Evocative wood-fired cooking


Occupying hallowed restaurant ground that was once home to Anthony Demetre’s original Wild Honey, HUMO is a strikingly original homage to wood-fired cooking. Taking its name from the Spanish word for smoke, the restaurant’s USP is the effort it puts into sourcing its combustible materials: instead of putting produce in its front windows it displays a selection of artfully-lit woods.

HUMO is the debut solo restaurant project for Colombian-born chef Miller Prada, who spent six years working alongside Endo Kazutoshi at his Japanese restaurant Endo at the Rotunda in West London. The St George’s Street venue was the first outing for Creative Restaurant Group, which was co-founded by Misha Zelman of Burger & Lobster and Beast fame, Beast, alongside Kazutoshi.

The 34-cover site has a glam, slightly clubby feel. There are a number of tables dotted around the space but the real action can be found at the counter that surrounds HUMO’s fully-open kitchen. A huge custom grill with many different levels provides the focal point, with the team doing much of the plating directly on the counter within touching distance of the customers sitting around it.

A tight a la carte menu is offered that blends Japanese with a number of other international influences. The savoury menu is arranged into four sections: Ignite (raw dishes that sometimes come into brief contact with fire or smoke); Smoke (grilled vegetable dishes); Flame (proteins cooked in direct contact with burning wood); and Embers (daily-changing cuts of aged meat and fish that are designed to be eaten as a main course rather than being shared.

Overseen by Merlin Ramos (Elystan Street, Oblix) the wine list is expansive and arranged in an unusual yet intuitive way. There are some sections that focus on a particularly grape while others go by wine style or vineyard location. Even given the calibre of those involved, HUMO has over-delivered and stands out in a post code that has a tendency to play it too safe.