The Beirut-born brand, which started as a smokehouse 20 years ago, already has venues in Lebanon and Dubai, and the Pont Street site will be its first venture outside the Middle East.
The food offering, prepared by Spanish-born head chef Esteve Prats Grau – who previously worked at Tom’s Kitchen – includes a variety of cold and hot salmon specialties, salads, Mediterranean fish and meats, as well as sushi and sashimi.
Co-owner and managing director Jason Bassili, who helped out in his father’s smokehouse from the age of four, told BigHospitality: “We’ve got to adapt our food offering to what’s available seasonally here, but 90 per cent of the menu is going to be the same as what it is in Dubai, which is soups, salads with smoked salmon and seaweed or lentils and quinoa for example; nothing too fancy. If I find some nice local meat, then why not add it to the menu.”
Wine and cocktails will make up the drinks list, and the venue will include a lounge bar area. “The concept is sexier than the one in Dubai, with a lounge bar and stripped back décor. We’ve got steel, vintage mirrors and vintage leather on the walls,” Bassili added.
The design is overseen by Andraos Associates, the team behind Café de Paris, Madame Jojo's, Noura and Volupté, and is described as “a deconstructed, simplified procession of spaces, using leather, solid wood and raw steel”.
The first floor will include a casual and bar and lounge area as well as a more formal space, with a ‘Royal Dining Table’ for ten people, while downstairs will have a private dining room for 36 people.
Bassili explained that the restaurant will be informal but not casual, targeting a high-end Belgravia clientele.
“We don’t want to be a pretentious restaurant where people are scared to eat. We want to be a dining spot where you feel like you can spend money if you want to but you’re not forced to. You can spend £40 or £100, but it’s your choice.”
And although the first venue is not yet open, Bassili is already eyeing other locations for expansion, mainly in the Chelsea area.
Salmontini Le Resto will be open daily from noon until 12.30am.