Perched on the corner of main-street, Japanese and Nordic inspired restaurant Flat Three offers a refreshing plant based menu, nothing short of innovative for the curious and experimental. Led by Head chef Pavel Kanja and his team, the Holland Park restaurant presents a lively menu curated to combine Japanese, Korean and Nordic cuisine, including a 7 course tasting menu with a strong plant-based offering.
Formerly an apprentice in Western Australia under the training of classic French chefs, Kanja then set about mastering Japanese food via positions in Perth, Melbourne, Dubai and the UK. In the spacious, 40-cover dining room – clean minimalist, neutral tones, and delicate glassware – the Australian-born leads in a rare alchemy which delivers a nutritious and sustainable menu, whisking, baking, frying, grilling or steaming British-grown produce from the likes of Miles Irving and the Forager team in Kent, or potent, flavour packed wild vegetation treasure hunted from suppliers such as Namayasai, a Japanese vegetable farm in Lewes.
In the spirit of forward thinking cuisine Kanja is nurturing a sustainable way of thinking about food and lifestyle 365 days a year, joining Operations Manager Juliana Moustakas to forage on the Kentish coast when time allows. The team minimise waste by making the most of their plant based ingredients and residuals, whether by pickling to making their own salts from soup stocks, infusing water, or whipping up sake and kombuchas, in addition to a creating a variety of sauces and dressings.
From the large open kitchen – a focal point for diners – Flat Three offers a specialised plant-based menu (based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products), transforming humble fruit and vegetables beyond recognition into something extraordinary. The restaurant masterfully nails this specialised part of the menu by delivering tasty food first, which happens to be healthy vegan second. Superfood salads, soup and smoothies are the obvious options when the phrase plant-based springs to mind, so finding an eaterie which takes adventurous risk with its offering is welcome manna for a dedicated vegetarian living in London.
Strong favourites included wild broccoli parcel and french onion dashi (dashi is to Japanese cuisine what chicken stock is to French cuisine), the lentils, horse radish, salsify bud and impossibly creamy almond tofu – sublime and illogically disappears on the tongue – and the smoked sand carrot miso and sweet cicely (the aniseed flavour pops perfectly with perfect crunch, texture soaked in rich flavour). You will leave with a full, not bloated, stomach and the perfect feeling of rich, refreshing contentment, for us, closed out the scrumptious final dish – tofu, peppermint, raspberry and strawberry.
For those intrigued to sample high-end, eclectic tasting menus and à la carte dishes in a polished basement with craft cocktails, visit Flat Three: 120-122 Holland Park Ave, London W11 4UA. Average price per head ex drinks £60 or mid-week pre-theatre dining before 6.30pm, guests can enjoy three courses of Flat Three’s seasonal favourites for £33 per person.