As the doorman pushes back the glistening gold door for you to enter Lusin, you can already tell you’re in for a treat. With an esteemed postcode in London’s Mayfair, just a few minutes away from Green Park underground station, the Armenian restaurant oozes luxury. However, the team here pride themselves not only on their lavish credentials, but their wholly welcoming, warm hospitality too.
Having opened in London in October 2022, 11 years after their first outpost in Saudi Arabia, the international restaurant place importance on creating a sense of “home”. From jovial interactions with staff to the fact that the stones on the walls were specifically flown in from Armenia, this familial notion runs through everything the team do. We took a visit to Lusin; here’s our review.
Our review of the food at Lusin
From the moment we were seated, we felt at relaxed at Lusin, despite its fanciness. Surrounding us were pairs of friends, couples, and groups – clearly, the restaurant attracts various group types. Little quirks caught our eye, like the cool concertina style menus, golden curios, and the exposed stone walls juxtaposed with the mirrored ceilings. The devil may be in the detail, but dining at Lusin was a heavenly experience. This was my first time trying Armenian cuisine and I was thoroughly impressed; the menu is curated by a two-Michelin star chef, after all.
We started our meal with a selection of hot and cold appetisers; Lusin kibbeh, tiger prawns tempura, and hummus with pinenuts, served with some of the fluffiest pitta breads I’ve seen in a while. Lusin kibbeh combines bulgar with meat, nuts and pomegranate, served in an almost falafel style. It was perfectly crisped on the outside, while the inside was soft and flavoursome; the sweetness of the pomegranate paired with the savoury kibbeh was delightful.
The flawless crispiness/softness combination presented itself in the tiger prawn tempura too, which had a deliciously moreish pistachio pesto and caramelised lemon drizzle. *Chef’s kiss.* As for the hummus, I couldn’t get enough; it’s one of those things that you can’t help but continue grazing on, long after you should in lieu of your next courses, but in my defence, the light lemon flavour of the hummus made me want more and more…
For our mains, we opted for lamb gigot and centuries-old Armenian gapama. The lamb was SO soft. Slide off the bone in milliseconds soft. Melt in your mouth in moments soft. It was delicious. The flavours of the pumpkin puree and the aromatic rice side dish went very well with the lamb, and let the meat really take centre stage. As for the gapama, the flourish it was served with was just as impressive as the taste. A whole, cooked pumpkin is sliced in front of you, revealing inside a delicious mixed rice with peppercorns. Mmm, mmm, mmm.
While the hearty mains almost defeated us, as the server reminded us, dessert goes to another stomach. And I’m so glad opted to order dessert: my honey cake was served on a honeycomb plate. It looked gorgeous, tasted gorgeous, and was the perfect end to the indulgent and flavourful meal.
As with many luxury restaurants, dining at Lusin is an experience. The two-floor space is decadent, and it’s about more than just the taste of the food. The mouthwatering smells as each plate was delivered was enough to make you want to tuck in straight away (Instagram snaps, be damned), and the drinks were strong, but smooth – enough to give you a buzz, but not overpowering to your meal. We tried the So Citrus and Cherry Americano, both of which we would recommend.
We must give a special shout out to the staff at the restaurant. They were incredibly attentive, serving each course with a flourish, a laugh and a joke. Their check ins on us seemed like a genuine dedication to hospitality, rather than being a forced tickbox exercise or to hurry us along. We engaged with many of the staff throughout our meal, each as friendly as the one another. They took the time to explain what we were about to eat in detail, and ensured the presentation of each dish was pristine. The thought and care taken with everything at Lusin is very clear from start to finish.