‘The most delicious style of black cod…ever’ – Brompton Asian Brasserie by Novikov
One of my favourite cuisines is Pan Asian, so I was particularly excited about visiting Arkady Novikov’s latest London venture. The Brompton Asian Brasserie is situated on the busy Brompton Road and is only a short stroll from Harrods towards South Kensington, rather than Knightsbridge.
The restaurant is notably upmarket, boasting all the luxurious finishes you would expect from Russia’s most successful restaurateur. Novikov already owns over 50 restaurants in Russia and this is his second venture in London, following on from the famous namesake in Mayfair.
Although the venue is plush it also has some welcoming authentic touches, such as an open kitchen with a large fire grill on display to guests that is surrounded by wooden baskets of fresh chillies and spices that are used to give flavour to the dishes. The lighting creates a warm atmosphere through subtle rouge and pink hues with the engines of supercars that frequent this area of London occasionally heard over animated conversation from diners. The crowd is chic, with a mix of International and British guests, all of whom are immaculately presented.
The menu offers a host of traditional Japanese and Thai favourites. Ordering a number of sharing dishes is the best way to tackle the enticing selection. As our waiter arrived with some chilli Edamame – definitely a must-try if you have yet to venture away from the usual salty style – he explained that the order of presentation of mixed dishes would depend entirely on cooking time, as they arrive hot off the grill.
I browsed the menu with a glass of Louis Roederer in hand. This is the house champagne and part of an extensive wine list that contains significant variety when it comes to both red and white choices.
The food is split into helpful sections which include Salads, Tempura, Sides, Maki Rolls, New Style Sashimi, Nigiri, Tartar, Caviar, From the Wok, Dim Sum and dishes from the Roberta Grill. Highlights include the Tiger prawn with shishito pepper, Grilled salt marsh lamb cutlets with Thai flavours and lime, King prawns with Thai pepper sauce and any of the sushi dishes.
My favourite item on the menu at any Pan-Asian restaurant is the black cod. Needless to say, I included this in my order and because I have tried so many different versions of this dish, it always stands a tough test. Crispy black cod rolls with mango sauce was the version presented on the Brompton Road and I have to say this is by far the most delicious style of Black cod that I have ever tried; it even beats the likes of neighbourhood rival, Zuma.
The rolls are substantial and appear heavy at first glance; however, when you bite into the crispy outer layer, it melts in your mouth to reveal the sumptuous flavour of the black cod inside. While mango may appear a slightly unusual side dish for this treat, it complemented the dish superbly.
I don’t really want to repeat the ‘Z’ word, but I am almost inclined to say that the Brompton Asian Brasserie is a Zuma meets E&O style of restaurant. However, although it sits almost half way between the two geographically and mixes some of the best attributes from each, it maintains a distinctive identity and is probably more comparable to an high-end Pan-Asian restaurant in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.
Although there is stiff competition, this new boy in town could well prove a strong contender for London’s leading Pan-Asian restaurant. It is certainly worth a visit.
Brompton Asian Brasserie by Novikov is located at 223-225 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW3 2EJ. Telephone +44 (0) 20 7225 2107 to make a reservation, or book online at http://www.bromptonasianbrasserie.co.uk/contact