PLU: St John's Wood restaurant finds the right formula

Elliot Moss, chef of PLU. Inset: his father, Formula One legend Sir Stirling Moss

Elliot Moss, chef of PLU. Inset: his father, Formula One legend Sir Stirling Moss - Credit: PLU

It takes a special type of restaurant to ask people to eat a dish by licking the plate. Even more so when the subject of your lick is Marilyn Monroe, painted in a mural of gazpacho. 

PLU restaurant likes to have fun with its food – but it is deadly serious about flavour, too. 

Having opened just before Covid struck, the St John’s Wood establishment has survived lockdowns, stock problems, and more recently, flash flooding.  

But now, given a clearer run to flex its daring menu of classics with a contemporary twist, its name is catching on.

Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant - Credit: PLU

Sole chef Elliot Moss, who runs the fine dining restaurant in Blenheim Terrace with his wife Helen, has been nominated chef of the year in the 2021 Food and Travel Reader Awards. 

The speed of Elliot’s rise runs through his food, and his blood – his father is the late Formula One legend Sir Stirling Moss, who has been dubbed the greatest ever not to win the World Championship. 

Despite his father’s fame, Elliot has burrowed his own path to success, and his restaurant’s acclaim is unsurprising.

Sir Stirling Moss, who died in April 2020, driving an historic Grand Prix car

Sir Stirling Moss, who died in April 2020, driving an historic Grand Prix car - Credit: PA

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When the Ham&High paid a visit, its 14 courses packed a classy punch, gliding effortlessly from Maldivian yellowfish tuna, to saddle of French rabbit, to cherry and vanilla frangipane. 

The venue’s dimmed intimacy was subtle but effective, building a bubble of excitement.  

The micro restaurant only serves a handful of tables inside, beneath an opulent chandelier that reiterates its high-end offering. 

As for the name, PLU is a double entendre. It is both the past tense of the French verb “plaire”: to please. It is also an acronym for “People Like Us”. 

And why St John’s Wood? Because it ticks the boxes – it’s walking distance to home for Elliot, Helen and their dog Satchmo, the site was vacant at the time, and the neighbourhood was ripe for their clientele.

The "pick and lick" dish of Marilyn Monroe

The "pick and lick" dish of Marilyn Monroe - Credit: Daniel Lewis

The inspiration behind the business came for Elliot as a child. At nine years old he "reluctantly" ate at Georges Blanc in Vonnas, France, which has held three Michelin stars since 1981.  

From that moment onwards he vowed to open his own restaurant. Thirty years later, he can be very proud of the result.  

PLU is at 12 Blenheim Terrace, St John’s Wood, NW8 0EB. For more information visit https://www.plurestaurant.co.uk/ 

To vote for Elliot in the 2021 Food and Travel Reader Awards visit https://foodandtravel.com/awards 

Bakewell low

Bakewell low - Credit: PLU