Most exciting things happening in the London food¬†scene are taking place¬†in the East. Rents are slightly cheaper there meaning¬†less barriers to entry for up-and-coming chefs to ply their trade, and there’s more bearded hipsters who are willing to give their¬†new, paired back brand of cooking more of a chance.¬†Portland is Fitzrovia’s attempt at joining this scene.¬†With only a choice of three dishes for¬†each course, the menu is confidently minimal. It matches the dining room which is simply designed¬†with white walls and school chairs, lacking slightly in any real warmth or identity. Take away the open kitchen and you have a school detention room.¬†This being Fitzrovia, it was busy with ad execs and creatives (think Oliver Peoples and casual¬†shirts), and the menu with it’s unusual combinations might well have been drawn up in one of their think tanks. It’s all very present, but lacks any roots¬†that give you a way in.


Snacks were the most enjoyable dishes of the night- a thin crisp of chicken skin had a rich liver parfait on top with candied walnuts and a slice of grape (£1.50 each) to cut through- it was a skilful piece of cooking and tasted as good as it looked. As did the wild rice cracker with yellow fin tuna, lime and shisho (£3 each) which was a refreshing mouthful. Bread with smoked butter and shaved ox heart (a bit of a pointless addition) was lovely, but only 3 half slices left you wanting a lot more.

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For starter a Halibut sashimi with buttermilk and black radish (¬£11) looked like an anaemic flower petal. The¬†black radish added a¬†freshness and light crunch but it distracted slightly from the flavour of the fish. It was a dish that was all surface, with nothing exciting beneath.¬†The other starter of Salsify with¬†thin strips of¬†‘Mangalista’ pig (basically crispy bacon) and Comte (¬£10), was forgettable. These flavours all work together, but there just wasn’t enough love in the cooking to make it anything more than a shrug of the shoulders.

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From the specials Partridge with blood sausage and fermented damsons (¬£24) was a taster menu portion. The¬†meat was slightly dry and there just wasn’t enough to the dish to make it of much interest. It needed the side of potatoes with Montgomery cheddar (¬£5) just to fill the dish out, but even they lacked any love. The boiled new potatoes were under-seasoned and¬†had not been cooked with the cheese, so¬†none of its flavour had seeped through¬†into them.¬†Miso-grilled¬†deer with aubergine and yoghurt (¬£26) was cooked well but¬†again it was criminally seasoned meaning the meat couldn’t shine. Perhaps¬†chefs here must be allergic to salt.¬†A¬†side salad of baby gems with radishes and buttermilk (¬£5),¬†was crunchy but nothing else.

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Dessert was an interesting combination of apple with rosemary ice and vanilla ice cream, again presented in a distinctive¬†modern way that didn’t immediately draw you in. The¬†flavours were a perfect marriage and it was a refreshing finish to the meal, but an added texture or maybe just¬†chunks of apple would have made it feel a little more substantial. Like the rest of the dishes it felt like¬†more of an essence of something, or an idea for a dish, rather than something complete in itself.


I really wanted to love this restaurant- it’s trying to do things differently and it was refreshing to see a slim, focused¬†menu. But having a menu this minimalist¬†was a bold statement that didn’t quite come off. It’s confident cooking with obvious flair, but¬†less focus on the look and idea of the dishes¬†and a little more attention to depth of flavour (or just salt) and things would have been a lot better. At ¬£65 a head I had expected more. It¬†was all texture and colours, without¬†a soul.

6/10 (£££)

113 Great Portland St, London W1W 6QQ
Portland Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Similar: Picture, 10 Greek Street



Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. Or rather, a¬†chef is born free, and then they get a Michelin star. This tends to be my feeling whenever I come out of a two star restaurant. With the exception of Dinner by Heston, I’m yet to have a 2 star meal that was truly memorable. Fera, Sketch and¬†The Square all blend into one memory. A memory of a certain type of cooking, one that was excellent¬†at the time of eating, but forgettable soon afterwards. These¬†restaurants sit in a purgatory. They lack that freshness and enthusiasm to push boundaries that many of the new 1 star restaurants do, and¬†they aren’t the game changers at the top of their field like the 3 star restaurants. Instead it sits uncomfortably between- it is cooking that has earned its stripes over the years and honed in a style of its own, and will always deliver¬†a fantastic meal. But it seems that many of these chefs, in search of that elusive¬†third star, have forgotten what got them their first. They are focused on maintaining and perfecting what they have,¬†not thinking outside of the box.¬†The box here being the dining room filled with a predominantly wealthy, middle aged clientele, who are not here to be challenged by a new dining experience, but instead just want that dish they’ve seen the (no doubt now celebrity) chef cook on TV. There’s also the contracts these chefs have with the prestigious¬†5 star hotels, which no doubt are like getting a¬†5 year contract at Chelsea. The¬†stand out performances that got them noticed in the first place stop, and instead they go into cruise control, producing the same high standard each time, without pushing on. They’re like a world class player earning their final big pay cheque. Fully deserved, but you know that they can still do better if they really try.

In the¬†other camp, sit¬†restaurants like¬†The Typing Room and The Clove Club, that¬†strive¬†to try things new, and that for the moment are cooking without any chains. But then, they aren’t yet cooking to the standard of a restaurant like Marcus. So it’s a fine balance. Many of these up-and-coming chefs, just like you see on Great British Menu, are so determined to make their mark and get noticed that they will¬†push to do more with new surprising flavour combinations¬†or¬†the latest cooking techniques. But this doesn’t always improve. A great chef knows that less is more. No doubt Marcus Wareing and all the other masters¬†of high end cooking, were¬†once just like that, but¬†a point must come when¬†the experimenting stops and the honing and perfecting becomes the focus.¬†So really it comes down to what camp you prefer. A less perfect but more exciting and challenging meal, or a perfect but more familiar and safe meal.

Today it was the latter- as soon as you walk into the dining room you know the brand of cooking and type of experience you are in for. A library hush, more staff than diners, a decor made up of¬†neutral colours (it’s duck-egg blue in Marcus) and a predominantly suited middle aged clientele. There was a choice of either the¬†full Taster menu (¬£120) or the lighter¬†Taste of Autumn lunch menu- 5 courses for ¬£49, or ¬£75 with wine pairing. The menu was refreshingly simplified, listing only the three primary ingredients of each dish. There was no aggrandising techniques, instead the cook disguises himself in the menu. The ingredients are king here.


An amuse bouche of polenta cake with a black olive crumb and fresh basil and then Dorset crab with peach, were both strong indications of the cooking to come. Flavours that are familiar, but have been lifted to the best they can get.



A starter of burrata, aubergine and sourdough was a superb demonstration of this. It was lifted by a little heat from paprika and a fresh crunch from spring onion, along with some excellent olive oil. Crispy Rhug Estate chicken with sweetcorn and tarragon, threatened to be a little on the sweet side, but the portion size was perfectly judged to prevent this.

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For mains, the¬†lamb neck, with beetroot, runner beans and pearl barely was again a tried combination that was cooked to its full potential. I would have preferred to see the lamb pinker- if it hadn’t been so juicy (perhaps from being cooked sous vide) it would have come across as being over-done.¬†The roasted bream with chorizo and tomato was again was playing it safe, and was the only dish where¬†I felt the balance wasn’t quite right. The tomatoes were too sharp and combined with the smokiness of the chorizo the fish was overpowered and lost a little in the dish.

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Next a good Lancashire cheese with a smoky fig chutney and poppy seed crackers, followed by plum, vanilla and damson which was refreshing and light, with some perfect choux buns.

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Then the famous egg custard and nutmeg tart. A small square bite that summed up this brand of cooking. It looked simple, and of course is a flavour you’ve had many times. But not this good.¬†The custard managed to be textureless, so that the only bite you get is from the crust of the pastry, and then the rich creamy flavour and hit of nutmeg washes over. If you asked any aspiring chef in the country who is making their name pushing new boundaries, to attempt to cook this custard tart, they would not come close to replicating it.


