Anything in London associated with Ottolenghi automatically inherits extremely high expectations from foodies across the city. Accredited with the rise in sales of middle eastern ingredients in the UK, such as Sumac – the ‘Ottolenghi Effect’ has contributed to the arrival of a new restaurant, which continues the debut of cuisines in London that many of us have never tasted.
Scully, of St James’s Market opened 4 weeks ago with former head chef of Ottolenghi owned Nopi, Ramael Scully, at the helm. Scully’s menu is as vibrant as is it varied. If you take a quick glance over its current menu, you’ll notice how dishes including ‘sambal’, ‘Labneh’, ‘XO’ and ‘Horseradish’ exist on one page. The restaurant prides itself on not subscribing to any one cuisine and embraces influence from Scully’s own family heritage which includes Balinese, Irish, Chinese and Indian.
The menu, bar the dessert section and a couple of larger savoury dishes, is compiled of small plates created with the intention of tapas-style sharing between diners. Every dish, lovingly prepared from an open-plan kitchen, is a complete surprise. Meticulous care has clearly been taken during conception to balance the flavours of every dish as well as when each is plated up. The Caramelised white chocolate, Grapefruit and Pink peppercorn dessert was a perfected through a taste-test by Scully’s entire staff prior to their soft launch on the 1st of March.
Even at peak service time on a Saturday evening, Scully chefs perform with an aura of calm and rehearsed precision. Is this a reflection of the soothing colour scheme and welcoming furnishings? We would say, yes. The hand-scripted brand-marque and interior comprising of soft woods, pale blue, colourful jars of condiments and mid-century dining chairs around a central sharing table create an atmosphere that would make the most rigid of diners say ‘why not share a plate or two?’.
Scully is a fantastic reminder of how variety is truly the spice of life, and how when your waiter or waitress offers you the dessert menu – always say ‘yes’.
Words by Natalie Strange, Graphic Designer