Stephen St Kitchen is a new restaurant and bar housed within the British Film Institute in the heart of central London.
Situated between Charlotte Street and Tottenham Court Road the venue serves Head Chef Mark Block’s inspired, seasonal menu in an elegant, relaxing setting.
Softroom Architects redesigned the interiors at Stephen St Kitchen who have transformed the space in the style of a European brasserie. Clients, the British Film Institute (BFI) and Benugo approached Softroom to redesign the BFI’s head offices on Stephen Street after the popular restaurant group took over the institute’s catering in 2013.
The restaurant space is open plan and filled with elegant banquette dining, a visible kitchen, which allows diners to see their meals being prepared, as well as a bar and two impressive outdoor terraces.
The restaurant’s glass frontage and glass doors have been designed to allow diners to feel as if they are outdoors. The glazed French doors can be opened to create an alfresco feel, turning attention back to the rear outdoor terrace. Aged oak chevron flooring in a bleached pavement grey also links the lounge and restaurant areas.
The open kitchen forms the heart of the restaurant and comes complete with a sculptural brass plated wood and gas fired oven. Counter seating around the kitchen allows diners to sit and enjoy the action of the kitchen from the comfort of leather upholstered bar stools.
The warm furnishings contrast with the traditional brick vernacular and concrete pillars which have been left exposed. Light fittings also adorn the space and act as feature pieces of the restaurant; corrugated metal and brass can be found throughout as can ‘Light Drawings’ by Christopher Bucklow on the back wall. The feature ‘Light Drawings’ connect the restaurant space to the BFI building and its history, which is rooted in film and contemporary art.
Deep black and gold Marinace stone counters are scattered throughout the space and together with a glazed lavastone servery, provide a sense of luxury to the restaurant.
The olive velvet dining chairs compliment the dip-dyed Persian rugs scattered throughout the restaurant, as well as working well with the banquette seating ideal for group outings.
Private screening rooms in the British Film Institute now have impressive views of the restaurant’s kitchen making them ideal for special events being hosted in the building.
The menu at Stephen St Kitchen focuses on produce that cooks beautifully in the wood fired oven. Pizzas and flatbreads are a key feature, sitting alongside light salads and other dishes. Appetisers on offer include potted crab and shrimps with pickled cucumber and sourdough bread, and a sprouting beans salad, with seeds, crispy chicken skin & a citrus dressing.
Those wanting something more filling have plenty to choose from the main courses section of the menu. Dishes include a flatbread with lamb, humous, coriander, pomegranate and pine nuts, and pizzas such as wood roast peppers, aubergines & courgettes, both cooked in the kitchen’s unique wood fired oven.
Free-range chicken, with a romesco sauce and English asparagus, and sea bass fillet with Piedmontese peppers and salsa verde, are examples of classic European dishes completing the main menu.
A selection of fresh, summery desserts include English berries and elderflower jelly, with ice cream, and a homemade tart of the day. British cheeses from Neal’s Yard are also available, served with crackers, leafy celery and chutney.
With two excellent outdoor spaces; a front terrace, and a decked area to the back of the restaurant, the venue is ideal for those wanting to sup cocktails and dine outside in the beautiful summer months.
Cocktails on offer include the Asian Pear Martini, Junmai gino sake, pear William brandy and pear nectar, and the Seasonal Bramble. Choices from the wine list include a crisp Picpoul de Pinet, a Château Beaulieu ‘Cuvée Alexandre’ Rose and Charles Heidsieck Champagne.