With its glittering debut in London’s Knightsbridge on September 23, the capital’s freshest fusion restaurant Geode is already celebrating its epicurean expedition to re-examine the definition of culinary mastery.
With the luminous title of rock formation decorated with shimmering quartz, this glamorous restaurant has been added to Arrow Hospitality’s thriving dining group alongside Indian retreats Kutir in Chelsea and Manthan in Mayfair, revealing an interwoven culinary odyssey of savory sophistication. The rustic aromas and spirited essence of the Mediterranean form a harmonious marriage with the delicious and exotic spice notes of Asia, nestled in an impressive townhouse spread over a gigantic 7,000 square meters and in a palette of soft olive green, soft lavender and radiant blue is submerged.
Guests didn’t waste a nanosecond in unlocking the copper-colored door, revealing an enchanting ambience of antique gold background against exquisite stone decorations, as they try to satisfy their hunger with fine dining. Expect meaty king crab flakes rolled in silky-smooth avocado with glistening gold leaf sprinkles, alongside tender fresh ravioli showcasing a velvety, nutty cream ricotta with rich, earthy spinach, and tender herbed French lamb brimming with smoky juices, courtesy of the esteemed open-air Menus of the kitchen Plan the Robata exhibition.
Restaurant baron and Geode operations manager Salvatore Broccu is found guilty of supplying this tropical, intricate, sybaritic sanctuary. Accompanied by his dynamic fellow restaurateur Marios Louvaris, Salvatore has triumphed in his bon vivant reign, as evidenced by his time with the Novikov clique’s amazing Haut-Monde hangout, as he attempts to revive the hallowed, old-school glamor of this fun-seeking SW1X district .
It was a real joy to luxuriate in the soft glow of Geode’s sombre bronze cocktail bar, Ruby Negroni in hand, while I began my cross-examination with the elegant Salvatore about dream desires, life in the “office” and beau-monde habits.
Salvatore Broccu is the operations manager at Geode
Tell us a little about yourself and your extraordinary journey to get where you are today.
I practically grew up in the restaurant industry, where my parents opened their first restaurant when I was seven years old. I was given the unglamorous daily task of checking for gum under the table and chairs and sweeping the floor spotlessly clean. That was my introduction to the restaurant industry by helping to raise a family. At the age of fourteen, I took the plunge into hotel and catering school where I began to really gain knowledge about the world of culinary, which was not only fun and engaging, but extremely engaging.
I then traveled around the world, working in various restaurants and visiting several countries to not only learn the different languages, but also learn about their own cultures, service styles and breathtaking global cuisines. The more I traveled, the more I fell in love with this fascinating field. I worked in some of the best Michelin starred saloons in Italy, France and England whilst also honing my skills as a restaurant consultant, further developing their layout and concept ideas in London and abroad. When I look back, I honestly feel like I’ve never had so much passion and satisfaction for what I do in my life.
What or who inspired you to pursue a career in the world of gourmet hospitality?
My parents were the main source of inspiration for me because they managed, managed and cooked in our family restaurant. The school my parents sent me to paved the way for me to a luxurious five-star hotel, where I met restaurant manager Claudio Molinari, who not only motivated me but also guided me to my adventures in jet-setting gourmet and hospitality sector. His insights were invaluable, but the most important lesson was that the restaurant world was my oyster.
Named after a mesmerizing crystal formation, Geode promises an upscale dining experience with glamorous interiors and a seasonal menu with Mediterranean and Asian influences
Geode prides itself on its seasonal dining approach that incorporates culinary theatrics and combines Mediterranean flavors with Asian inspiration. Where did the driving force behind this menu come from?
I believe it is the result of a teamwork between the chef Francesco Scala and me. Having worked together for several years, we were both influenced by our own personal experiences and what we saw in the London food scene. Undoubtedly, we also received invaluable support from Vipul (our investor), so the three of us worked together as a team and shared countless inventive ideas to curate the menu.
We agreed that a great way to attract people to Geode is to offer a multicultural offering with a meticulous attention to exquisite service. The diversity of the cuisine sets it apart; Guests can visit Geode and indulge in a menu of Asian, Italian, Greek or Moroccan menu items that will leave you wanting more. We also noticed a slight gap in the market as there are very few locations offering a grill or rotisserie concept in Knightsbridge.
Describe a typical working day in the “office”
As proudly mentioned, I have fun every day and working in this company means that every day is different and you face new challenges that drive you to succeed. I enjoy talking to the chefs and my colleagues to plan the day ahead, come up with new ideas and find areas we can push forward or completely shake up. I love witnessing a busy restaurant that is open to change and I have also come to the conclusion that details are of the utmost importance. That’s why the first thing I do when I arrive is to make sure everyone is paying attention to these details and recharging their batteries for the coming days.
You had spent a significant part of your career with the Novikov Group in the equally glamorous Mayfair. Have you ever been tempted to adopt their concept of two distinctive menus at Geode?
Yes, I actually spent 11 years with Novikov, but was never tempted to repeat it. I wanted Geode to be a completely new concept. However, as we all know, the wheel has already been invented, so there may be similarities with Novikov, but also some affinities with many other eating habits.
Geode is the latest opening from the emerging restaurant group Arrow Hospitality, which also operates Manthan and Kutir
Knightsbridge’s SW postcode tends to have a more chi-chi stigma and Beau Monde cocktail culture. Do you feel like Geode added a touch of suave, urban elegance while still being a strong reflection of the zip code?
I firmly believe Geode will add more flair and panache to the postcode, but it will also bring a revolutionary feel and sophisticated quality that I feel is currently missing from the area.
Do you feel like Knightsbridge’s dining scene has evolved over the years?
I have lived in London for many years and when I arrived Knightsbridge was the place to go for lunch or dinner. However, the area experienced a decline in the early 2000s, with really only Zuma remaining strong and propelling Mayfair into the limelight as a meeting point for cafe society on the restaurant scene. Grand openings in 2009 to 2011 such as Novikov had created a breakthrough for the W1 postcode, drawing patrons away from Knightsbridge and transforming Mayfair from a thoroughbred playground used primarily for the student unions of the aristocratic members’ clubs into a permissive endpoint for Restaurants transformed.
However, I believe Knightsbridge will experience a renaissance. People prefer the cozy yet chic intimacy of venues in this area where they can be recognized and pampered. I for one hope that Knightsbridge gets back on the dining scene soon.
What would be your personal favorite dish from the menu?
The sea bream tartare is an absolute showstopper, made with diced, meaty seafood seasoned with lime zest, chilli and cucumber, served on cinnamon-squeezed watermelon.
What do you think is the most hyped food trend?
Geode brings a new dining concept and some old-school glamor to the heart of London’s posh Knightsbridge district
What would you highlight as your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is certainly my title of manager at the first Italian restaurant outside of Italy to be awarded the coveted Michelin star.
Where can you be found in your free time?
Cooking with my wonderful children or going to different restaurants for lunch or dinner to see what’s going on in the delicious world of cuisine.
What is your ultimate dream?
To make Geode’s glittering name known around the world.
Address: 14-15 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NZ
Phone: 0203 794 7708
All image credits: Geode