We absolutely LOVE Darby’s, Robin Gill’s new restaurant next door to the new US Embassy in Nine Elms. Although it’s a big space in a brand new shiny building (which will soon have a sky pool 35 metres up) the designers AvroKO have done an incredible job making it feel like a homey, lived-in restaurant with a large central bar area and nice booth seating around the sides.
Robin, who’s an amazing chef and all round nice guy to boot, has also smashed it out the park on the food front. The menu is classic by nature – think oysters, grilled fish, and steaks – but it’s all been executed with great care and attention. And when the classics are done well, they’re really very hard to beat. With a big selection of oysters, a couple of these and a pint of Guinness or glass of champagne makes for an excellent start: we went for the black wild water oysters cooked over embers and topped with a seaweed-spiked butter. Darby’s has its own bakery in house so a round of sourdough and cultured butter is another must, as is the lobster roll which comes slathered in roe mayo and sandwiched in a glistening brioche bun. For dessert, you need to order the truffled Baron Bigod cheese which is melted over thin slices of sourdough and served with fig and walnut and the Pump Street chocolate mousse with Guinness gelato.