he hottest hotel opening of the year has got even hotter. The Londoner, the world’s first super boutique hotel, is now welcoming diners to the jewel in its crown, 8 at The Londoner – the eagerly anticipated rooftop izakaya lounge where contemporary Japanese cuisine meets creative cocktails and dramatic design.
Positioned on the eighth floor of this new landmark hotel in the heart of the capital, 8 at The Londoner encompasses a restaurant, lounge and terrace and a Shima Garden, which together form a striking yet sleek space that reflects the backdrop of the city skyline.
A Japanese-inspired world of interiors
On your arrival, dark wood slats and accents of chiaroscuro (‘light-dark’) set the tone, while in the dining and drinking spaces, partitions and ceiling decorations made of woven rope hint at the ancient Japanese art form of shibari.
On the minimalist, plant-lined terrace, a dramatic, sculptural rope installation is suspended above a sleek, modern fire-pit, while beautifully shaped panels offer glimpses of the city’s silhouette beyond, and a retractable skylight provides an alfresco option for balmy evenings.
Open year-round, the Shima Garden is the place for a unique drinking experience under the London sky, which is accompanied by select dishes from the 8 at The Londoner menu.
The restaurant’s culinary concept was developed by Matt Downes, The Londoner’s Executive Head Chef, and his team, alongside Amir Jati, Director of Food and Beverage Service Excellence for Edwardian Hotels London, pictured below.
The menu’s selection of carefully crafted dishes offers simplicity, flair and unique flavour combinations for diners.
Champagne and shashimi
Indoors, the à la carte menu features a range of sharing dishes, such as lobster tempura with ama ponzu; king crab with butter, pepper and garlic; and A5 Wagyu with Gorgonzola dolce crème.
For a taste of the freshest raw fish, there is also a moriawase selection, encompassing sushi, sashimi and tartare.
A more refined offering of 8 at The Londoner’s small bites is offered in the Shima Garden, alongside an extended cocktail list. Here you’ll find beef tataki with black truffle ponzu and a choice of gyoza tacos, including the chef’s signature grilled lobster with chilli and cilantro.
Drinks are as important as the food: there’s a selection of top wine and champagne, and a list of reserve sake and Japanese whisky. The cocktails, developed by Head Mixologist Pierpaolo Schirru, incorporate Japanese and Asian ingredients. Martinis are a particular speciality, including versions flavoured with matcha, or lychee, kumquat and rose liqueur. Kanpai!
What you need to know about dinner at 8
“Our vision was to create new flavours that hadn’t been done before,” explains Matt Downes, Executive Head Chef at The Londoner, who along with his team spent close to two years developing the menu for 8 at The Londoner.
“For the Chilean sea bass, we’ve created a dressing and a shiso salsa, using various ingredients that really enhance the flavour of umami,” Downes says.
His favourite dish, however, is another sea bass offering, in which the fish is served as carpaccio, with Fuji apple, citrus and black sea salt. That’s closely followed by the Wagyu.
Amir Jati, Director of Food and Beverage Service Excellence for Edwardian Hotels London, pictured left, agrees:
“We use the highest grade of Japanese beef fillet, simply served rare and sliced, complemented by beautiful sweet and creamy Gorgonzola dolce crème,” Jati explains. “The simplicity of the dish is absolutely magic.”
Guests come for an exclusive dining experience, and for a selection of perfectly curated cocktails
Just as the food is Japanese-inspired, so too is the drinks menu.
“The joy of the space is that guests come in for an exclusive dining experience, but they also come for a selection of perfectly curated, complex cocktails,” Jati says.
His recommended tipple? The barrel-aged old fashioned, which incorporates ingredients including Yamazaki 12 Year Old and Hibiki Harmony.
“8 at The Londoner is just truly unique,” Jati adds. “It’s a combination of dramatic design and a really emotive ambiance, which has been expertly paired with exquisite food and drink – and of course exceptional service.”