Hearing that the new Savannah restaurant at the Wesley Hotel aims to be eco-friendly and socially conscious, one could be forgiven for thinking that this would roughly translate to a vegan restaurant serving raw fruit and vegetable smoothies where diners sit on upturned crates and spiralise courgettes. Pleasingly however, this is not the case, and the Savannah takes a more rounded approach to the moral commitment – with the exception of the courgette spaghetti, which appears to be inescapable at the moment and does find its way onto the menu. Food is carefully and ethically sourced from sustainable suppliers and artisans who care about their carbon footprint, furniture is built from recycled materials and the company promises to divert some of the restaurant’s profits to social causes in the local area.
The bar downstairs is spacious and welcoming, complemented by a striking wall covered in dozens on clocks, all stopped on different times, intended to represent the fact that the hotel wants people to come here, relax and just let time stop. As well as a wide range of spirits, the bar will aim to carry a changing selection of eco-friendly and bio-dynamic wines.
Upstairs, the 50-cover restaurant space continues the same design theme. Looking through the menu, which the head chef informs us is just in its final stages of tinkering, the culinary style reads as classics with a twist. Risky, given some things are classics for a reason, but with Asian, African and European influences, there is certainly enough choice on offer that anyone will be able to find something that appeals.
Whilst vegetarian options such as Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Truffle Cheese Sauce are scattered throughout the menu, there is plenty of meat on offer too. Steak tartare is a classic dish to see on London hotel menus, but here it is paired with pickled ginger, watermelon, wasabi, soy sauce and coriander. Similarly, pork belly and scallop are given a new lease of life with African spices and a carrot and miso puree.
So whether you want to sip one of their bio-dynamic wines with a few small plates, or head upstairs to the restaurant and indulge in a full three course meal, the Savannah is one to check out.