Eight Over Eight in Chelsea is one of London’s most iconic restaurants. Sure, with its rep among the Chelsea set and a fun, sociable approach to dining that includes a DJ, you’re guaranteed a good time, but how does the food fit into all this?
Words: Alexander Larman
The problem with being one of London’s most iconic restaurants is that people expect a certain standard from you every night, and it’s incredibly hard to match that level of expectation.
However, restaurateur Will Ricker has managed over the course of his decades-long career to ensure that quality is always matched by a stylish and relaxing atmosphere, and it’s reassuring to report that one of the flagships of his brand, Eight over Eight, continues to fire on every cylinder imaginable.
You don’t expect innovation here. It’s Pan-Asian cuisine, but prepared and served with panache. Your cheery waiter might start by recommending the house cocktail of the night (passion fruit martini when we visited, which was the exemplary mixture of sour and sweet), followed by a gentle nudge towards which of the dishes on the copious dim sum and sushi selection were worth trying.
Had we had both time and appetites, I suspect that most of them would have been sampled; as was, the yellow tail sashimi, beef gyoza and the house signature dish of crispy squid stood out for both fantastic presentation and exquisite taste. A delectable Gruner Veltliner was a fine match, cutting through the acidity and spice of the dishes with quite some panache.
One goes to Eight over Eight for a great night out
The manageress came over early on, with an expression of concern on her face. Did we mind the fact that a DJ was going to be performing? Actually, the laid-back house beats were an excellent complement to the black cod and special of sliced sirloin steak that we enjoyed as a main course, because something that Ricker has always understood better than so many of his peers is that dining is a fun, social experience, not a dry examination of how a particular ingredient has been served up.
One doesn’t go to Eight over Eight for fine dining; one instead goes for a great night out. And it more than delivers on that level.
392 King’s Road SW3 5UZ; 020 7349 9934; rickerrestaurants.com
Dinner for two around £150
Superb Pan-Asian food in a still-stylish Chelsea setting
What to eat…
The dim sum are fantastic and more than filling
What to know…
The cocktails here are worth visiting for on their own – but be warned, they’re surprisingly potent
The Resident rating