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Jason Allen 12/03/24

Ixta Belfrage at The Standard

For those wondering, Ixta Belfrage’s name is pronounced ‘easter bell-fridge’.

And by a tasty co-incidence, for a lot of people ‘Easter’ is a word that evokes the idea of delicious feasts. And you know what? So does ‘fridge’.

So if you’re in the market for something delicious, head down to Ixta Belfrage’s kitchen residency at the restaurant in the Standard Hotel (Isla on the ground floor, not Decimo on the roof) sometime before 22nd July. There, you’ll find a menu showcasing some of her favourite dishes from a storied career, which has seen her write cookbooks, run the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, and put on some ludicrously popular supperclubs. And we’re glad to say it doesn’t disappoint.

the standard

You’ll find the restaurant, Isla, almost the moment stroll into the hotel, as it takes up a hefty chunk of the building’s ground floor. All told, it’s a rather dapper blend of mid-century modern meets library chic, with plenty of pinstriped wood & chunky tiles intermingled with scattered plants and bold abstract artworks on the walls. Of all the things you could say about it, ‘boring’ isn’t one of them.

Settle into a vintage-styled chair, order a guava margarita, and Ixta’s menu will be presented to you as an addendum to the regular a la carte – and it’s a reassuringly short-and-sweet affair with just a trio of small dishes, a trio of large dishes, and a trio of desserts. You’re almost more inclined to simply tell your waiter/waitress what you don’t want.

ixta belfrage

So what don’t you want? Probably nothing. Because it’s all executed to a consistently, delectably high standard. The starters include a towering Moqueca fish slider; some sea bream bathing in an assertively sharp yellow tomato aguachile; and a soft, crumbly parcel of corn pamonha wrapped in banana leaf and enlivened with a curried red pepper ragú.

ixta belfrage

Going larger, the king prawn lasagne with habanero oil has become its own gravity well of hype, and it thankfully manages to deliver on the promise – it marries the conforming familiarity of lasagne with a creamy, fiery thrust. It’s joined here by some guava-roast duck (shredded at the table, ready to be stuffed into tacos with some charred spring onion) and an aubergine loaded with crispy sticky rice.

And the desserts? Honestly, when the guava, strawberry & lime sorbet is drowned in a shot of tequila it becomes instantly, eyebrow-cockingly invigorated.

But then, don’t we all.


NOTE: Ixta Belfrage is popping up at The Standard until 22nd July. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.

The Standard | 10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG

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Ixta Belfrage at The Standard

The Standard London, 10 Argyle Street, King's Cross, WC1H 8EG