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REVIEW: Veneta, St. James’s Market

The latest venture from the highly accomplished Saltyard Group, Veneta sits among the unremarkable, uniform store fronts that make up the all-new, 210,00 sq ft St. James Market – better described as a thoroughfare of tall, black walls and squeaky clean glass.

Pre bday brunchin’ @venetarestaurant #stjames #veneta #saltyardgroup #bakedeggs #brunch

A photo posted by Amy Everett (@amyranga) on

Inside, there’s thankfully more colour and pomp. Turquoise blue glass tops the banquettes, stunning chandeliers tower above and a raw bar offers a selection of delicious seafood. In the corner, an ornate cheeseboard trolley lies in waiting. Flecked china in ocean hues adds pops of colour, all inspired by the timeless, ornate magic of Venice.

We dropped by for an early brunch on New Year’s Eve, which happens to be the day before this reviewer’s birthday – so we kicked things off with Mimosas and a mixed charcuterie board, with Salame Casereccio, Prosciutto Prolongo and Speck.

There’s a small selection of brunch options, from simple country-style toast with jams and butter (£3) up to £8 for smoked wild salmon, scrambled eggs and and (gloriously fattening) truffle butter. The ‘full works’ of Farmison’s pork and fennel sausages, thick-cut pancetta, roasted beef heart tomato, portobello mushrooms, blood sausage and fried eggs is £12.

Baked Eggs with spinach, tomato ragu, speck and basil was our stand-out dish, a little on the small side for £8 but packed with rich flavours.

We greedily ordered charcoal-grilled pork rib-eye, Occhiato bean puree, grilled courgettes and fig cremosa from the Small Plates menu, too, which fell off the bone and boasted amazing flavours.

We only declared defeat when our waitress insisted we try a traditional Venezuelan bitter and milk hot chocolate with cinnamon-infused milk (outstanding in its decadence, so thick you could almost stand a spoon in it) AND a selection of traditional Fritelle (sugar doughnuts) on the side – hey, it was my birthday!

HOW MUCH? Small plates like Porcini and truffle risotto with gremolata or chicken braised in almond milk with medjool dates and saffron are between £7.75 and £9.75, while triple-cooked chips with aoili and salsa verde come in at £4.25.

WEBSITE: Saltyardgroup.co.uk/veneta

ADDRESS: 3 Norris Street, London SW1Y 4RJ / +44 (0) 203 874 9100Sign-Up To FashionBite’s Weekly News

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