by Azzy Asghar
Almost 20 years since his legendary restaurant at the Berkeley was closed down, Michelin starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten has returned to the Maybourne Group with a more relaxed all-day dining concept with Jean-Georges at The Connaught.
I was introduced to Jean-Georges by the Managing Director of Mercedes Benz who had invited me to dinner there in the mid-nineties. Back then, his restaurant at The Berkeley, Vong, was unlike anything else in the capital. A gastronomic fusion of French and Asian flavours that teased a British palate unlike anything it had seen before.
After a brief twenty year break, the prodigal son returns – who today – is responsible for the operation and success of over 30 restaurants worldwide, in culinary locations where it is not easy to succeed: New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo.
He is actively involved in every aspect of his restaurants – concept, menu, architectural design, staff selection and training with a goal of creating restaurants that are both timely and enduring. Inspired by his travels, Jean-Georges is constantly developing fresh concepts and evolving as a chef and restaurateur, both adapting to and impacting the global culinary landscape.
The eclectic menus at Jean-Georges at The Connaught are inspired by both Jean-Georges’ classic French training and signature use of Asian flavours, whilst also featuring his distinctive take on British classics from Fish & Chips to traditional afternoon tea, influenced by his earlier working life in London. Sourcing the best of British ingredients, the menus will reflect the simple farm to table fresh approach long pioneered by Jean-Georges, similar to his New York restaurants at The Mark, ABC Kitchen and most recently the pioneering vegan eatery ABCV.
Vongerichten said, “I am so excited to be returning to London at such a vibrant and dynamic time. I’m constantly travelling the world and it’s always the energy and diversity of this capital city that stimulates me most. The Connaught, the first hotel I ever visited in London holds a very special place in my heart, and I am honoured to play a part in its long culinary legacy”.
The new breakfast menu at Jean-Georges at The Connaught will feature his signature healthy morning shakes, acai bowls and dosa while of course still offering Connaught classics of truffle scrambled eggs, French brioche toast and the Full English. Lunch and dinner will feature Jean-Georges classics from Egg Toast & Caviar to Crispy Salmon Sushi and his legendary Black Truffle and Fontina Pizza, which for the first time in The Connaught’s history will also come as a take-away.
Highlighting the way The Connaught balances its distinguished history with a passion for the new, the design of Jean-Georges at The Connaught has been spearheaded by contemporary interior architect John Heah, with emphasis on craftsmanship and art, including Louise Bourgeois and a bespoke creation from Sean Scully.
The wall to ceiling windows overlooking Mount Street have been enhanced by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel who has lent his exuberant aesthetic to a series of stained glass windows representing the different stages of the day (from sunrise in the east to sunset in the west) tinting the space in rich hues of orange and gold as the sunlight streams in to the restaurant.
Jean-Georges at The Connaught will serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner throughout the day, seven days a week.
Reservations – 020 7107 8861