Björn Frantzén is a very big deal.
Now, we get it, having to explain why someone is a big deal makes it feel like they’re slightly less of a big deal. But hear us out. Because this guy really is a big deal.
His restaurant in Singapore has three Michelin Stars. His restaurant in Stockholm also has three Michelin Stars – and that one currently sits at No.25 on the World’s 50 Best List. Basically, it’s all but impossible for him to improve upon any of that, short of 24 separate acts of arson.
And he’s just opened a restaurant in London.
You’ll find it in Knightsbridge, specifically on the fifth floor of Harrods, although actually locating it inside is something of a challenge. You’ll have to navigate a high heel-filled labyrinth known as ‘Shoe Heaven’ before you come across it, right at the back, in a subtle alcove. Once inside, you’ll find a surprisingly large space centred around a two-floor atrium, with a showpiece of a chandelier, with candle-like lights hung on giant angular silver branches. Clamped onto that, there’s a red-hued dining room, a moody cocktail bar space, and a covered roof terrace above for drinks. It feels very much like a blend of both Nordic & Asian influences that comes together in a pleasing harmony.
One of the other nice things about the place is the menu – because when a ludicrously successful chef with six Michelin Stars in their back pocket opens a restaurant in Harrods, they could easily just play the Tasting Menu Only card, charge a ludicrous amount, and likely get people to pay to too. But not here. Instead it’s all a la carte, and for what you’re getting, it’s decent value too – starters begin at £18, mains at £30, and desserts start at just £7. Considering the quality, it’s not bad at all.
And on said menu, you’ll find some sensationally good dishes, which all blend those Asian & Nordic influences to excellent effect. You can start with a whole loaf of laminated milk bread with miso butter, curled into croissant like scrolls; then move onto a mixed tartare of tuna & red deer draped in clarified ginger butter; or a bowl of roasted Orkney scallops with scrambled duck egg, black winter truffle, and crispy lichens, that has an almost unparalleled earthy depth of flavour.
The main courses include a signature dish of steamed turbot with three types of caviar; a quail with dried spruce & bee pollen drizzled in vanilla & black pepper sauce; and a dish called ‘Sweden vs Japan’ which pits Swedish braised beef brisket against grilled Japanese wagyu in the same dish (the winner, of course, being you). And for dessert? There’s a sticky toffee pudding with miso caramel & bourbon, and a caramelised banana with frozen foie gras grated on top – but you need to try the freshly baked madeleines. You’ll get a bowl of nine, and they’re insanely good.
Once the meal is over, if it’s late enough, the shop below you will be closed and you’ll have to make your way out in the eerie stillness of a department store at night, with a rare chance have Harrods all to yourself.
But it’s no big deal.
NOTE: Studio Frantzén is open now, seven days a week. You can look at the full menu, and make a booking at the website right here.
Harrods | 87-135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL
Like eating in department stores? Take a peek at The Brasserie of Light…
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