Updated 14/5/9 with soft launch info and booking details
In a nutshell: Robin Gill’s new restaurant in the new Embassy Gardens development
Summing it all up: An Irish-influenced menu will be on offer at the ground floor at Robin Gill's next restaurant Darby’s – and also at the development’s incredible Sky Pool 10 stories up.
With The Dairy being perennially one of London's best restaurants and a Michelin Bib Gourmand being awarded to Sorella last year, all eyes are on the next venture from Robin and Sarah Gill. And that's Darby's, launching as part of the Embassy Gardens development situated right next door to the US Embassy off Nine Elms Lane.
And from what we've seen, Darby's looks to be something quite special. There's quite a lovely story about the inspiration for the restaurant.
Inspired by Robin’s jazz musician father, Earl ‘Darby’ Gill, the restaurant will celebrate his time spent touring America in the 50s and early 60s, reflecting the Manhattan bars he frequented on his travels.
That immediately sounds like somewhere we want to go. Darby's will be open all day with a bar, restaurant and oyster bar. In the kitchen is head chef Dean Parker (who's opened both The Dairy and Sorella with Robin and Sarah) and here's what's planned for the menu...
For breakfast, things kick off pastries from Matt the Baker as well as "Darby’s Full Irish" and if you're just after a bacon fix, the Mangalitsa bacon slab with brown sauce on sourdough should do the trick.
Moving onto lunchtime, sandwiches include "salt beef and celeriac remoulade bagels" and "Darby’s house-cured mortadella and Jersey milk ricotta on Matt’s homemade sourdough".
And then we head into the evening for dinner, where options are:
- Sit at the central oyster bar for Ireland’s renowned Dooncastle oysters as well as native mussels and pickles, "Willy’s mackerel crudo" and caviar with potato flatbread
- Seafood cooked over fire on the grill will include day boat fish, Lady Hamilton cod on the bone and Brixham wild turbot.
- And for the meat, there's "Dexter Beef with Worcester and mustard" and "Oxford Sandy and Black pig with caramelised apple glaze"
And finally dessert, which includes tonka bean gelato, Pump Street chocolate mousse and the pretty amazing sounding "caramelized croissant gelato" as well as cheese from Neal’s Yard.
Moving onto the bar, Wesley Yeung is joining the team here from The Dairy. The bar team will be focusing on their own take on cocktail classics - so that's:
- The Kentucky Darby - their take on a mint julep
- Mulligan’s Margarita with Ban Poitin (the legal stuff)
- The even more Irish-sounding Spud Sour (roast potato infused gin, Killahora Pom O apple port, egg white and lemon)
- And Vault Vermouth from Darby’s Dan Joines as well as Guinness on tap (of course).
And if oysters and Guinness are just your thing, then you can get "‘Black, Bubbles, and Rock ‘n Roll" from 5-7pm, when they'll be serving up an oyster and a pint of Guinness for a fiver (or with Champagne for £10, if you must).
As for the look of Darby's, it's all influenced by 1950s Manhattan. So we can expect "a bottle green tiled exterior façade, bespoke furniture, burnished glass lampshades, fluted velvet banquettes".The oyster bar itself sounds impressive - "topped with green marble and lined with mustard leather rattan stools" and with "foliage dangling overhead". All that and they'll have an outside terrace overlooking Embassy Gardens too.
In addition to this, later on, the kitchen at Darby’s – safely located on the ground floor – will also be responsible for serving the development's incredible Sky Pool, a 25-metre outdoor pool suspended between two residential towers. Apparently, there’ll be a lift out the back of the kitchen that will deliver food to the 10th floor, just beneath the pool.
We'll leave the final word to Robin Gill:
My dad certainly knew how to have a good time, and a lot of that time was spent frequenting the bars of Manhattan. Darby’s is his kind of downtown place - somewhere for life to be lived to the fullest, with oysters on ice, pints of black, freshly made bread and the best ingredients we have at our fingertips in Britain and Ireland.
More about Darby's
Where is it? 3 Viaduct Gardens Road, Embassy Gardens, London, SW11 7AY
When does it open? 16 May 2019
Soft launch: Runs from 16-26 May for two weeks. You'll get a complimentary drink on arrival and 25% off your food bill for lunch or dinner or 15% off the bill at breakfast
How to book; via their website
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