Latest opening: abc kitchens

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Jean-Georges Vongerichten has opened abc kitchen at London's The Emory

Related tags abc kitchens Restaurant Maybourne hotel group Jean-Georges Vongerichten London Hotel

Jean-Georges Vongerichten's latest London outpost is an effective amalgamation of three of his New York concepts.

What:​ The new restaurant by French superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten that has opened within The Emory in Knightsbridge, London’s first all-suite hotel. The restaurant is a combination of Vongerichten’s three New York restaurants - abc kitchen, abcV and abc cocina - which take a farm-to-table, plant-based, and Latin-inspired approach respectively

Who:​ Vongerichten is one of the world’s most prolific and famous chefs, responsible for the running of more than 30 restaurants worldwide. Born in Strasbourg in Alsace, France, he worked under Paul Bocuse and Master Chef Louis Outhier at L’Oasis in southern France before travelling the world where he extended his cooking cannon. The chef runs numerous restaurants in the US, the majority of which are based in New York but also in Las Vegas, Miami Beach, Nashville, and Philadelphia, but his vast portfolio spreads well beyond the States to China, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Morocco, Japan, Ireland, Qatar, Singapore, and the Bahamas. Overseeing the menu at the London restaurant is executive chef Benjamin Boeynaems, whose CV includes working with Gordon Ramsay and Eric Chavot and who was most recently at The Beamont Hotel, while Mike Walker runs front of house as restaurant general manager having run bars and restaurants across the capital and further afield for the past 10 years.

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Image: Lateef Photography

The food:​ Known for eschewing the traditional use of meat stocks and creams in his cooking, Vongerichten instead makes use of vegetable juices, fruit essences, light broths, and herbal vinaigrettes to achieve similar flavour hits. For his new London restaurant he’s created a crowd pleasing menu deigned to satisfy those seeking light lunches and healthy eating as well as those following a plant-based diet but there’s some heartier dishes as well as a range of pizza and pasta. Dishes take inspiration from across the globe, with table snacks that include dosa with yoghurt, avocado, lemon dressing and sprouts; crab toast with green chili, dill, and lemon aioli; and green asparagus quesadilla; while under the ‘light & bright’ section you’ll find the likes of tuna tartare with Calabrian chili, black olive, and feta cheese seeded flatbread; roast carrot and avocado salad; and diver sea scallop tartare with shiso, kohlrabi, and sesame. There’s also a strong selection of meat and seafood dishes, the highlights of which include crispy dover sole tacos; grilled octopus with smoked paprika crème fraîche; crackling fried chicken with market greens and scotch bonnet butter; and char-grilled beef tenderloin. The majority of pizza and pasta dishes are vegetarian but for non-meat eaters there’s also a separate ‘warm & sustaining’ vegetarian section with silken tofu and crispy yuba; a spiced roasted cauliflower; and beer batter maitake mushroom. Pricing is relatively consistent across the menu with many dishes (including snacks) between £13 and £35.

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Image: Lateef Photography

To drink: ​The drinks list has more than a touch of a spring summer vibe, with healthy juices and smoothies (including the obligatory green option) as well as house made sodas and tonics such as one made with turmeric, local honey, Himalayan salt, and key lime; and another with tarragon and mint. Those looking for a hit of the hard stuff can still do it relatively guilt free with seasonal creations that include a spring pea and herb martini; a cucumber martini; and mango mezcalita; and a ginger margarita.

The vibe:​ Designer Rémi Tessier has adopted a pared-down but nevertheless opulent aesthetic in tune with the modern building, opting for a colour palate of reds, amber, mustard and brown. Interior features include a striking curved ‘wine cave’ as a focal point that acts as an oversized glowing lantern, and colourful artworks by Damien Hirst. Large windows open up onto Hyde Park and there is also a 10-seat PDR located next to the heart of the kitchen with views over the pass and dining room.

And another thing:​ abc kitchen is Vongerichten’s third restaurant in the capital joining Jean-Georges at The Connaught​and The Connaught Grill​, which are also operated by The Emory owner Maybourne. The chef has a history of running restaurants on these shores; he previously operated Vong in the Berkeley hotel from 1995 to 2003 and in 2011 he brought his Spice Market​ concept to the UK with the opening of a restaurant in the W Hotel in Leicester Square. The site is currently occupied by Burger & Lobster.

The Emory, Old Barrack Yard, London, SW1X 7NP
www.the-emory.co.uk/restaurants-bars/abc-kitchens/

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