What: A slick new restaurant atop recently opened US-owned hotel The Standard, London. Decimo is accessed via a pill-shaped red lift that runs up the side of the hotel and has a striking 1970s-inspired interior. It joins Adam Rawson’s Double Standard and Isla, which are located on the ground floor.
Who: Peter Sanchez-Iglesias. The Bristol-born chef is one of the country’s brightest cooking talents: his flagship Casamia and the more casual Paco Tapas each hold a Michelin star. “It’s funny because I never wanted to do a restaurant in a hotel,” says the easy-going chef on his appointment. ”I thought it would end up being posh. It didn’t feel like us. What we’re doing here is professional but relaxed, and it’s also a self-contained space in which we can create our own little world.” In a move that came as a surprise to many, Sanchez-Iglesias has based himself in London for at least the next year and plans to be in the kitchen alongside righthand man Josh Green “pretty much every day”.
The vibe: Designed by Shawn Hausman, the 130-cover space has panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows that provide views of the St Pancras Renaissance’s intricate roof immediately to the north and surprisingly uninterrupted views of the London skyline from all other directions. Despite the great aspect, the main restaurant space has been sunken to put the emphasis on the dining room. The room is refreshingly offbeat for a hotel restaurant with its rich red and brown colour palette, sweeping bar, central feature fire place, rattan ceiling tiles, and assortment of cacti and other plants. It’s a daringly busy space but the overall effect is nothing short of stunning.
The food: Decimo shares much of the same DNA as Sanchez-Iglesias’ Paco Tapas but bolts on some Mexican dishes and influences for good measure. Key dishes include croquetas de jamón; marinated red peppers; patatas bravas; crab and jalapeño aguachile; and - most famously - a tortilla topped with caviar (25g fo £40 or 50g for £75). Alongside these dishes are simple grilled items served with minimalist garnishes (in some cases nothing at all) including Mangalitza pork chop; rib of beef; langoustines; and monkfish.
And another thing: Restaurant magazine has visited Decimo a total of three times but is yet to ride in the (apparently temperamental) red lift. Maybe one day.