We’re not going to lie, our knowledge of Nordic and Finnish cuisine is fairly limited. And when we say limited we mean pretty much mean non-existent. So when visiting Aster, the latest restaurant from the team behind the rather splendid Skylon, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect.
Located almost on the doorstep of Victoria station, the ridiculously attractive venue is perfectly positioned for the various types of commuter that wanders past. On the wall as you enter is a massive clock, presumably to allow diners to keep an eye on when their train is about to leave as they swiftly neck a final cocktail. The rest of the interior design is pretty damn impressive. The space successfully acting as a breakfast diner, a deli, a restaurant and a cocktail bar across the two massive floors.
The menu, overseen by Executive Chef, Helena Puolakka, is a mix of Nordic cuisine and classic French dishes and techniques. Something that we’ve now come to realise means a lot of fish and a lot of strong flavours. There’s other stuff on there besides fish, a fair bit in fact, but it’s fish lovers that are really going to love the place.
Our favourite items from the evening a la carte menu were the ridiculously tender scallops, celeriac, sea buckthorn and liquorice for starter (£14) followed by the Skrei cod ‘in paper’, fennel, olives and tomato for main (£19.50) – served in paper because it’s so damn delicate that if it wasn’t it would fall apart. Add to that a side of the absolutely phenomenal truffle potatoes (£3.50), and follow with the Victoria sponge, lingonberry curd and Szechuan cream (£7), and you’re looking at a very enjoyable evening out.
Other menus (although we haven’t had a chance to try them all) cover everything from breakfast pancakes, to an impressive smörgåsbord lunch menu. With a bar menu that goes on for 19 pages (seriously it’s massive).
To find out more about Aster and the various menus available throughout the day, take a look at the website here.
Picture Credits: Aster