If you follow me on Twitter you have probably seen me going on about Novikov a new Asian and Italian restaurant in Mayfair, London. To celebrate my new job Mr WP, The London Perspective’s resident love doctor and I went along to Novikov on Wednesday last week. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Novikov since it opened a few months ago and being a fan of Asian food I just had to check it out. When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by some friendly and attractive front of house staff who took our coats and showed us to our table. The Asian restaurant is on the first level and its Italian counterpart is on the lower level. On this particular Wednesday it was obvious we were lucky to get a table.
The low lighting and club like music gives Novikov an edgy and glamorous feel. The restaurant is utilitarian in style with wooden benches and simple paper menus. I found the menu to be fairly diverse and had similar offerings that you would find at places like Hakkasan and Nobu. For my starter I opted for Har Gau dim sum and WP went for the warm crispy duck with peking dressing. While we were waiting for our starters we were served a sort of cabbage in chilli sauce which was very tasty. When our starters came I was a little disappointed as the size of the har gau dumplings were small compared to what I have had in other restaurants. Although this was remedied as the har gau tasted delicious easily on the level of what I have eaten at Yauatcha. Being still hungry I pinched some of WP’s duck salad. The salad was also commendable and I enjoyed the sweetness of the pomegranate contrasted with the duck. For the main course I ordered steamed seabass with ginger, spring onion and soy and special char sui fried rice. I have to say that even though the texture of the fish was good I found the taste bland and boring. The rice wasn’t much better as it was overcooked and unexciting. Considering the prices of the dishes on the menu you do expect the dishes to pack some punch. We also had a long wait between the first and second courses. The wine list was at least fairly reasonable for Mayfair and we washed our food down with a nice glass of Sauvignon blanc.
So what is my verdict? Well WP and I both agreed that for the prices you are buying more the atmosphere than the food. My experience of Novikov was mixed, although we enjoyed our starters we were disappointed by the mains so we probably won’t be returning anytime soon. There are just too many other better restaurant offerings in the same price bracket for our tastes.
A meal for two plus one bottle of wine came to £140 pounds.