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Greek-Mediterranean restaurant GAIA will debut in London next month

Continuing its international expansion, the new outpost of this Greek-Mediterranean concept will reside in Mayfair.

London is no stranger to Grecian cuisine — the city is home to everything from no-frills souvlaki joints to upscale Aegean eateries, from traditional tavernas to Mediterranean fusion restaurants. Now, GAIA is gearing up to join the ranks, opening its doors in Mayfair next month. First established in Dubai, this Greek-Mediterranean concept combines warm hospitality with alluring details, including 154 covers, a bountiful fresh fish display, an inspired bar and lounge, and a vintage wine cellar.

Created by two of the most prominent hospitality entrepreneurs in the GCC, Evgeny Kuzin and Chef Izu Ani, GAIA has become a culinary institution, recognised and respected for its effortless blend of beauty and simplicity. Its success swiftly led to the opening of outposts in Doha and Monte-Carlo, setting the benchmark for made-in-Dubai lifestyle concepts that showcase the quality and innovation of the region, whilst exporting them to key cosmopolitan cities around the world. The FACT award-winning restaurant embodies the essence of Greek-Mediterranean culture and cuisine.

GAIA London

A refined taverna, GAIA London celebrates the craft, simplicity and warmth inherent throughout Greek culture. Curated by interior design studio First Within, the team seamlessly blends history and modern design to create an inviting and luxurious space. Representing the understated beauty of Greece, guests at GAIA London will be met with neo-classical features such as domed arches, Hellenic statues framed by limestone walls, and azure blue furnishings. A captivating focal point, the ice market, fresh fish counter and traditional wooden oven are home to the masterpieces of GAIA – the ingredients – welcoming guests with the aroma of freshly baked bread and an abundant salad bar.

The menus were developed by Chef Izu Ani and Chef Orestis Kotefas, who have spent over 13 years together, perfecting their harmonious blend of flavours. Ani began his career at Michelin-starred restaurants across the Mediterranean coast, including La Bastide Saint-Antoine and Auberge de l’Ill in the south of France. His creativity, passion and personality have enabled him to become one of the Middle East’s most acclaimed chefs, with an ever-increasing portfolio of cherished culinary concepts. Kotefas, meanwhile, spent his childhood amongst lush olive groves and farm fields in Greece, where his passion for quality ingredients and cooking was born.

GAIA London

Diners will feast on humble, yet exquisite mezze dishes of smoked cod roe and lemon zest, Taramosalata, and Melitzanosalata, a smoky blend of aubergine and tahina. Indulgences come in the form of Seabream Carpaccio (a signature dish served with a choice of lemon oil, orange and bergamot, and truffle dressing) alongside Baked Feta and Tiropita (a cheese pie with shavings of fresh black truffle) and Prawn Saganaki. Larger dishes include Kritharaki, cooked in a heady tomato sauce. This seafood orzo is studded with freshly caught calamari, prawns, and clams, while the Paidakia Arnisia sees lamb cutlets traditionally served with a refreshing tzatziki and baked pita bread.

With the assistance of GAIA’s knowledgeable team, guests will be invited to select fish from the restaurant’s selection of freshly caught produce at the counter, which can be served to individual preference (raw, grilled, pan-fried with aromatic harissa, or salt-baked).

Ending each meal on a sweet note, the desserts at GAIA London blend imagination with indulgence. Diners can enjoy Pagoto Giarti, frozen Greek yoghurt topped with chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey alongside Greek doughnuts known as Loucoumades and Portokalopita, a traditional orange cake served with cinnamon ice cream and olive oil. Taking inspiration from GAIA’s namesake, the restaurant’s bar will feature cocktails influenced by the earth, sun, mountains and sea: Theo is a warm blend of olive oil-infused tequila, basil, bergamot and mastiha, while Talos is a herbaceous cocktail of orange gin, beetroot and dry fig.

GO: Email reservations@gaia-london.uk for reservations and more information.

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Samia Qaiyum
A textbook third culture kid with a perpetual thirst for adventure, Samia Qaiyum specialises in travel and culture, having lived in five countries and travelled to 34 others – just don't ask her to define the word 'home'.

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