Veneta — London, UK
One of the pioneers of tapas-style dining in London, restaurant group Salt Yard has won a legion of fans over the years, not least for its crowd-pleasing Spanish and Italian sharing dishes and convivial laid-back eateries. Its latest offering can be found in the newly developed St James’s Market, a lifestyle hub that when complete, will comprise a a series of flagship retail outlets, offices and dining options.
More precisely located on the ground floor of one of the slick new buildings overlooking the public square, the glass-fronted restaurant certainly demands a second glance from passersby. Inside, the lofty space has been divided into two floors by a mezzanine level, providing the perfect space for owner Simon Mullins to reinforced the restaurant’s Venetian-inspired menu with an aquatic theme that features a bar backed with blue fish-scale tiles, sea-blue banquets and a towering oil painting and stained glass work by Dutch landscape artist Ramon Otting.
This is all mere background for a tasty fish-heavy menu from chef director Ben Tish that features a raw bar and a series of delicious sharing plates - both small and large - including a creamy porcini and truffle risotto, fresh steamed clams with garlic and parsley and a smokey half-grilled octopus served with wood-roasted pepperonata, polenta and marjoram.