If you were a chef, what would be your dream? A fair guess might be that once you had a built a cult following, open your own place on your own terms: an intimate venue, decorated just the way you would like it, with your own tunes playing on the sound system. One iteration of this vision can be found at Scott Hallsworth’s Freak Scene in Soho…
Why call a restaurant avenue? Are diners being taken on a journey? If so, to where? Plaudits to Avenue for having survived for over twenty years – no mean feat in the cut-throat restaurant market of London. Some of its success must be down to constant reinvention, attempting to stay relevant and draw in as broad a range of punters as possible...
Six months on from opening and some – but not all – of the hype about Sexy Fish has died down. We all know now about the £15m allegedly spent on furnishing the place and almost everybody who wants to be somebody has probably been and tweeted about the experience already.
Located on the site of the former and much-loved Bam-Bou comes House of Ho. The website claims diners will experience the “sights, flavours and aromas” of Vietnam. This strikes me as a somewhat bold assertion.
Any place that is packed on a Monday night – even if it is in currently trendy Brixton – must be doing something right.
It seems that if you want to attempt to ensure success in opening a London restaurant then there is a fairly simple formula to follow: you hire a chef formerly at a prestigious restaurant (in this case, Nobu); you offer pan-Asian fusion food; you make all the dishes obligatory for sharing; and you staff the place with trendy and good-looking people.
It’s a fairly well-trodden path that you need to take if you want to try and succeed at present on the London restaurant scene – a menu comprising sharing dishes that draw their culinary influences from around the world, especially Asia and South America.
The term “interactive oriental fusion” (used by Inamo on its website) could mean almost anything. In itself it would obviously not be an endorsement for this restaurant or indeed any other, quite the contrary.
Dare I suggest it, but Gilgamesh is definitively not a place for ‘serious’ gastrophiles; put simply, it is somewhere where you go either to be seen or because you want to attempt to star-spot.
Appearances can be highly deceptive. On arrival, one could easily be lulled into a false sense of security, greeted by beautiful staff, accompanied by a waiter to the fresh fish bar in order to see the day's produce and seated at a fine table with a good view.