Decimo at The Standard, a Spanish-Mexican Restaurant by Peter Sanchez-Iglesias
Decimo at The Standard Review also featured on byevapiskadlo.com.
It wasn’t always like this. Hotel restaurants were once generally considered a last resort, aimed at guests too unadventurous to explore the local area. During the late 1800s, César Ritz and Auguste Escoffier revolutionised hotel dining, with the duo collaborating at the Savoy Hotel, closely followed by The Ritz Paris. Between then and now, however, a wave of hoteliers became avaricious, idle, and—ultimately—regressive. While many gallingly substandard hotel restaurants somehow continue to operate in London, a chic new breed has arrived, with The Standard boasting the most exciting Spanish-Mexican restaurant in its own right.
Michelin-starred Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias has merged his love of Mexico with his Spanish roots for his debut London restaurant, Decimo. Sanchez-Iglesias also helms his flagship Michelin-starred restaurant Casamia in Bristol.
The menu is a fresh interpretation of live fire Hispanic dishes, with a menu comprising of para picas dishes, aguachile, tacos, seafood, salads and meats cooked over the open fire. Walking into the eclectic dining room is like entering a completely different country. Designed by Shawn Hausman Design, the stunning space has rattan ceilings, Peruvian macrame drapery and Brazilian dimple tiles, transporting you somewhere far far away. The restaurant is uniquely located opposite the stunning Kings Cross St Pancras station—I half expected an electric blue flying Ford Anglia to glide past our window whilst we were enjoying our Mezcal.
To start, we were treated to a stunning Albariño, followed by shared starters. We almost fought over the oiled bread (above)—it was beautifully battered and toasted, served with lashings of olive oil and salt. The dish that really stood out for me was the humble croquetas de jamon. The morsel was terrifically smooth with a nice hit of smokiness and served red hot, the creamy jamon melted nicely in the mouth. Luckily, my dining partner was too engrossed in the bread to notice me scarfing it all.
A Taco with chistora and black bean was also a bit of a revelation. I need to get in on this cheese - bean - spicy combo. Little popped rice bits lined the top - I loved this touch.
The Spanish tortilla was adorned with onions, egg and cheese. We smeared it on the bread and then took to eating it with just spoons. The fresh cheese had a mousse-like consistency, making it light rather than rich. The delicate Gambas Rojas are the juiciest you'll come across; perfectly steamed prawns with a little bit, with a silky but rich sauce. I found this dish hard to share.
I didn't take a picture of dessert. I completely forgot. I was having such a lovely time that once the dessert was set before us, we went at it and that was that. It happens a lot with me and desserts. We decided on a savoury sweet mix, with a lovely cheese and cracker ensemble.
As you can tell, I am a big fan of Decimo in its new incarnation after Covid. TIP: the dessert menu also comes with a unique "sleepover” feature, offering special room rates for those eager Decimo diners who want to continue the night in the comfort of their own suite. These days finding a restaurant in the environs of Kings Cross, that has brilliant food but also is terribly trendy is a rare find, and Decimo is all three.
10 Argyle St, London WC1H 8EG, standardhotels.com/london/features/standard_london_decimo