Star chef Alexis Gauthier’s new casual vegan restaurant arrives with a bang in London

Alexis Gauthier’s favourite is this melon and mushroom small plate that reminds him of the South of France, where he grew up. Credit: Studio Gauthier

London has witnessed a remarkable rise in vegan restaurants in recent years, and famed chef Alexis Gauthier’s Studio Gauthier is the hottest, most ambitious new restaurant in that group.

A headshot of chef Alexis Gauthier in a chef's coat standing by a window at his London restaurant Studio Gauthier

Famed chef Alexis Gauthier’s newest restaurant is a casual counterpart to his vegetarian fine-dining hit. Credit: Studio Gauthier

“The inspiration to create Studio Gauthier was to offer a restaurant for people who don’t want the same level of refinement or fine dining as Gauthier Soho [his acclaimed London restaurant], but a relaxed, unbuttoned environment,” Gauthier says.  

Gauthier drew inspiration from his Côte D’Azur roots and training under legendary French chef Alain Ducasse. As a vegetarian, Gauthier is keen to dispel any lingering notions that vegetarian or vegan food is unadventurous. 

“I think there’s a growing trend in London to accept vegan and vegetarian food, yet vegans are still drastically under-served in restaurants,” Gauthier says. Here’s how he’s changing that with his newest restaurant.

 

Large plate of an aubergine entree alongside other dishes offered at Studio Gauthier, London

Studio Gauthier’s Graffiti Aubergine packs black sesame seeds, cucumber, chilli and French Camargue rice into the nightshade dish. Credit: Studio Gauthier

Bright and vibrant vegetables are the focal point of the menu, which is influenced by Middle Eastern, Israeli, and Mexican food. Pithivier D’Eté, a summer pie brimming with wild mushrooms, is a standout, as is the vegan caviar made with seaweed and kelp. Plus, there are a host of spicy and crunchy vegan sushi rolls on the menu, too. 

Gauthier’s favourite dish, though, is a melon, shiitake mushroom, and pine nut beauty. “This feels like home, which is the South of France for me,” Gauthier says. “Not many people think of fruit and mushrooms together, but it works so well.”

As with the food menu, the cocktails and wine are vegan, too. Signature cocktails are named after well-known English actresses as a nod to the restaurant’s location inside the British Film Institute. Julie Christie is a crisp and sweet apple and lychee martini, while Jessica Tandy is a robust and sharp lemon mojito. There’s also a large selection of wines and spirits on the menu.

Two glass of rosé wine sit on a table at Studio Gauthier, a restaurant in London

Like the food menu, the cocktails and wine are vegan at Studio Gauthier. Credit: Studio Gauthier

With the 123V bakery out front, Studio Gauthier doubles as a cafe for diners in need of a quick pick me up during the day. At night, it transforms into the restaurant’s main bar creating an expansive open-plan space with views of the restaurant’s grand marble kitchen. Studio Gauther’s highlight is a charming, verdant outdoor terrace at the back that offers a secluded haven for couples on a date or space for larger groups to sit together. With Studio Gauthier, it’s abundantly clear that Alexis Gauthier is in his element.  “If you care and you put love into it, it will taste incredible,” he says.

Outside dining at Studio Gauthier, London is expansive and covered during the rain.

Studio Gauthier’s outdoor terrace is where you’d want to post up for a date. Credit: Studio Gauthier

Studio Gauthier is open Monday to Friday from 5 pm to 11 pm. 123BV Bakery is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 6 pm.

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Pooja Shah is a freelance writer originally from New York City but now living in London. She writes on food, travel, wine, and lifestyle. Her work is at www.pooja-shah.com. Follow her on Instagram at @poojashah1130.