Most people know that Fitzrovia is a super cool area of London. Within this super cool area is a super cool hotel you may not know. It is discreet and understated but you don’t get much cooler than The Mandrake and especially their Latin-inspired restaurant YOPO! The uber-stylish interiors, fabulous artwork adorning the walls and ceilings, and sculptures strategically positioned create a real wow factor!
Here, the food sets the mood and The Mandrake hotel’s YOPO celebrates South American and European culture combined with a savoury selection of Latin-inspired dishes.
The restaurant has recently undergone a redesign of its menus to reflect Chef George Scott-Toft’s excursions to South American countries including; Argentina, Chile, and Peru – countries which pride themselves on sourcing only the freshest ingredients for every component of their traditional, intricate, and flavourful dishes, as Chef Scott-Toft has with YOPO. You would be hardpressed to find a better balance between modern European delicacies and classic South American cuisine anywhere in London.
For example, the YOPO take on the empanada – a staple dish for Latin Americans. Here George offers ground beef alongside various vegetables and cheese and features a rich octopus, artichoke, and olive empanada: a unique, European spin on an item you might overlook on an average South American menu. Known as ‘empanadas de pulpo’ in Spanish, you may only find a rival off the coast of Spain. This dish clearly takes its inspiration from traditional elements of the South American empanada along with the freshness of octopus from the Atlantic coast of Galicia, Spain.
If you’re visiting YOPO for lunch, consider the prawn ceviche, accompanied by plantains and pineapples – an undeniably delicious Latin combination that brings colour and flavour to any dish lucky enough to feature it. The inherent tang of the pineapple combined with the subtle sweetness of the plantain perfectly complements the traditional zest of marinated prawn. Of course, that’s just lunch. If you’re venturing to YOPO for dinner, indulge in Chef Scott-Toft’s set menu, which includes sourdough bread for a light snack, a starter (or “tapas”), a main course, and dessert.
Dessert plays a huge role in the dining culture of Latin America – milk, especially, elevates the dishes to a new level of decadency. YOPO features seven desserts on its menu, with something for everyone – even if you’re full from the chef’s Chimichurri Sirloin; YOPO has something light for you to indulge in. The most popular sweet – the ‘alfajor’ – takes a traditional South American confection from countries such as Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and Ecuador and adds a European flare. In South America, alfajores may contain honey, almonds, hazelnuts, and “dulce de leche” in between two cookies; At YOPO, expect the traditional sweetness of dulce de leche paired with chocolate and passionfruit for a jolt of tartness to combat the decadence of the caramel-like sweetened milk.
Being part of The Mandrake hotel, YOPO stands out as one of London’s top-tier restaurants for unique dishes that you won’t find at any traditional European or South American restaurant because of the novel expression of the cultures through Chef Scott-Toft’s mastery. Spend an afternoon relaxing in the classy and artistic South American environment, spiced up by Latin music, signature cocktails, and superb service. YOPO takes reservations for its traditional dining experience, as well as for private events or meetings in the private dining room – exquisitely decorated for any occasion. Bon apetit!
20-21 Newman Street Fitzrovia, London W1 www.yopo.london