Mayfair. One of my favourite hang out spots in London. Mayfair is and has always been one of those affluential places in London that you expect all the celebrities and millionaires to hang out in their Bugattis and wearing Chanel from head to toe! Fact – that’s a myth! (Well actually maybe the Chanel part is true), but Mayfair’s vibe is actually really chilled, especially on a Thursday or Friday night.
Novikov is one my favourite places to hang out for brunch, lunch or dinner. Novikov is a huge space and has 2 restaurants and a bar/lounge. The restaurants – Asian and Italian – both have different vibes, decor and menus but are both halal! Music to my ears! The Asian side – dark lighting, wooden tables and covered in stunning orchids, whereas the Italian side is bright lights, high ceilings and stunning decor.
I cannot believe that I have been to the Asian side about 5 times, but not managed to check out the Italian part of Novikov. I finally managed to find a bittersweet ocassion to go. My beautiful friend A is moving to Canada, it makes me so sad that there will be a whole ocean between us, but as is tradition, we had to part with a bang and since Novikov Italian was on her to-eat list we had to check it out! (I’m friends with her for a reason!) So we headed to Green Park on a Thursday evening and as I walked into the Italian side, I was almost instantly taken aback by the beauty of the room. So chic yet simple and minimalistic, I almost forgot to take my camera out and take a few photos. I soon snapped out of it though!
I joined A at our table looking beautiful as always, I was instantly glad I stepped out of my normal jeans and flats look, this is defiitely one place you’d want to put your gladrags on for. So different to its’ sister Asian restaurant, the Italian side is much more chic and fit for a special ocassion, whereas the Asian is a little more laid back.
We started with an interesting selection of breads and an aubergine spread
Let’s take a minute to talk about the menu though… Our table wasn’t huge but enough to fit 3 people. Even though it was just the 2 of us the menus were so large they basically covered the whole table. Everything on the menu is halal minus the duck, but they do serve pork and alcohol so do check with the waiter before ordering.
Now what do you order from a menu with a huge spread and sooo much yummies to get through?! It was a tough choice, despite being starving at this point we both took a good 20 minutes to decide what to eat – Non-decisive people beware!!
Eventually we made it – Starters were Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare for me and Deep Fried Baby Calamari with Sweet Paprika and Tartar Sauce for A.Tartare is definitely an acquired taste, some don’t like the texture, some don’t like the taste. But for me, I am obsessed with it. The tuna tartare was so smooth, and full of flavour. If you can get over the jelly-ish feeling, this is one of the best pieces of tuna tartare I have tasted, and I’ve had a few in my time. The calamari was great too – crispy as it should be, flavoured well with paprika and pepper, and with the tartare sauce together it made for a great starter. I also loved the presentation. Needless to say we both finished every piece of our starters.
Next came our mains of Rib Eye Steak for me and Lamb Cutlets for A.
Not a very Italian dish at all, but boy was this good! I love a steak but I can’t have it often as it’s usually a lot of meat for me. When my steak came out in all its glory, I was not expecting this! It was a mammoth of a steak, cooked medium well to perfection! The meat was so easy to cut through, and even better in taste. The sweet onion relish was a great combo with the steak and went down a treat! A great tasting steak overall but I really struggled to finish it. It was definitely a “man steak”.
I was expecting these to be more pieces of lamb than chops, but they were beautiful! An absolutely perfect dish, there was very little fat on the lamb, so easy to cut through and so tender. Yet, the flavour was not compromised in any kind of way.
Both were great dishes, but I really wish I would have gone for something a bit more Italian as I have had these in the Asian restaurant too.
So stuffed at this point, but I remembered the Chocolate Fondant at the Asian side being one of the best I had had, so I had to try it out to compare! (Obviously)I remember when I tried the chocolate fondant in the Asian restaurant it was phenomenal, but that was a while ago and technically that’s a different restaurant. I was so so pleased to know that regardless of the restaurant, the quality at Novikov is always top notch. The dessert was perfection to the core! I was gutted that when I took a video of my fondant exploding it didn’t save!! (Technology hates me!) When I say this is one of the best chocolate fondants you will taste, trust me! Some fondants are good in taste, but the fondant itself is a bit gooey. Not this one though – the chocolate was crisp and well baked on the outside and literally exploded when I broke into it. The inside was juicy, milk chocolate! So divine its hard to put down into words – you’ll just have to take my word for it! You can also opt for the fondant to be dark chocolate if you want.
It also came with some other bits that we didn’t order but weren’t going to complain…
I didn’t eat much of the 2nd dish as I tend to keep away from jelly for gelatine reasons, but the 1st was some of the best fro-yo you will taste – ever! It was a bit random but nevertheless any fro-yo is good fro-yo!
Overall, this was the perfect place for a wonderful evening. The food was great, service was good, although one of the waiters did almost knock me out with my steak board but it was a bit of a big plate I don’t blame him! We paid about £80 each, which was a bit pricey, but again, for a special ocassion it wasn’t too bad, especially as we left feeling 100% satisfied. More than anything else, the decor and setting was beautiful, it is enough to make any evening special so be it date night or chilling with your besties, this is the place to come on a Friday night! One of the things I like the most is that it is a beautiful venue, quintessentially fine dining, but not snobby at all, no pretenciousness just a really good night overall.
Food – 7 out of 10
Service – 7 out of 10
Price -6 out of 10
Atmosphere – 9 out of 10
Experience – 8 out of 10
Overall, giving Novikov Italian a total TLH score of 8 out of 10.
Address: 50a Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8HA
Halal Status:Everything is halal except the duck. Pork and alcohol also served, so always speak to your waiter before ordering.
Closest Station: Green Park (Jubilee, Picadilly and Victoria Line)
Let me know what your thoughts are? Would love to hear from you!