Divo London

Divo London

2 1 Reviews

Eastern European in London - St. James's
12 Waterloo Place, St. James's, London, SW1Y 4AU
+44 (0) 20 7484 1355

Divo serves traditional Ukrainian food in an elaborately decorated setting with private rooms available for hire.
Tags: cuisine: ukranian, expensive, price for 2 (exc. drinks): £100

Divo London Reviews

Funny peculiar... - Divo is a strange place. It is like you’ve travelled into some sort of distant future where robots have re-created the fancy restaurants that humans used to eat in before they became extinct. The décor is like something that has been pieced together from fragments of magazines and history books… belle epoch soft furnishings mix with glassy art deco bar fittings, expansive wooden floors and a grand piano give way to a raised dining area with a giant LCD screen playing images of the Ukraine, hung in a ludicrous gilt frame from soft, quilted golden wallpaper. The only thing I can liken it to that doesn’t involve the extinction of humanity is the set from Tim Burton’s Batman.

The staff are warm and welcoming…well, the women are. The men seem to be more like bouncers and stare aggressively at you as the beautiful young waitresses lead you seductively to sit in the glow of the giant LCD. The menu, filled with spelling mistakes, is a fine-dining pastiche on traditional Ukrainian food, with very rustic dishes served in a rather quaint modern style on 19th century crockery.

I started with the “curved lard” which I suspect was “cured”, which was delicious. It resembled little fans of pork fat served with little triangles of rye bread. It was a rich treat, but the chunks of raw garlic that came along with it helped balance that out. I followed that with pork and veal dumplings which were excellent, but served without a sauce or side dish which I didn’t even know I needed, so some explanation would have helped there. My dining companion ordered a vegetable soup that was, sadly, vegetables in watery stock. His main course of chicken breast was nice if a little dull. I finished off with cherries in ravioli, which was really very good. It was all washed down with a bottle of “Hout Medoc” which should be “Haut Medoc” and some brandies. All in all it weighed in at about £80 each, which for the food was expensive.

I liked the quirkiness of the place, I liked the starter and the pudding. The wine list was small and expensive with an average spread of wines that I know you can get in OddBins for half the price, which was disappointing. If it had cost £40 each we’d I’d definitely go back. The (female) staff were attentive, the service was speedy, the food was fresh and hot, and it was very clean and relaxing. But more of a curiosity than a really good dinner venue. In Ukrainian, “Divo” means “wonderful”… but it turns out that it’s a contextual form of “wonderful” which applies to goblins and fairies, rather than “wonderful value” or “wonderful food”.  
Tags: belle epoch decor, cherry dumplings, cured lard, expensive, quirky, St. James, ukranian

Rating  2

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