Aster, the latest restaurant from D&D London, has now launched in Victoria’s Nova Food, London. The 10,000 sqft space, designed by Russell Sage Studio, is set across two floors, comprising a café and deli on the ground floor and an upstairs restaurant and bar. The kitchen is overseen by executive chef, Helena Puolakka, and serves the Nordic cuisine of her Finnish heritage complemented by classic French dishes and techniques refined over her career.
Russell Stage Studio has drawn on the breadth of Aster’s food concepts to create distinct dining spaces which contrast in style, yet complement each other. The 161-cover café and deli has a neutral base colour palette featuring splashes of colour is offset by brass detailing, marble and timber finishes.
In the café and deli, traditional Nordic delicacies such as fish roe, pickled herring and wild berries sit alongside cinnamon buns and Smörgåsbords featuring shredded duck, cornichons, fig chutney and sourdough. Upstairs in the restaurant, the menu presents more refined dishes such as Arctic char and hot smoked Greenland prawns with aubergine caviar, and dill and Pyrenean lamb shoulder with braised January King cabbage and lingonberry.
Aster marks a return to D&D for Helena, who originally joined the group as executive chef to launch Skylon, where she stayed for six years until 2013. Hailing from the south-west coast of Finland, Helena’s upbringing has shaped her style of cooking, which focuses on uncomplicated, homemade food and distinctive flavours. Her French culinary training adds a completely different dimension to dishes, departing from Scandinavia’s wind-swept landscape of endless forests to the tranquil vistas of Southern France.