we were about to experience a culinary journey around the world.
Arriving one or two plates at a time, we started with Tuna Poke (£15.40) and Devon crab croquettes (£11.80). The poke’s spicy wasabi and cooling avocado was zingy and fresh, while the crab cakes were rich and creamy with a light crunch ,and kaffir lime mayo providing the citrus kick.
Next, was the Gigantic Sea Prawn (£26.70) and wow it was huge! The flavour was a softer cousin to lobster, and was served with shiso (Asian mint) and chilli, so three flavours tangled together to pop in your mouth.
For me, the dish of the night was the Alaskan King Crab (£65 for 2 people), which consisted of two giant crab legs served with just herb butter. With its tender and flaky meat, you recognise the flavour from of this from trips to British coast, however this is 7 star version. Sure, it’s pricey, but for me better than the usual lobster and something new done amazingly.
To compliment the the crab we had the Chargrilled Sweetcorn (£8.70) served with artichokes and crispy shallots, which was sweet and crunchy and provided the perfect contrast.
The last two plates had to be meat, so we chose two classics, Lamb Cutlets (£25.30) with gochujang (a savoury, sweet and spicy sauce originating from Korea) and aubergine. The cutlets’ pink centre, which graded out to a roasted edge, gave each mouthful a new experience, with the aubergine and Split green bean salad (£8.20) took this dish to the Med.
The very last plate to the table was Peppered beef tenderloin (£25.50) and Chips with truffle and parmesan (£9,20) served with salt and lime, sweet soy sauce and coriander. The steak arrived i sliced, and the Asian flavours gave the meat a subtle aromatic flavour, which went well wit4h the buttery texture.
A little break now to explore upstairs with a new cocktail Gin in a Bottle (£15) – an Earl Grey tea infused Beefeaster gin, Italicus, passion fruit syrup, lime and absinthe – so naughty, so decadent and so much theatre. The cocktail arrives on the table with two genie lamps smoking with dry ice covering the table and brought on the giggles as we headed upstairs to see the private dining area. The dining room can seat up to 20 guests and overlooks the main restaurant, which is genius. Often, private dining areas feel like you’re locked away in a loft and could be anywhere, but here you still get the atmosphere of the bigger space – we loved it! We also saw the upstairs bar and cocktail loung, The Living Room whose booths and low lighting (which gave it a very private members feel) we adored.
This meal is without doubt the best I’ve had in London for a long time, and not just for the the food: the service was incredible. Plates arrived and disappeared with ease, our waiter knew the menu inside out and recommended some dishes we wouldn’t have chosen but loved in the end.
It’s obviously not cheap but it doesn’t have the stuffy air of so many grand restaurants: in fact, Ours restaurant do a very tempting Sunday brunch party once a month with famed DJs such as Serge Devant, Audiofly, Jean Claude Ades & NU playing until 1am. It’s no surprise that team behind Ours restaurant also own crazy and award-winning Mayfair nightclub Cirque le Soir. It’s in their DNA to entertain and that’s what Ours does on every level.
264 Brompton Road
Telephone 0207 100 2200
Tuesday to Thursday: 6pm – 12:30am
Friday: 6pm – 1:30am
Saturday: 12pm – 1:30am
Last Entry 11:45pm (Closed: Sunday, Monday)
Saturdays: 12pm – 5pm
Sundays: 12pm – 6pm