Lunch here costs the best part of ¬£90 a head (with a service and wine), but that’s to be expected, and the cooking and ingredients justify the price. It¬†a three hour lunch, so either bring your iPhone or really like the person you are dining with, because three hours next to anybody will threaten to drag.¬†My feeling after eating at¬†Marcus, was that the¬†cooking was precise and measured, that every single ingredient was taken to its full potential, and so each dish that was served was as good as it could be. But then, writing this, with the exception of the egg custard tart, I had to look over the menu again to recall exactly what it was I’d eaten. Perhaps it’s easier to remember a dish like Meat Fruit, which stands out primarily because of its technique and appearance. Still, it felt that with some of London’s best cooks and one of Britain’s finest chefs at the helm here, that there’s a feeling of taking what they have got and cooking within those 2 star parameters for the duck-egg blue dining room. I’d love to try the food if they took these chains off.

8.5/10 (££££)

The Berkeley, Wilton Pl, London SW1X 7RL

Marcus - The Berkeley Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Similar Restaurants:  Dinner by Heston


The Quality Chop House

When you’re packed on a rush hour London tube, your nose guzzled into a armpit, how often is it¬†the¬†armpit of a Londoner? Or even a Brit? It’s the same when you’re walking down any London high-street- you pass Mexican, Spanish, Afghan restaurants and even cross-bred mongrels like Korean-Mexican and Brazilian sushi.¬†But if it’s just some classic British scran you’re after, you’ll struggle to find anywhere other than your¬†local dingy boozer with it’s¬†beige pie and chips and beige sausage and mash.¬†True British classics. The same old flavourless crap that tastes just as dull in any pub in any part of the country. That’s unless¬†you go to one of those artisan gastro-bollocks pubs. But don’t get me started on them.

British food just isn’t very exciting, and so it has been pushed to the margins of our tastes. Not often do we fancy going out for some meat, stodge and veg.¬†Even at it’s most adventurous, British food isn’t hip anymore. The nose-to-tail eating of St. John has been replicated everywhere. All restaurants use the previously unfashionable cheaper cuts, and the¬†innards of animals. Even Tesco has started using horsemeat. So we venture to other corners of the globe to excite our palettes. And then¬†we inevitably adopt these dishes as our own- give them the good old Tikka Masala or Lemon Chicken treatment and¬†extract¬†any colour or excitment from them, so that the once lively Thai green curry is transformed into a tepid pot of beige British piss on every pub menu in the country.

In all of this we have forgotten¬†just how good British food can be. Forgotten that we have some of the best beef and lamb in the world. And with¬†ingredients this good, you don’t need some Escoffier-versed¬†French tosser to knock up¬†some good grub. You just need a chef who understands and respects the ingredients.¬†Heat, season and serve. Little else is needed. This is where The Quality Chop House comes into the equation (perhaps doing its chefs a slight injustice there).

Around the corner from the foodie-haven of Exmouth Market, The Quality Chop House is a warm little dining room inside a listed building from 1869. All very impressive, but it’s the food we really care about. We chose the set menu (great value at ¬£44 for 5 courses)- which thankfully lists¬†ingredients rather than any pointless techniques. First up was a selection of¬†nice, but slightly needless ‘finger food’ nibbles- sweetcorn lathered in¬†marmite butter, goat’s curd with tomato on toast, truffled potato croquette with aioli, and a bite of salmon mousse wrapped in cucumber- which all seemed¬†a bit foreign on the menu and didn’t really represent the style of the cooking to come.


Things quickly got into more familiar ground- the daily catch was a white fish served with peas and a thin slither of lardo melted on top- simple and perfect. As was the the partridge served with celeriac and Tropea onion- the only thing to let it down was the cold plate and long wait for the dish.

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Hereford beef for main came¬†as both a Denver cut and as brisket with a rich gravy sauce sitting on top of creamy polenta. I’d have eaten a cauldron full of this stuff. The Barnsley chop was perfectly cooked and didn’t much else to make it a great dish. A side¬†of confit potatoes would make it into my last supper, and broccoli with flaked almonds was a needed crunch.¬†To finish things off a light olive oil and pistachio cake with lemon curd and meringue was tangy and refreshing- I’d have wolfed a Sticky Toffee¬†or a crumble, but after a meaty meal, it was probably what my waistline needed.


