Aster, London

Victoria is a bit of a mess at the minute. If the endless construction works that have plagued the area around the station for years aren’t enough, the food and drink scene is practically nonexistent. And with the high (very high) footfall in the area, I’ve often wondered why this is the case.

But, rejoice, through the cranes and scaffolding a glimmer of hope has arrived in the form of Aster. Part of the new Nova development, this sparkling new, entirely-glass building is set to make waves in the area. Already hosting Riding House Cafe’s new offering, Rail House Cafe, the venue is still set to attract even more great foodie spots.

Aster’s interior is grand. A giant central bar topped with marble dominates the space, which features an airy high ceiling and plenty of natural light. The decor is punctuated with shades of duck egg and rust, with low hanging globe lighting completing the look with accents of copper and gold. The worry with the interior of a new build is that it will be stark and soulless, but Aster managed to break up the spaces effectively, creating an intimate setting in what is such a huge space.

The food is described as a blend of French and Nordic, which certainly sounds intriguing, but with Helena Puolakka at the helm, one knows they are in safe hands. We are actually dining on a special one-off tasting menu on this occasion, but the theme remains the same – never too heavy, never too rich, delicious and light food that tastes flawless.

Seafood makes an appearance on our menu a few times, with the artic char being amongst the best dishes. With a hint of smokiness in the taste, the light fish is complimented with dill, sour cream and pickled cucumber. 

Ox cheeks for main is juicy and tender, but made lighter with the accompaniment of a fine jus and winter roots. The dessert with salted liquorice is perhaps a taste not for everyone, but when combined with lingonberries and mousse, it’s a taste that cannot be missed.

Aster is certainly the jewel in the rapidly rebuilding crown that is Victoria, but what competition will this star attraction have to beat off over the coming months and years?

150 Victoria Street

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