The operators of the hip American hotel group, Standard International, has shared new details about the restaurant and bar spaces which will open at its first property outside the U.S. this summer in Kings Cross.
The ground floor of the 10-storey brutalist property on Euston Road near King’s Cross will feature two drinking and dining spaces, run by executive chef Adam Rawson: Isla and Double Standard — each with very different menus and design.
Isla — an all-day dining set-up will offer “laid-back, elegant dining from a pretty and seasonal menu with a predominantly natural wine list.” It will be integrated into the hotel lobby, with an annexed garden terrace. It is described as “the cornerstone of Adam’s culinary offering at The Standard…Inspired by Britain’s island geography.”
The restaurant will focus on “coastal cuisine, light proteins, and seasonal British produce accompanied by a selection of natural wines.” Seafood, samphire, and chicken? Isla will feature “an abundance of foliage set alongside rich blues and reds to add depth and warmth.” Outside, a retractable awning will encourage sunbathing, or “shade on hotter days.”
Elsewhere, Double Standard is described as an “introduction to the Standard’s signature mischievousness and will be the ground floor’s most boisterous space.” Here there’s a menu “inspired by traditional pub classics and NYC dive bar food, the stand alone bar will serve craft beers, wine and classic cocktails alongside Adam’s menu running late into the night.” Burgers, club sandwiches, and almost certainly something done to kale. By complete contrast to Isla, Double Standard will feature “heavy-set wooden doors, textured glass, and plush red carpet will encapsulate the cosy feeling of a British local.” And yet, pastel tiled flooring, rounded soft pink shelving and an exposed felt ceiling are “unexpected design elements to create a modern and playful feel unique to the city.”
Rawson said: “I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of creating menus which reflect the distinct personalities of Double Standard and Isla. Double Standard is going to be a more raucous, convivial space, so I’ve come up with a selection of elevated snacks perfect for sharing (or soaking up a few pints). Isla’s menu will be more delicate and much lighter — perfect for enjoying in the summer sunshine.”
It isn’t yet clear how Isla’s menu will develop once the (unpredictable) London summer is over, but the style of the restaurant brings to mind a number of recent — and comparatively successful — restaurant openings: Neptune, Cornerstone, and Orasay have all adopted this stylised, light-touch approach to “coastal cuisine”, enriching the city’s fairly unimaginative seafood scene.
Rawson, who trained under London’s most famous Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes before launching one of London’s earliest gourmet burger brands, Lucky Chip, and then working a the sort-of-Peruvian Pachamama in Marylebone. The chef has been working under the guidance of Standard’s “Creative Director of Food and Culture,” Angela Dimayuga, “on concept and menu design.” Dimayuga, formerly head chef at Mission Chinese Food in New York City, was appointed by Standard Hotels last year “to guide the food, programming and culture at the international hotels to create community-engaging spaces with a fresh, vibrant and playful energy and thoughtful execution.”
The “second phase” of the hotel’s opening will take place late summer when a stand-alone bar as well as restaurant and bar from acclaimed chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias will open on the rooftop. It will mark Sanchez-Iglesias’ London debut; the chef runs Casamia and Paco Tapas in Bristol.