Aster – Victoria, London

Aster – a new star in the Victoria area. Part of the D&D Group and in the new development of Nova Victoria which is bringing finally some new options for restaurants in the area.

Not sure why the review has taken so long to write – I have been there probably almost 10 times now since they opened at the beginning of this year, with friends, family, for business meetings, informal catch up coffees and what else.

There is something about the place and I can’t quite put the finger on it. The design is obviously new and includes all the more recent trends in terms of materials and shapes but there is something a touch cold and hotel like about it – sort of want to please them all effort. Also on the food – the brilliant Executive Chef Helena Puolakka is probably still holding onto some French techniques which probably make the Scandinavian cuisine a little more familiar with the more international crowd.

I was recently in Finland with my unforgiving Italian foodie husband and he was surprisingly appreciative of the more traditional Finnish cuisine. So perhaps Puolakka should consider going down the line of hard-core Scandi – less compromising and more pure. Just a thought.

There are 3 areas: the café, the deli on the ground floor and the restaurant upstairs. All three gather for different occasions and are really good depending on the occasion. The restaurant has also two private dining rooms – a smaller one at the entrance of the restaurant with glass walls so probably not the best if you are having a loud party and the other with wood panelling for a very intimate feel. The acoustics are the best at the booths in the deli. Even when busy it is really manageable to have an intimate conversation.

Overall I clearly keep going back so it must be one to recommend further!
Also I must admit we had a lot of fun with the bottomless bubbles brunch option!

All of my guests really enjoyed the cuisine regardless of their cultural and culinary backgrounds.

Go Finns! Go Chef Puolakka!


150 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5LB