Simon Wittenberg kicks off 2020 with a visit to one of West London’s newest gastronomic destinations.
Launched on 30th November 2019, SW7 Brasserie & Bar sits within the four-star boutique Meliá London Kensington hotel, which can be found on the Gloucester Road. This new eatery treats diners to dishes where fresh Mediterranean flavours have been cleverly fused with classic British recipes.
The 74-cover restaurant and cocktail bar, which is open from breakfast through to dinner for hotel guests and non-residents alike, has been tastefully furnished to create a sophisticated and relaxed environment.
The décor takes its inspiration from the wallpaper designs by William Morris, one of the most famous names featured in the nearby Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, and the result is the use of several pastel shades and floral motifs.
Visitors sit at wooden and marble effect tables on wooden chairs and green banquettes, or on one of the red and gold stools propped up against the central bar.
Leading the kitchen is Head Chef Javier Rodrigo Alviz, who started his career in Madrid, before coming to London in 2014 to add the likes of the Waldorf Hilton and Claridge’s to his impressive portfolio. A desire to learn the latest culinary techniques and experimental British recipes later led Javier to join Adam Handling’s team at Frog restaurant in Covent Garden.
From here, he took up the reins at Meliá White House (next to London’s Regent’s Park) in 2018, prior to his arrival at SW7 Brasserie & Bar last year. Working alongside him is Sous Chef Cristián Álvarez, who we had the pleasure of meeting during our visit.
We went to SW7 Brasserie & Bar on a Tuesday evening, and we were pretty much the only people in the restaurant. Our Spanish hosts explained that the busiest periods for them are Friday and Saturday nights when catering for the leisure market, plus there’s also live music for guests to enjoy.
The à la carte is pretty extensive and reasonably priced and leads with “Appetizers” to get the taste buds going, with options such as calamari, sourdough bread and antipasti.
However, to save room in our stomachs, my wife and I headed straight for the starters, where you can find the likes of langoustine with Kalamata olives and spring onion, chicken liver parfait and rainbow beetroot carpaccio.
I decided on a portion of soft Burrata (£14) topped with pomegranate seeds, decorative foam and pine nuts. It was complemented by grilled Marzanino tomatoes halves, a sprinkling of finely chopped black Kalamata olives, avocado drops and pine nuts. It was deliciously creamy, and coupled with the tangy flavours of the tomato, the combination worked perfectly together.
My other half went for the avocado salad (£7.50), which featured a sliced avocado summit, sitting on a bed of quinoa, sweet potatoes, pomegranate, grapes and salad leaves, bound together with a coconut-based dressing. Both starters were excellent, and SW7 Brasserie & Bar had certainly made an excellent first impression.