Spoiler: we absolutely LOVE Darby’s, Robin Gill’s new restaurant, which has just opened 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. There’s also a lovely outdoor terrace and the front windows of the restaurant open right up to let in lots of light and air so this is definitely going to be a great spot in summer.

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.

Two meaty ‘proper’ starters really hit the mark: a very light chicken liver mousse served with Jerusalem artichoke and a sweet truffle jam, plus a beef fillet tartare that was pimped up with bone marrow and chestnut mushrooms. Deciding to go heavy on the first courses we also went for a beautiful plate of Jersey milk ricotta agnolotti, with courgette and Nocellara olives before sharing just one main course, a meaty slab of turbot cooked on the grill.

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 – it might just have been our favourite dish of the night (it also appears in the starters section). For the sweet option, we can definitely recommend the Pump Street chocolate mousse with Guinness gelato.

Darby’s was definitely one of our meals of the year so far and if you’re lucky enough to live in the area we reckon this is going to be your new favourite restaurant.

3 Viaduct Gardens Road, Embassy Gardens, London, SW11 7AY