This Knightsbridge Restaurant Is Pure Theatre
Drinks and diners are both dressed to the nines at Restaurant Ours, a very glossy Knightsbridge-and-Chelsea crowd matched by some very floral, gold-encrusted cocktails.
The Gin in a Bottle is poured from a gilded genie's lamp, a smoking blend of Earl Grey-infused gin, passionfruit syrup, Italicus (a citrusy liqueur) and absinthe. As you'd expect from a drink where the gin's lengthened with one syrup and two more alcohols, it's fiercely potent, and a good preview into the grand, theatrical extra-ness of everything happening — both on- and off-menu — at Restaurant Ours.
If the cocktails are flamboyant, the decor's more so. The restaurant might be better-known for its photo ops than its food, with pink, floral installations, dramatically monochrome tunnels, and a fairylight-strewn tree sprouting from the bar.
All that emphasis on floral glitz and IRL smoke-and-mirrors sounds like a recipe for style over substance — we're a bit suspicious that the target demographic is restaurant-goers who don't actually care about eating.
We're wrong, though, wrong from the parmesan-dusted chips through to the bite-sized caramel doughnuts, proving with a sticky, carb-heavy flourish that there's more than just style to Restaurant Ours. The new menu's a mash-up of MediterrAsian dishes, truffled pasta rubbing shoulders with tuna poke, Taleggio dominating one plate, lemongrass another. If there's a common thread it's a serious level of indulgence and some ornately delicate plating.
Ravioli with Taleggio is the show-stopping dish, the dish you might regret ordering only one of, if it were humanly possible to manage a second serving of that much earthy, truffly richness. But nearly everything's excellent in a hyper-lavish way, from the silky, tangy tuna poke to the doughnut-bites, gritty with sugar and gloopy with caramel. The avocado caviar with elderflower cucumber is the sole, underwhelming exception, all of the flavours oddly muted into a nice but indistinct creaminess. But that lowlight comes among a series of pretty high notes.
All that flourish comes with a price-tag, and it's a Knightsbridgey, special occasion-sized one. The small plates each hover around the £15-£20 mark, and it takes several of them to make up a dinner (though you can probably get away with fewer than the 4-5 dishes a head that the menu advises; they're small in size but often staggering in truffle content). So this one's strictly for when you're feeling no-tomorrows about your bank balance — and, probably, your waistline. Because look at those ravioli.
Restaurant Ours, 264 Brompton Road, SW3 2AS.
Last Updated 16 August 2018