The Aubrey London, opening in Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
The Aubrey London, a new drinking and dining space opens this week in Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
The Aubrey, which replaces Bar Boulud, is described as ‘an eccentric Izakaya’ with two distinctive bar experiences and accompanying Japanese cuisine. It is the first UK venture of Maximal Concepts, a multi award-winning international restaurant group with its roots in Hong Kong, who have partnered with Mandarin Oriental in both Hong Kong and London.
Drinks lie at the heart of the izakaya, with signature and seasonal cocktails created by Bar Director, Pietro Rizzo and overseen by Maximal Concepts in Hong Kong where the Aubrey Hong Kong opened in 2021 in Mandarin Oriental’s flagship hotel in the city. With a focus on Sake, varieties come from emerging breweries as well as rare and unusual releases for those more familiar with Japan’s national drink, such as Masumi – a sparkling Sake – and Sohomare. A wide range of Japanese premium spirits are used in creative cocktails such as The Black Cat (Ki No Bi Gin, Yuzu Liqueur, Tonic Reduction) and Torii (Rice Shochu, Homemade Grapefruit Soda). The space will feature the city’s first omakase cocktail bar, guests will enjoy the bartenders’ expert creations and extensive collection of rare spirits, as they craft a personal experience, so often a feature in Japanese restaurants.
The food menu draws on the classical techniques of Edomae sushi, Tempura and Robata, and the overall experience is an interpretation of the philosophy of a traditional izakaya. Guests can enjoy small dishes designed for sharing, with expert drink pairings in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere, served to the soundtrack of Japanese trap music, capturing the energy of a night out in Ginza. Japanese Oysters and The Aubrey’s own-label Caviar start the menu, along with interesting bar snacks such as Charcoal Chicken Karaage with yuzu mayo or Crab Korokke with tonyu béchamel and kani miso. Edomae Sushi and Sashimi, Tempura and small plates including the decadent Wagyu Sando lead to dishes on the Robata grill, where premium cuts of Iberico Pork and Saikyo Sablefish are expertly cooked over hot coals. Japanese patisserie and desserts include White Miso Soufflé and Black Sesame Cheesecake with citrus marshmallow. Lunch is served daily, centred around the bento box.
Maximal Concepts are best known for their strong design-led restaurants and the collaboration with interior designer Brady Williams delivers a beautiful space. The walls are layered with art inspired by the Japonisme movement, perfectly set within the warm hues of gold, green, plum, and pink that embellish the space. A labyrinth of velvet, marble, and wood set the scene for two bars, intimate corners, and rooms to be discovered – a home-away-from-home. Plush spaces glowing with ambient lights include a library, the salon and curio lounge, each designed to suit a variety of entertainment occasions with music and cocktails continuing until late.
Art is a key element of the design and pays respect to the timeless elegance and expression of the Japonisme movement, and in particular, the 19th century British artist and illustrator, Aubrey Beardsley, whose name inspired the venue.
The overall concept for the sound of The Aubrey is that of a listening bar – a Tokyo Izakaya that takes inspiration from the eclectic music style of David Mancuso’s loft parties, that came to prominence in in the 70s and 80s. Underplayed gems from the past of styles like funk and disco, sit next to more contemporary playlists.
“Malcolm, Xuan and I look forward to bringing The Aubrey to London with our Mandarin Oriental partners. Japan is so rich in culture and food. We wanted to try to capture the eccentricity and genius behind so many of our favourite experiences. We feel the Izakaya has so many parallels with the English pub. The Aubrey is our interpretation. We hope you treat it as an extension of your home and let us host you with incredible food, abundant drinks and even better company.” said Matt Reid, co-founder of Maximal Concepts.
Torsten van Dullemen, General Manager and Area Vice President, Operations at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London adds, “We are excited to be further enhancing our range of culinary offerings at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, by partnering with Maximal Concepts to introduce The Aubrey to London, which we are sure will become one of the city’s most imaginative and innovative hospitality destinations. My colleagues and I are committed to delivering bespoke culinary delights and service excellence, and very much look forward to welcoming our fans to this latest addition to the Knightsbridge neighbourhood.”
The Aubrey London is the UK debut from Maximal Concepts: The Hong Kong group headed by Malcolm Wood, Xuan Mu and Matt Reid. The group has been responsible for opening award-winning restaurants including the renowned Mott 32, John Anthony, Sip Song, Limewood, the original Aubrey at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and many more.