[email protected] is a brand new, chic restaurant that showcases the best of London’s multifarious culinary influences, and welcomes communities of food lovers to pique their palates. Located inside the luxurious five-star Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, it boasts a fabulously central location, a stone’s throw from London’s biggest attractions: Buckingham Palace Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square are all a short stroll away. Notwithstanding its central location, the restaurant is nestled inside the hotel’s secluded courtyard, which is so private and peaceful it feels as though you’ve discovered a hidden corner of London.
[email protected] bills itself as a restaurant offering ‘global cuisine with a creative spin’. This pithily and accurately sums up the tenor of the menu: the signature dishes are eye-catching enticing and unique, quirkily permutating popular flavors from around the world. London has earned a reputation as a crucible of culinary influences, and, as Taj 51 General Manager Mehrnavaz Avari elucidates: “London is considered the culinary capital of the world and we are delighted to bring [email protected] with its eclectic global flavours in stylish settings in the heart of the London city.”
Stylish it certainly is: [email protected] was conceived by Conran & Partners and the interior is suffused with a bright, airy feel throughout the glass dining room, with its elegant wood cladding and complimentary soft colour palette. The kitchen is visible to guests, adding a dash of theatre to the dining experience.
Executive Head Chef Sujoy Gupta is the mastermind behind the menu, drawing on his eight years at the helm of both the Taj Bengal Kolkota and Taj Umaid Bawan Palace, and he has concocted some truly intriguing offerings. Signature dishes include burrata and kale chaat, a tofu and orange marmalade bao bun, a Moroccan poke bowl and a paneer wellington, while the bar at [email protected] continues the global theme, taking inspiration from seven biomes of the world, with flavours influenced by the natural properties of each habitat. Cocktail highlights include the “Breath of Fresh Air”, a mix of Ginepraio, pine cordial, swiss herbs, gentian & juniper, elderflower cider, and “Shay Al-Walah”, a blend of Zacapa 23, mint tea, karkade`, Moroccan lemon, vegetal milk, and date honey. By using ingredients and flavours found in each delicate ecosystem, as well as employing sustainable techniques, the innovative drinks list is the perfect foil to the explorative food offering.
One of the biggest advantages of the wide-ranging menu is that there is almost bound to be something to appeal to any palate. I (a pescatarian), visited with my husband, who is a vegetarian, and our young children, who are both fussy eaters. Fortunately, from the vast array of dishes on the menu, all of us found appealing options. I especially enjoyed my Moroccan poke bowl, with its saffron pearl couscous, ras-el hanout, and delicately spiced chickpea compote, offset by the cooling tzatziki. The flavour and textural combination was spectacular. My husband relished his paneer Wellington, filled with an unctuous mascarpone makhani sauce. My daughters hugely enjoyed their Double Fish and Chips (two pieces of fish; one with classic batter and the other with spiced chickpea batter) which came with fries and sweet potato chips. Desserts were delectable: our favourites were the apple mousse with apple and cinnamon centre (playfully presented as a Granny Smith apple with a green coloured white chocolate shell) and chocolate cheesecake mochi with salted caramel ice cream.
Service throughout is outstanding. Eashak, the maître d’ is another Taj Hotel stalwart transplanted from a sister property (Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur). Izetee, our delightful waitress, is cheerfully attentive throughout the meal, and displays an impressive knowledge of Frozen, which impresses my daughters immensely.
In the wrong hands, a menu this ambitiously idiosyncratic could go dreadfully wrong. Fortunately, Sujoy Gupta oversees a triumph at [email protected], which successfully achieves its aim of amalgamating global flavours in surprising yet satisfying ways.
51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences London SW1E 6AF
Telephone: +44 20 7769 7766