In the turbulent world of restaurants, Novikov has established itself as the most successful to come out of Russia. The mastermind of restaurant mogul Arkady Novikov, who opened his very first restaurant back in 1992, today the Novikov Restaurant Group has revolutionised fine dining in Moscow and changed discerning perspectives of Russian capabilities across London.
An opulent dining destination of two sides on Mayfair’s iconic Berkeley Street, the celebrated restaurant unashamedly describes its cuisine as superlative among innovative and contemporary interiors. Its Asian counterpart specialises in Pan Asian cuisine with a high-end concept that mirrors something easily comparable to Hakkasan. Towards the rear of the divided space, its Italian partner in crime draws in those who step through its revolving doors towards its light-filled room, finished high ceilings and verdant indoor trees, which sprout themselves among the tables.
Novikov’s Italian restaurant presents itself as a spotless Italian market and open kitchen, displaying a spread of produce from large fish with bright eyes, to fat oranges and piles of bright red prawns. A European focused concept led by head chef Marco Torri, the restaurant’s utterly vast menu lists an endless variety of Italian dishes built around traditional ingredients many, however, sourced locally from across the UK.
Antipasti dishes we chose included a classic burrata with bright datterino tomatoes and olive oil paired with a rich baked aubergine parmigiana, which served itself more than well as a side dish to the main course. This with Scottish salmon tartar with yoghurt dressing, pomegranate and quail eggs to start made for a great variety of dishes. Meanwhile, some other delectable antipasti options that were available included 10 grams of Gold Osetra caviar yellowfin tuna tartar, a warm octopus and potato salad with French beans and datterino tomatoes, or Chilean wagyu bresaola.
The menu also hosts homemade pasta that would ruffle the feathers of London’s most trendy pasta joints. From tagliatelle with Yorkshire Wagyu bolognese, tagliolini with white crab meat and courgettes and buffalo ricotta and spinach ravioli – diners can also choose from a truly authentic spaghetti with clams, bottarga and garlic with chilli and olive oil. Fish is also a big contender at Novikov Italian. The restaurant’s very own fish market allows diners to choose from selections such as whole live king crab, black spot bream and turbot, which can be paired with ‘in season’ ingredients, which included, on our visit, black truffle, radicchio, beetroots, black cabbage and pumpkin. Meanwhile ‘classic’ fish dishes inevitably on its endless menu extend to a sea bass fillet wrapped in foil and baked with datterino tomatoes and clams, whole sea bass grilled, roasted or salt-crusted and crudaiola sauce or scarlet Mediterranean prawns, parsley and olive oil.
There wouldn’t be a fish market without a meat alternative for those with carnivorous tendencies. To go alongside seasonal ingredients available at that time are a trio of indulgent options: black Angus Cote de Boeuf for two, a black Angus T-Bone for two or a veal fillet at £125. Classic meat options will have meat aficionados returning for days. These range from a 220-gram Chilean Wagyu sirloin, a 350-gram grilled US grain-fed beef rib-eye steak with onion relish, a wood-roasted whole kid goat with carasau bread and dried datterino tomatoes to a whole suckling pig from Segovia and baked apples – available to purchase whole at £324 for those who are looking to cast their sails.
Desserts are as equally authentic, and no prizes for guessing the appearance of a ‘classic Italian Tiramisu’ or the ever-popular chocolate fondant. For a simpler finish, a friendly selection of soft scoop ice creams and sorbets or a selection of cheeses are also available.
Channelling a refined but rustic al fresco aesthetic that transports diners away from London’s inner metropolis, Novikov Italian features suede wall panelling, handmade Moroccan tiles, mirrors framed with solid oak and chandeliers lit with candles. Additionally, clever lighting systems instantly change the atmosphere of Novikov Italian from sunrise to sunset, season to season.
Address: 50 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8HA
Phone: 020 73994330