Just around the corner from Green Park tube, Novikov is owned by Russian entrepreneur Arkady Novikov, apparently a buddy of President Putin. It’s a bit like a restaurant theme park, with a Pan-Asian occupying the front and an Italian at the back and that’s where I’m bound. I’ve read, that famous footballers congregate at the bar, but they’re obviously playing away when I visit.
The space is large, with high ceilings and the walk-in kitchen occupies one side of the room with counters heaving with meat, fish and vegetables. Potted olive trees add a touch of atmosphere and large rings of white electric candles provide gentle diffused light. An army of staff run around attending to every need and the menu is suitably expensive. It’s not a surprise as I’ve already checked out the prices outside so I suppose everyone knows what they’re in for.
Our starters are King crab salad with avocado & datterino Sicilian tomatoes (£47.50) and finely sliced raw beef fillet with Parmesan shavings & wild rocket (£18.00). The crab is tasty and fresh with the avocado and tomatoes making a good mix. I also can’t fault the beef carpaccio, and the parmesan squares are an attractive visual touch. We continue with deep-fried tiger prawns with tartare sauce (£19.50) which are crisp on the outside and succulent on the in.
Now I have to confess I’ve been here before for Sunday lunch and have fond memories of their meats. So, we choose Chilean Wagyu sirloin 220g (£69.50) and a grilled U.S. grain-fed beef rib-eye steak 350g (£53.00) matured 28 days with onion relish. The steaks are as good as I remember and the kitchen gets the cooking exactly right – rare for me and well done for my companion.
Around us, the tables have filled up and, as well as couples on their first date, there’s an interesting mix of families. I can see kids eating pizza and spaghetti whilst their parents go for the sea bass cooked in a salt crust. They look to me like well-heeled tourists, mainly from the Middle East, and I guess they’ve wandered in from the Dorchester or the Ritz across the road.
Finally, desserts are a rather rich Valrhona milk chocolate fondant, served with vanilla ice cream (£12) and vanilla pannacotta adorned with mixed berries (£10). Both deliver exactly what they promise, with the slightly tart blackberry nicely offsetting the creaminess of the pannacotta. The fondant is gloriously liquid inside, with hot chocolate giving an instant jet of sweetness.
As we wander back out through the lobby, there’s a definite late-night buzz, with the bar packed with singles and couples out on the town. The Asian restaurant is also heaving, and it’s obvious that Novikov has discovered a winning formula. After all, the place has been going since 2012 and he now owns over 50 restaurants. There’s also a takeaway service for the executive jet market, with deliveries to all London and South East airports. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can get it on Ryanair.
Tell Me More About Novikov Restaurant & Bar
Novikov Restaurant & Bar 50A Berkeley Street Mayfair, London, W1J 8HA
T: +44 (0) 207 399 4330