I’m sure the PR team at Scott’s were telling themselves that any press is good press when their name was all over the tabloids after the whole Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson event. Now that the heat is off, normal order has been resumed, and if anything the regulars here a little bit more to gossip about as they line up on the Mayfair pavement and slurp back oysters and champagne.
Scott’s really is the gem of Mayfair. It’s a place where celebrities go because they claim they love the food and don’t get bothered there, but really just want to snapped by the paparazzi that eagerly await outside. For the rest of us it is either saved for a special occasion or a place you go so that you can say you’ve seen Ronnie Wood or Bono, or maybe even Bill Clinton. Inside the grand seafood counter is like something you would only find in Harrods, and the art-deco interior oozes wealth and class. This is for a much higher calibre of scenesters than those who slap on their highest heels and shortest skirts and flock to Nobu.
A dozen mixed oysters with wild boar sausages (£39) and a bottle of Bruno Paillard Rosé champagne (£110) got things off to a fittingly indulgent start. If you are looking for a way into oysters, as my partner was, then having a good old clump of sausage to go with it, is certainly a help.
The octopus carpaccio is dressed with chilli, spring onion and coriander (£14.25) and is one of the specialities here. It is a glamorous plate of food and there’s a good hit of heat from the chilli too making it a vibrant starter.
My partner had the pan-fried duck egg with wild rabbit, black pudding, devilled sauce (£10.50) which although by no means a disappointing starter, lacked the star quality mine had. The egg was really the heart of the dish, with the rabbit as more of an afterthought. Most of the food here is simple but expertly cooked, but this dish was a little too far on the safe side.
For main I had the seared sea bass with lemon and herb butter (£26.50) which needed a side of creamed spinach (£5.50) to complete it. I’m never a fan of mains that come without any sides, but that’s the style at Scott’s, and although paying over £30 for a fillet of sea bass is expensive, there was no denying the quality of the ingredient and cooking.
My partner had the 16oz grilled Dover Sole (£42) that was just about the best piece of fish either of us have tried. Again no sides accompany it, so with broccoli coated in hazelnut butter (£5.75) this is almost a half tonne main course and you’d struggle to find a main for much more than that in London.
We shared the Scott’s dessert plate (£10) which is made up of trio of miniatures. We had the toffee fondant, apple pie and cheesecake, all which were excellent, and this is perfect for those who, like me, are both greedy and indecisive.
The bill came to over £100 a head, and whilst prices are high, if you are going to Scott’s and aren’t a regular, then this feels like the only way to do it. Champagne and oysters aren’t something you indulge on every day, and there is no finer place in London to enjoy this luxury than on one of the coveted seats in Scott’s. They remind you of this privilege with the cover charge of £2. It’s a restaurant I will come to once a year, either for a special occasion or as a sure-fire way to get myself out of the dog-house and back into the good books with my partner.
20 Mount Street, London W1K 2HE