Retro Feasts is novelty dining at its finest. It may seem silly for a teenage chef to head up a restaurant serving dishes from decades that long precede him, but Luke Thomas has certainly given a fresh spin to some very classic dishes and created a restaurant that is both youthful and fun.
It’s a short-term residence in the former Embassy nightclub in Mayfair and the décor, as you’d expect is bright, with plenty of throwback memorabilia like vintage Vogue covers and retro ad campaigns. A sprawling white brick bar takes up the back wall and is headed up by the former Embassy bar staff, who turn out well-made and bright-as-you-like cocktails. The cocktail menu takes inspiration from the sweet shop and a pear drop (£9.50) is a refreshing start to a boozy lunch, or for a grown-up alternative the Earl of Mayfair (£10), is made with earl grey infused gin and grapefruit bitters. There is also a well-priced, novelty shunning wine-list (what, no liebfraumilch?), full of crowd pleasers such as the super-smooth Argentinean malbec (£7.50/glass) and a South African chardonnay with just a hint of butteriness (£6.50/glass).
The food is where the real retro happens, and despite the novelty value of cheese and pineapple on a stick (£5), the dish looks dainty and is made up of a ball of breaded, deep-friend goat’s cheese and pineapple, flavoured with toasted coriander seeds. Buffet-favourite, vol-au-vents (£5) are a dramatic improvement on their predecessor, filled with smoked salmon, dill, lemon and crème fraiche, and perfectly bite-sized. For mains, try the steak supper (£12.50) served with a punchy peppercorn sauce, or the fishcake (£12.50) which comes complete with mushy peas and creamed spinach. Desserts are a take on retro favourites, so peach melba comes in the form of a ice-cream sundae and black forest gateau, is a cute layered pot of boozy cherries, cream and chocolate (all £5).
GO with a big group of friends, it’s the perfect spot for a celebration or reunion
DO have seconds of the cheese and pineapple.
DON’T ask for Blue Nun, no really, they don’t have it.