French caviar house Petrossian has its first gourmet café and deli in the UK, offering visitors another way of tasting its exceptional products.
Famed for its signature teal-blue-hued tins, Petrossian first opened in Paris’ Boulevard de Latour-Maubourg in 1920. The South Kensington outpost on Fulham Road echoes the beautiful teal-blue facade of the original boutique.
Over a century later, the business is still family-owned, with outlets in Brussels, New York, Las Vegas, West Hollywood and, as of two months ago, London.
Chloe Chataigon, Head of Marketing UK, says: “We know what we’re doing, and because we’ve been doing it for such a long time, we know what works and what doesn’t, and we know how to make an exceptional product.
“We are very keen on explaining how caviar works, where it comes from, why we decided to offer this product and why we think it’s a great product.”
The upmarket deli counter is the focal point of the London store, where you can sample Petrossian’s five different caviars, along with other delicacies such as samples of freshly made tarama and smoked salmon sliced to order.
But to get the whole experience, sit down at the little cafe (there are just 16 seats) and try the carefully curated menu with dishes like the oven-baked potato with caviar (£48), with one customer commenting it was the “best jacket potato I’ve ever had.”
The Beluga Caviar was divine – the creamy roe has an exceptional melting quality and lingers beautifully on the palate. It offers powerful, fleshy and marine aromatic notes.
This is a lovely contrast to the Baeri Baïka Caviar, which has a strong briny flavour followed by the dried fruit notes of the Baïka eggs. The eggs were a deep black in colour and firmer, with a saltiness that makes you want to go back for more.
I opted for the organic soft-boiled egg served with Ossetra caviar for £28. There was a generous amount of caviar and the creamiest caviar butter complemented the caviar-dusted bread. It was such a foreign but luxurious feeling in the mouth that you couldn’t help but savour every texture, being utterly present at that moment.
What surprised me was that caviar also features heavily on the dessert menu, as staff assured me that the saltiness balances the sweetness of a dessert perfectly. Through much experimentation, Petrossian’s developed the most well-balanced chocolate moose (£17), infused with dried-out caviar and topped with fresh caviar. It comes with a mother-of-pearl spoon to ensure the eggs are not disturbed, and paired with a café-style coffee, it would make the perfect afternoon treat.
To cleanse the palate, there is a choice of four champagnes, served by the glass and bottle, along with various French wines or Petrossian’s own vodka.
Chloe adds: “We have some alcoholic beverages, so we have our own vodka. We have the plain one, and then we also have the caviar one, the truffle one, Sichuan pepper and five spices.”
Don’t let caviar intimidate you because no matter how much or how little you know about the delicacy, Petrossian’s staff will help guide and educate you through the journey.
Because while you are paying for exceptional quality food, there really is something exceptional about the whole experience at Petrossian’s.
Chloe says: “I would say ask as many questions as possible [for newcomers] because I do believe it’s an experience.”
“Don’t be shy, come over, and our team will be very excited to welcome you. Try the caviar, of course, beforehand because we do believe there is a caviar for everyone; you just need to know which one it is.”
Petrossian’s London Boutique is open seven days a week and hopes to introduce outdoor summer dining on its terrace in the coming months.