Nordic Afternoon Tea at Aster, Victoria, London
Review: Nordic/French fusion and Afternoon Tea at Aster London
Style Points: 4/5
Victoria is an area of London which has recently been throwing up a range of culinary surprises. As part of the redevelopment of Victoria, many swanky new restaurants have opened up, including Nordic restaurant Aster.
Aster, just by Victoria station, is a gorgeous restaurant composed of café and deli on the ground floor and an upstairs restaurant and bar. This 10,000 square foot space designed by Russell Sage interior design studios is slick, smart and very inviting.
What’s on the menu?
Aster’s kitchen is overseen by executive chef, Helena Puolakka, who is presenting Nordic cuisine of her Finnish heritage using the classic French techniques she has refined over her career.
As a result the menu at Aster features a heap of appealing traditional Nordic delicacies such as fish roe, pickled herring and wild berries alongside open sandwiches of house cured Var salmon on rye in the café and deli.
Upstairs in the restaurant, more refined dishes of meatballs a la Lindstrom, with beef and beetroot; juniper-smoked turbot with tender leeks and butter sauce; and even a tasting of fish roes and a selection of blinis with matching vodkas and aquavits.
I tried Aster’s Nordic Afternoon Tea menu, as I was intrigued by this variation on a classic. We started with Afternoon Tea cocktails including an Aster Martini made with vanilla vodka, passion fruit puree and lingonberry jam as well as Greenways composed of gin, St. Germain, matcha tea syrup, fresh basil, lemon juice. These were perfect late-afternoon drinks and they set us in the right spirit for food.
The stunning Afternoon Tea platter arrived and we tucked into Atlantic prawn skagen on sourdough and blackcurrant herring, egg on dark rye. As a seafood fan I really enjoyed both of these, especially as the herring wasn’t as overwhelming I have experienced in other restaurants.
The standout savory offering was the pork roll with aquavit mustard, which was comfortingly delicious and extremely moreish.
We then moved on to the sweet selection amongst which was the blueberry pie with rye croute and divine little lingonberry macaroons. We were also presented with a platter of cinnamon knots which we had created ourselves!
Could I afford to dine here again?
Aster’s Afternoon Tea menu costs £20 per person including tea or coffee which is immensely good value for the amount of food served up. If you want to spruce up your meal even more, for additional cocktails there is an extra charge.
I enjoyed trying a new variation on afternoon tea with Aster’s Nordic/French combination which worked very well both in the taste and presentation of the food.
I would particulary recommend Nordic Afternoon Tea at Aster for those who want to familiarise themselves with Nordic food, as the bite-sized morsels provide a perfect introduction to the unique cuisine.
A special thanks to Aster and to Sheepa Miah for their fabulous hospitality!
Visit Aster’s website
Address: Aster, 150 Victoria Street, SW1E 5LB
Tube Station: Victoria