Peter Morrell goes to the launch and samples the ethical, sustainable and tasty food in stylish surroundings
The Savannah, 81-103 Euston Street London NW1 2EZ.
With a fresh approach to fusion cuisine, The Savannah Bar & Restaurant opened recently at 81-103 Euston Street, London NW1 2EZ. This is Euston’s newest, most spacious and relaxed restaurant with an a-la-carte menu featuring European food combined with the flavours of Africa and Asia, alongside some of the best-loved classic dishes.
The bar has its own menu of Small Plates and Sharing Dishes, a superior wine list including biodynamic and organic wines, artisanal beers, over 20 whiskies and a large selection of unusual vodkas, rums and gins.
It will also be arguably London’s most ethical and eco-friendly space with strong credentials to prove it.The area north of Euston Road has long been regarded as a ‘gastronomic desert’ – albeit well-known for its Indian curry houses in Drummond Street. However, with new restaurants recently opened at the revamped Euston Station, and now with the opening of The Savannah, Euston is set to become a game-changing area in London’s fast growing restaurant scene, following the upward trend in good-quality openings.
Food and Drink
Head Chef Alin Lucian Atanasiu, who has previously worked in four and five stars and boutique hotels in London, sources his food ethically, from sustainable suppliers, artisan producers and family-run companies. These include The Bread Factory bakery and patisserie in London NW9, whilst the meat is assiduously sourced from the Old Hall Farm near Luton, which also supplies some of London’s top Michelin star chefs, for rare breed pork, cattle and fowl including free range chickens and turkeys. Only fish from non-endangered species features on the menu, sourced from James Knight of Mayfair, the sector leader in sustainability issues. Reducing carbon footprint and food miles, and recycling, is The Savannah’s ethos. The restaurant also supports a growing range of ethical products including Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and biodegradable ranges.
The dishes on the seasonal menu challenge but don’t scare the diners. There’s African spiced pork belly with scallop, carrot and miso purée, Prawn tempura with spicy tomato fondue on a banana leaf, and Pan-fried duck breast with bok choy, crushed sweet potatoes, plum and baobab sauce. Home comforts include Monkfish wrapped in Parma Ham, Oven baked chicken breast with a ragout of wild mushrooms and Spinach & ricotta ravioli with truffle cheese sauce. A dessert of Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse is well worth trying.
With its own separate entrance and set on two floors flooded with natural light, The Savannah is located within the Wesley Hotel. The décor tells a story inspired by nature and sustainability, with ‘time’ as the theme. From the guest taking time to escape and relax, to the venue taking time to prepare food and drink that deliver an exceptional experience. Two eco-friendly artists have created some stunning features. The Trees of Time – highly impactful silhouettes created by British designer-maker Stephanie Cole, whose work explores nature and its shapes and patterns, seem to stop, frame, record and suspend time.
The Bird of Prey has been hand-crafted by ethical artist Ptolemy Erlington, well-known for transforming scrap metal in works of art, mainly animal forms. The ‘bird’, made of recycled shopping trolleys, is a dynamic art piece and stands majestic in the main restaurant. The sculpture integrates with the wall design which features a grey panel turning onto birds scattering – an unusual visual twist which continues onto the ground floor.
Most of the furniture is made from recycled material and the bar uses reclaimed wood. The subtle, calming colours are enhanced by a state-of-the-art lighting system which creates different moods during the day and night. The Savannah also cultivates emerging creativity and the work of upcoming animators, film makers and artists will be projected on the walls.
Peter Morrell, Food and Drink Editor of AboutMyGeneration commented, “I was highly impressed with the freshness and quality of the food. Head Chef Alin Lucian Atanasiu has put together a menu offering inventive and imaginative dishes with contrasting tastes, flavours and textures. The added bonus is the cool décor which makes the dining experience both relaxing and enjoyable.”
The Wesley Hotel
The Wesley Hotel is named after John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, who was inspired to recreate in England the same hospitality he found on his preaching travels. Many ‘hospitable spaces’ were subsequently transformed into hotels. Today The Wesley continues to support social transformation, social enterprise and ethical principles, and is the winner of several sustainability awards. John Wesley preached in the town of Savannah, Georgia, and the restaurant pays homage to him with its name.
Both The Wesley Hotel and The Savannah Bar & Restaurant are members of the SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association).
The Savannah Bar & Restaurant
81-103 Euston Street
London NW1 2EZ
Tel: 020 7691 8588