Riviera, nestled on the elegant St James’s Street in Mayfair, is a culinary oasis that captures the essence of the South of France with its high-end Southern French cuisine and captivating entertainment. This high-end establishment, brought to life by the esteemed Emerald Hospitality Group, has swiftly established itself as one of the most noteworthy openings of 2023, gracefully taking over the iconic former Sake no Hana site.
Emerald Hospitality Group was founded by Spanish twin-entrepreneurs Arian and Alberto Zandi. The twins launched their first restaurant, Zuaya, offering a range of Latin American flavours with a prominent focus on Peru. In the last two years, they opened two further restaurants: Como Garden, an Italian restaurant inspired by the glamorous Lake Como, and El Norte, a high-end modern Spanish restaurant. In 2023, Arian & Alberto Zandi were included in the exclusive Forbes 30 under 30 list. From 2024, the brothers plan to open two restaurants every year, including plans for international expansion in markets with similar synergies to London, including Dubai, New York, and Miami.
Every detail at Riviera has been meticulously crafted to immerse guests in a sensory experience reminiscent of the French Riviera. From the moment you step through its doors, you are transported to the sun-kissed shores of St. Tropez. Golden hues radiate from the impressive lampshades in the entrance hall, evoking the iconic sunsets of the South of France. As you ascend the escalators, art adorns the walls, carefully selected from the personal French collection of the visionary Zandi brothers.
Upon entering the main restaurant, you are greeted by the enchanting sight of the open-plan kitchen, where fresh seafood glistens on display. The meticulously chosen tiles and counters transport you to a typical French villa, immersing you in an atmosphere of timeless charm. Descend into the lower level via the lift, and you find yourself at the sea level of the French Riviera. The oceanic ambiance surrounds you, conveyed through the soothing blue tones of hand-painted murals. Each toilet cubicle reveals a unique mural depicting an iconic location in the South of France, adding a touch of whimsy to your visit.
Riviera’s dedication to transporting guests to the glamorous French Riviera extends far beyond its impeccable design. The menu delights with its exceptional sharing-style dishes, designed to stimulate conversation and create lasting memories from the moment you break the first piece of bread as you peruse the delectable choices on the A La Carte menu. We loved the homemade butter that came with the crusty bread.
Indulge in starters such as the Grapefruit King Crab salad, a tantalising blend of flavours that dances on your palate, or relish the Burrata & Roasted Tomatoes that transports you to the Mediterranean coast.
The Hamachi Carpaccio with Truffle Ponzu & Crispy Sweet Potatoes has thin slices of vibrant yellowtail impeccably presented and dressed with a harmonious blend of tangy citrus and earthy truffle essence thanks to the truffle ponzu. The crispy sweet potatoes offer a delightful contrast in both texture and taste to the buttery hamachi.
From the Specials Menu, Mussels with lemongrass, ginger and chilli offer a tantalising burst of flavours. The tender mussels, delicately infused with zesty lemongrass, fiery ginger, and a touch of chilli, create a harmonious and unforgettable culinary experience. A must-try dish for seafood enthusiasts seeking a taste of perfection.
The meat section beckons with options like the succulent Veal Chop marinated in Dijon mustard.
While the supreme Chateau Briand showcases the mastery of Riviera’s culinary artisans.
We enjoyed the Grilled Lamb Rack with Puy Lentils. The perfectly grilled rack showcases tender meat with a delectable char, while the accompanying lentils provide a satisfying texture and depth of flavour. A truly gratifying dish for lamb enthusiasts.
And let us not forget the pristine seafood sourced both locally from British waters and those from the shores of the Cote d’Azur. The Dover sole à la meunière is one of Riviera’s most popular seafood dishes.
The Native Lobster Spaghetti with Tomato Seafood Sauce is a tantalising dish that showcases the delicate flavours of native lobster. The perfectly cooked spaghetti is enveloped in a fresh and flavoursome seafood sauce made with tomatoes which allows the lobster to shine through. A luxurious treat for seafood aficionados seeking a memorable dining experience.
The Grilled Octopus with Chimichurri & Cauliflower Purée is a captivating dish that highlights the tenderness of grilled octopus. The vibrant chimichurri sauce adds a burst of herbal freshness, while the creamy cauliflower purée provides a delightful balance. A remarkable choice for those seeking a refined seafood creation.
The Grilled Asparagus offers a simple yet delightful dish that celebrates the natural flavours of this seasonal vegetable. The tender asparagus spears are expertly grilled, resulting in a smoky char that enhances their earthy taste. A perfect side dish that showcases the beauty of fresh, quality British ingredients.
Ratatouille & Feta is a harmonious blend of Mediterranean flavours. The vibrant mix of roasted vegetables, including tomatoes, aubergine, and courgette, is infused with aromatic herbs, creating a delightful medley of tastes. The feta cheese topping adds a creamy and tangy element, elevating this classic dish to new heights. A delectable accompaniment that brings a taste of the Mediterranean to your table.
For dessert, expect a quintessential Tarte Tatin done to the highest standards, or indulge in the delicious Creme Brûlée served with delicate lavender-infused biscuits.
The Chocolate Dessert with Coconut is a decadent delight. The lush chocolate cake, adorned with chocolate shards and rosettes of chocolate cream, offers a heavenly indulgence. To elevate the experience, your attentive waiter drizzles a light coconut sauce over the dessert, adding a tropical twist. A truly irresistible treat for chocolate lovers seeking a touch of coconut-infused bliss.
As the evening unfolds, the bar emerges as a focal point, captivating guests with its thoughtfully curated drinks selection. The extensive list features high-end wines and Champagnes from France and beyond, an oenophile’s dream come true.
For those seeking a unique libation experience, Riviera offers a unique array of cocktails that ignite the senses. The Sexy French Popcorn tantalises with its delectable combination of flavours, featuring Vanilla Vodka, Cacao Blanc Liquor, Popcorn Syrup, White Choc Foam and Soda, while the Coconut Breeze cocktail promises an explosion of taste with its blend of Gin Infused Butterfly Pea Tea, Coconut Rum, Coco-Nut Water, Cacao Blanc, Lime And Tonic Water.
Even non-alcoholic options of the mango-centric Virgin Paradis de Mangue (Mango And Orange Juice, Lime Juice, Passion Fruit And White Choc Foam) and Virgin French Popcorn (Pineapple Juice, Peach Juice, Lemon Juice, White Choc Foam) deliver a symphony of flavours that delight discerning palates.
To truly complete the Riviera experience, make your way to the downstairs lounge area, where the vibrant Southern French energy of the main restaurant is tastefully complemented by a Picasso-inspired mural and stylish furnishings. This space, located on the ground floor next to the entrance, is ideal for both work and play, with an impressive interior and a stunning bar filed with delicious drinks.providing a stunning backdrop as you savour delicious drinks and revel in the ambiance.
Friday and Saturday nights at Riviera are elevated to new heights with resident DJ FaiFaii taking the stage from 11 pm until 2 am. Since 2010, FaiFaii has captivated audiences with her dynamic mixing skills and a fresh, eclectic blend of house, Deep House, Afro House, Melodic House, and Techno. The Riviera lounge comes alive with the pulsating beats, ensuring that your evening extends well into the early morning hours.
Riviera is a testament to the Emerald Hospitality Group’s commitment to excellence and their desire to transport guests to the sun-soaked French Riviera. With its impeccable design, tantalising menu, and captivating entertainment, this culinary gem promises a truly unforgettable experience for discerning diners seeking a taste of the South of France right in the heart of London.
23 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1HA
020 8050 6932