What: The two ground floor restaurants in the recently opened, super trendy hotel The Standard London in King’s Cross, the US hotel group’s first operation on European soil.
Who: Twenty-nine-year-old chef Adam Rawson is the man behind the stoves as executive chef. Rawson’s CV includes The Grove in Watford, the short-lived Eastside Inn in Clerkenwell, and Hibiscus, but he is known more for his more recent chef roles, first at new wave burger restaurant Lucky Chip and then at Peruvian-inspired restaurant group Pachamama. Rawson is a talent to watch, having won the Chef of the Year at the Young British Foodies awards back in 2015.
The food: Though close in proximity, Isla and Double Standard are poles apart in food styles. Named after the Scottish island, Isla’s menu is based on light proteins and serves a breakfast menu as well as an all day offer. Early morning hotel-friendly options include shakshuka; truffle omelette; artichoke hash; and a full English, while dishes on the all-day menu are broken up into ‘from the sea’, ‘from the soil, and ‘from the land’ categories and include turbot with sea aster and wild fennel; broccoli with yoghurt, almonds and mustard; and Iberico pork with chimichurri and daikon (pictured).
Double Standard, by contrast, is a heartier affair with beer and cocktail friendly food, such as snacks like a big pretzel; hog dog sliders; and chicken scratchings; and mains of aubergine parm; pork chop; and fish and chips. Rawson has put his experience at Lucky Chip to good use with Double Standard’s signature burger - made with Branston pickle, stilton, bacon and truffle aioli - and customers in the know can even ask for his special off-menu burger.
The vibe: Isla is integrated into the hotel’s lobby area and is a sight to behold with bright colours and texture that create a refreshingly striking dining area. There is also an outdoor space that has a retractable awning for al fresco dining. Double Standard is larger and has a pub-cum-US-diner vibe, with bright crimson banquettes, dark wood panelling and an impressive bar. It’s fair to say that there’s nothing subtle about either space.
And another thing: Rawson will soon be joined by Bristol-based chef peter Sanchez-Iglesias, who will be heading up the kitchen at The Standard London’s third restaurant, sited on the 10th floor of the hotel. While it’s name is still being kept under wraps, it’s believed to be linked to its location.
An interview with Adam Rawson, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias and Bruce Robertson, The Standard London’s managing director, will appear in the August issue of Restaurant magazine, out at the start of August. To subscribe to Restaurant magazine click here