Jason Allen 14/05/24

ABC Kitchens

The Emory Hotel is impossible to miss.

It’s a huge, gleaming, nine-storey glass totem planted in a particularly pretty slice of Knightsbridge. The entrance to the Emory, however, is extremely possible to miss. You may well skip straight past without realising it, eventually locating it in an innocuous little alleyway that snakes around the building’s smooth curves, after realising that you needed that in-built opulence compass that the ultra-wealthy all instinctively possess.

But that all makes it feel strangely reassuring, like you’ve entered into a secluded little, glamour-soaked world all unto itself, separated from the bustle of the city. And propping that world up at the ground floor is ABC Kitchen, the latest outpost from culinary legend Jean-Georges Vongerichten – and it certainly does him justice.

ABC Kitchens

Now, obviously if you have to explain why someone’s a legend it makes them sound like less of a legend, but Jean-Georges Vongerichten really is a legend. He basically brought nouvelle cuisine to America back in the ’80s. New York Magazine said he was the most influential chef the city has ever seen. He’s won three Michelin Stars at his flagship, and has opened over three dozen restaurants worldwide. If he’s not an icon, no-one is.

ABC Kitchens

The space itself has been put together by Rémi Tessier – he’s the man billionaires call when they need someone to design the interior of a luxury yacht, and it shows here. It’s wrapped in a colour pallet of rich amber & caramel tones, and filled out with curved furnishings that echo the elegant contours of a ship, with a long banquette backed by sleek, undulating ripple that runs down the length of the space, almost poking into the pristine open kitchen at the back.

ABC Kitchens

The idea is for the menu here to take its cues from a trio of Vongerichten’s most acclaimed New York outposts (ABC Kitchen, ABCV and ABC Cocina) and combined them all into one, hence the plural ABC Kitchens. He’s secured the talents of chef Ben Boeynaems (formerly at The Goring) to do it, and he does it very well indeed.

ABC Kitchens

Some of the standout dishes you should spring for include the beautifully flavoured Dorset crab toast, which comes decorated with purple borage flowers, and the subtle zip of green chilli; the scallop tartare, which you wrap up in a herby, citrussey shiso leaf parcel to eat; the ridiculously succulent pork confit tacos; and the charred beef tenderloin which sits on a vibrant bed of chimmichuri. We should also make mention of the guacamole, which controversially involves peas. It stirred up controversy when the recipe was published in 2015. Somehow Barack Obama (who was literally the president at the time) got involved. But in If you’re not too dogmatic about your guac, then it’s honestly very nice.

There are plenty of globe-spanning wines to go with it (all of which are available by the glass), as well as a nice selection of cocktails too, including a lovely ginger margarita. If you’re in the mood for a sharpener…

…make it part of your alphabetical order.


NOTE: ABC Kitchens is open now in the Emory hotel, seven days a week. You can find out more and make a booking right here.

The Emory | Old Barrack Yard, SW1X 7NP

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ABC Kitchens

Old Barrack Yard, Knightsbridge, West London, SW1X 7NP

8.7 | Great