At first glance there is a real industrial look to Automata – concrete floor, dark steel. But it’s balanced by beautiful pendant lights. There's a chandelier (by London designers The Rag and Bone Man) that looks almost robotic – referencing old engines and airplane parts.
Spending three years at Momofuku Seibo has, of course, moulded chef Clayton Wells’ style, but don’t expect to find many similarities. For this project, Wells wants the room to be fun and rowdy.
There's a five-course set menu, starting with snacks, then four savoury dishes and one dessert. One of Wells’ favourite dishes is a steamed bass groper with cured roe emulsion and seaweed.
Dishes often come structured in layers – a tulip of witlof reveals tender partridge with burnt apple and capers. There’s surprising flavour pairings, such as pumpkin seed, tangelo and sea buckthorn (a type of shrub). As soon as you taste it, you wonder why it hasn’t been done before.
The wine list is by sommelier Tim Watkins, who was last seen at Ester and Monopole. There’s a mix of international and local wines, with some natural varieties from around the world and a small, eclectic list of beers. There’s also a range of aperitifs, such as local vermouths.