Furniture designer Timothy Oulton needs no introduction. His sultry signature style – inspired by a love of antiques, military insignia and an inherently British eclecticism – is instantly recognisable. How, though, does this enticing aesthetic translate to the interiors of a restaurant? Very well, it turns out, as we discovered on our first (but certainly not last) visit to Timothy’s newly opened modern British restaurant, Gough’s on Gough.
A deep-sea diver decked out in a helmet from the 1940s and surrounded by a school of piranhas greets you at street level, and from there you ascend a floating spiral staircase to the intimate yet impressive dining room. Once installed on the butter-soft leather banquettes near the bar – an alluring monolith of backlit Italian moonstone and crystal – we advise taking a moment before perusing the menu to soak up your surroundings, they’re quite something to behold.
Rather than simply a showcase for the brand’s decadent designs, the space is an embodiment of Timothy’s creative vision and offers a glimpse into his rich imagination, where contrasting textures and materials achieve perfect harmony. Black-and-white marble herringbone floors unite with rough-hewn concrete ceilings inlaid with mirrors, a tantalising feather wall (which apparently transforms depending on the time of day), and leather-bound columns, lending the area something of an art deco-meets-industrial aesthetic.
Before taking a seat at your table, begin the evening with a well-mixed libation from the compact cocktail list. The immaculately dressed (and mannered) staff can suggest something to your taste, although the refreshing Victory Sign – Ford’s Gin, champagne, ginger and lemon – comes highly recommended.
Once the pre-prandial refreshment is consumed, it is time for the main event (although not before you admire the mismatched antique tableware that’s been lovingly collected by Timothy himself). Prepared by head chef Arron Rhodes, the food reflects not only the decidedly British appeal of the environs, but also the international experience of the dynamic young cook, who has enjoyed stints at Singapore’s two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre and, more recently, under chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz at Central Restaurante, which is currently ranked fifth in the list of World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Expect reinterpreted classics with a focus on quality meats and seafood, such as Scottish brown crab with green apple, seaweed ewe’s milk ricotta and charred cucumber salad to start followed by slow-cooked Hungarian free-range chicken with sautéed green peas, confit asparagus and raw mushroom carpaccio. Texture plays an important role on the plate, allowing fresh, natural ingredients dance lightly across the palate, while seasons inform what appears on the menu. Choose from an eight-course tasting menu (with wine pairings also available) or opt for a la carte; plant-based friends can also be accommodated.
One of the standout starters at Gough's on Gough: dashi, custard, sea urchin, teriyaki
Scottish brown crab and slow-cooked Hungarian chicken
Peruvian corn, inspired by chef Arron Rhodes' stint at Central Restaurante in Peru
Roasted Oyster Bay lamb rump
The refreshing Victory Sign cocktail comes highly recommended
Punch and Judy and Our Finest Hour cocktails