When it comes to brunch, I have two kinds of experience. First up is the boozy, fun type that eschews world-class food in favour of entertainment. From drag to karaoke, these are ones that I round up the girls for. The other – a more refined sorta dining – is the only type that I can drag the fiancé out for. So with Aster promising a DIY bloody mary station, unlimited starters and cooked-to-order mains, I knew this would be one for a slinky day date.
Nestled in Victoria, Aster lies opposite The Nova Building and counts M Restaurant, Rail House Café and the bustling Market Hall Victoria among its neighbours. And how does is stand out from the crowd? With high ceilings, plush booths, bright lighting and a show-stopping central bar. As for the menu itself, dishes are a blend of Nordic and French, with seafood taking centre stage.
Kicking things off with a trip to the mega buffet, we loaded up on everything from terrine and charcuterie to giant shrimp and scallops, as well as bread and cured fish. For us, though, it was all about the oysters. Loaded up on a huge tray, we were treated to an endless supply of fresh morsels topped with the usual lineup of mignonette sauce, tabasco and lemon.
Not content with the standard bloody marys, Aster has created an entire garnish station that includes everything you could think of. From the spice mix and tomato juice through to celery, citrus, herbs and chilli, nothing’s been left out. And the best bit? They’re unlimited, so you can guarantee that we made a few runs.
By the time it came to mains, I was struggling to see how I’d shovel a Full English down. Luckily, it wasn’t the usually overwhelming plate, though with overly poached eggs, overcooked bacon and far too many potatoes, it was actually quite underwhelming. My date opted for a more impressive leg of Salt Marsh lamb; sliced thinly and cooked until tender, this was a plate that tasted just as beautiful as it looked.
Always one to leave room for dessert, a visit to the pudding counter was a must. It would have been rude not to with so many sweet treats to choose from. Starting with a dainty, tangy lemon meringue miniature and moving onto bite-sized fruit tartlets, chocolate cake pops and macarons, we were sufficiently stuffed.
The DesignMyNight Digest
If you’re one for bloody marys and seafood, then Aster’s bottomless brunch menu is a must. With customisable drinks, decadent buffets and fabulous service, I don’t even see the need for unnecessary mains. Perfect for brunch dates, group meals and families all in one, this Victoria spot is well worth a visit.
The Aster Sunday Feast costs £35 per person, plus £15 for bottomless bloody marys.