Every now and then a restaurant opens in London, that stands out from the rest and gets in-the-know tongues wagging. Onima, nestled in a quaint side street in Mayfair is a perfect example.
Born from the mind of one of the most respected restaurateurs of Mykonos, Alexandros Andrianopoulos (known for the success of Bagatelle Dubai), this ultra stylish townhouse boasts five floors of decadence, appealing not just to foodies but to the fabulous scene queens of our capital – you know who you are..
I took along my favourite person for a delightfully long lunch one drizzly afternoon, just a couple of months after it opened its heavy wooden doors to the public.
We were led to an elegantly furnished dining room on the ground floor, complete with a fully stocked, Art Deco-style bar serving the finest wines and picture-perfect cocktails.
As soon as I set eyes upon the menu, I knew I had finally arrived at the restaurant of my dreams – and I don’t say such frivolous things lightly. The food was an exciting mergence of Mediterranean and Japanese – my two favourite cuisines, so having to choose a certain amount of dishes when I quite frankly wanted to inhale the whole menu was certainly an arduous task.
For our starters we settled on delightfully crispy courgette and aubergine fritters (you can never go wrong with aubergine), a delightfully crisp Greek cheese pie, a tangy yet nutty yellowtail carpaccio with sun-dried tomato tapenade and pistachio, and beef tartare lavishly adorned with orange ponzu sauce, heritage tomatoes and celery. We adored all of these dishes with equal fervour, although the brave Japanese take on the beef tartare truly took pride of place in my food-loving heart.
Half a dozen fresh Colchester oysters also made a grand arrival to the table, which vanished rather rapidly after perching themselves regally on a bed of ice. Such magnificent displays of seafood never last long anywhere around me, I must confess.
The next dish to bring me a an insane amount of pure glee was the king crab salad with caviar, yuzu and truffle dressing. This otherworldly culinary creation was one I will always remember, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Onima from the bottom of my heart for making a dish involving truffle and caviar, yet alone with crab – fine dining food porn anyone?
After devouring such obscenely good starters, we attempted to feast on our mains. I chose to carry on playing homage to the truffle theme of the afternoon by opting for the divinely creamy truffle risotto with wild mushrooms and my other meat-loving half decided on the roasted rack of lamb surrounded by “Caponata” vegetables and mint artichokes – a dish fit for a Greek goddess.
A rich tiramisu with cafe latte ice cream was presented to us for pudding, along with a gloriously smooth marble three chocolate mouse, which arrived with delicate butter biscuits. At first, I doubted I had room for more fine foods, yet before I knew it both exquisite desserts had evaporated from their plates.
What’s a fine dining food writer to do?
The three course lunch at Onima is £34 and more information on booking can be found here.