What: D&D London makes its mark on Victoria’s growing dining scene with this huge Nordic-inspired deli, café and restaurant in the newly-opened Nova development.
Who: Executive chef Helena Puolakka, who headed up the kitchen at Skylon for six years until 2013 and worked at Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire, returns to D&D after a four-year break.
The vibe: Located just a stone’s throw from Victoria station Aster’s relaxed all-day café makes a bustling spot for breakfast and lunch, and includes a Grand Central-esque hanging clock so train passengers can keep an eye on the time. Upstairs the floor-to-ceiling windows give the dining room a prime view over the heart of Victoria, which will be much more impressive when the building work around the station (finally) ends next year.
The menu: Puolakka combines her Finnish heritage and classical French training to create a simple menu ranging from foie gras to skrei cod with fennel, olives and tomato. The café also offers a Smörgåsbord lunch (£15-£19) and a Nordic take on Afternoon Tea (£20 pp), while the pre-theatre menu will make this a popular spot when hit Broadway musical Hamilton opens across the road in November.
And another thing: For those craving more than just a taste of Finland, Aster is offering a monthly virtual reality experience complete with goggles and ‘sounds of the sea’ to accompany a five-course menu.
150 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5LB