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Yopo at the Mandrake Hotel – Review
FOOD

Yopo at the Mandrake Hotel – Review

Fusion is the art of taking the best elements from different things, mixing them up and creating something magical. This could not be more fitting to describe YOPO at the Mandrake hotel. The multi-award winning boutique hotel is known for its fusion of art, culture and design, so how does this translate from the hotel to the restaurant?

Beginning from the sumptuous hotel lobby,  a path of dark wood parquet flooring leads you around to an extraordinary jungle-like underworld inviting your eyes to explore and your imagination to run wild. Green foliage and plush velvet seating pop against the dark walls and floor, whilst black candelabra by artist Marco Tullio Siviglia, seem to melt from the wall. The ostentatious centrepiece, “Showgirl” is a curiously brilliant ostrich created by Enrique Gomez de Molina standing flamboyantly proud in the centre of the room. Gazing upward, the ceiling is adorned by a mystical monochromatic mural by Peter-John de Villiers. Our brains are so flooded with curiosity, we almost forget that we are here to eat.

YOPO’s menu, created by critically acclaimed Executive Chef George Scott-Toft, has been inspired by his travels through South America. The A-la-carte menu features small tapas-style dishes designed to share. Or there’s a lunch menu at £45 per head, offering three courses, oysters and 2 glasses of wine. We’d recommend sharing either way to avoid the inevitable food envy.

Every dish that arrived on our table was a joy to see and eat. The grilled octopus was an almost hash like dish of wonderfully meaty slices sitting on top of the sliced potatoes with smoked paprika. We marvelled at the Iberico Pork Pressa, tender skewered cubes alternating between juicy lean meat and tasty pork fat, and silky mustard to dip into. One of the more unique dishes was the beautiful pond like dish of grilled prawns, swimming in a fruity and sharp pool of cucumber, avocado, gooseberries, lemongrass, ginger and coriander. The dish conjured up images of wading through a fresh garden in the city of Atlantis.

Our deliciously flaky empanadas filled with rich beef and white bean, were perfectly accompanied by a juicy slow-cooked lamb with white beans and a surprisingly fresh and zingy guacatillo. The surprise dish, however, was the soft aubergine, coated in a beautiful sticky miso dressing with a crunchy puffed rice topping, sensational.

Becoming quite full in the stomach and the mind, a fresh icy Pineapple Tepache and Mezcal Granita was the perfect light and zingy dessert to finish off the meal. For extra points, this is a zero-waste dessert as Scott-Toft uses pineapple skins to make the tepache.

It’s not often we walk away from a lunch with a feeling of faultlessness, we cannot recommend YOPO enough! Use this as an opportunity to book yourselves in and be mesmerised by the creativity of YOPO. Do it, like….right now!

Make a reservation at: www.themandrake.com/yopo-restaurant

Address: Mandrake Hotel, 20-21 Newman Street, London, W1T 1PG

Written by Rick Hartley

Food photography by Nyla S.

#YOPO #lunch #latinfood #mandrakehotel #centrallondon #latin

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