Is wonderchef Tom Aikens the real deal? Yes, indeed! The flame-haired former bad boy was always gracing the tabloids for having bust-ups, winning awards, hobnobbing with the gentry or flirting with bankrupcy. Now he's stripped away all his former ancien régime flummery and it's all freed up, colorful, joyous technique and ingredient-driven fireworks on the plate at his modishly moderne Nordic-style gastro-lair in Chelsea. Take in the bespoke
wooden furniture, missmatched handmade chinawear and gray linen napkins before you bliss out over his marinated hand-dived scallops with apple vinegar, his new-found vegetable numbers—like baked celeriac, raw turnip salad, or braised leeks with marjoram—while his mains kick are even finer: try the beef short rib with bone marrow and melting tendons to encounter a grandmaster at work.