Department store dining never used to be very inspired. Well things have changed over the years, and Harrods is definitely leading the charge. Studio Frantzén, by Björn Frantzén, is on the fifth floor of Harrods, and serves the Swedish chef’s Nordic/Asian cuisine.
It’s welcoming and almost fun in here! You’re greeted by a DJ on arrival (not the banging kind), with vinyl hung behind the booth. There’s a busy, open kitchen, soft lighting, staff who are ever-present but also not really there, red glossy lacquer, and a layout that makes great use of the space – the counter dining here lets you watch the chefs as you dine.
The Food and Drink
The focus here is dishes from the fireplace, and some of the highlights for us were definitely the most simple dishes, where you could really taste the char. We loved oysters that came with a (silver) bucket of hot sauces; grilled whole chicken with miso butter and burnt hay oil; hiramasa sashimi with truffle green onions and radishes; charred broccolini with eel sauce; bitter red salad with pumpkin hot sauce and shiso; deep fried Hasselback potatoes with whipped brown butter and cream cheese.
What looked good for next time: rockefeller oysters with sake; roasted scallops with scrambled duck eggs, black truflle, and smokey pea soy; smoked bone marrow with pine; and Lake District spring lamb with wasabi.
And desserts for next time need their own line as well, as these – After Eight tart, chilled melon with salted pine nuts and red chilli, carmelised bananas with rum raisin ice cream and frozen foie gras, and freshly baked madeleines with miso – look delicious; remember to save room.
For drinks, the lists were extensive (innovative cocktails, large wine selection), though we would have loved a natural wine.
Staff, combinations, open kitchen, booths. They have a large terrace and two bars, too.