It was hard to fault the meal. It made me remember just how good British food can be, and done well, just how much better it can be than most other cuisines. It’s a shame that there aren’t more restaurants like this, because although we might say we can cook this type of food at¬†home, we never do. We’ll never go out and source¬†the good ingredients, or get the quality meat from our butchers. We just Click & Deliver on Tesco and get some steroid fed rubber chicken that dissolves in the pan. Go here and you might get some faith back in British cooking and ingredients. I certainly did. It¬†was one of the most fulfilling¬†dinners I’ve had this year. It delivered on everything I expected, and with a menu that changes daily, it won’t be long before I’m back.

9/10  (£££)

88-94 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA
The Quality Chop House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Similar: Market, Picture,



Neil Rankin was the Scottish chef in¬†the baseball cap on the latest Great British Menu who made bold statements about fine dining being dead, and it now being all about big hearty cooking.¬†I’m certainly with him on this, and I’d happily swap any¬†molecular gastronomy for a good slab of meat any day of the week. But sadly for him, the¬†judges, or rather creepy Jeremy Lee, didn’t buy it. His indoor BBQ heart-on-the-sleeve style of cooking was thrown to the kerb and so he’s back in the kitchen at Smokehouse.

I’d always wanted to try this place, but the far end¬†of Upper Street is a ball ache to get to for me, even if the promise of wholesome smokey food is¬†tempting. But spurred on by his Great British cameo, we booked a table for Sunday lunch. On a sunny day with a packed beer garden of Yuppies there’s a great laid back vibe, topped off by the superb staff who refreshingly¬†actually gave¬†a shit about where they worked and what they were¬†serving. Our waiter was even giving me beer pairings and all his reccomendations were spot on.

To start things off I had the smoked potted duck and sourdough. It was a decent start to the meal, but I wanted more of that smokiness to come through.


My partner went for the courgette flower with blue cheese and honey on the waiter’s recommendation. This was an excellent starter- light, sweet and with plenty of depth coming through from the blue cheese.


Then came the roasts- I opted for the¬†Roasted pork rib eye & smoked shoulder (¬£16.50) which had¬†all the makings of a classic and was packed with flavour, but there wasn’t enough of it. There needed to be more of the smoked shoulder to balance out the various sweet purees, and just simply more roasties and veg. It also felt like it had been standing there for 30 minutes, which given our 3pm table time, it could well have been. There was just a limpness to it, like it was the leftovers from the various dishes that had been slapped on the plate.


The Roasted Highland beef (¬£18) fell at the same hurdles. First up the beef was cut to thin, making it a little bit Toby Carvery, and less like the¬†prime cut of Highland beef that it was. It also meant that whilst it came perfectly medium rare, the central section of the beef was just a bit chewy. There again¬†wasn’t enough of it. If Neil Rankin is going to come out¬†on national TV and say¬†it’s the era of big hearty dishes, then he needs to think about upping the size his meat portions here first. The Yorkshires were also crap. They were cold and dry as if they had been lying on a counter for an hour. They hadn’t¬†risen anywhere near enough to give that big rustic homemade feel, and instead these were more Aunt Bessie, rather than a fitting part of a high end London roast.


I was still happy though and cleaned the plate. I’m only grumbling about the portions because I’m a greedy bastard. But I’d set the bar high and had hoped for slightly better. But then came the desserts.¬†First up was the T-cake or the Double D Tart- their name doesn’t give much¬†away- which ever of the two it was, it was nougat, choclate ganache and pistachio ice cream.


This was topped¬†by¬†the Sticky toffee apple cobbler (¬£6.50) which is hands down is the most satisfying¬†pudding I have eaten. Sticky toffee pudding at the best of times is a nailed on winner. Throw caramel apples into the equation with vanilla ice cream and you don’t get much better.


The bill came to around ¬£75 for a few drinks and a three course Sunday roast. This isn’t exactly cheap, especially given the roast¬†itself wasn’t the best. But I still loved Smokehouse. I imagine that Sunday lunch sees the menu at¬†its most boring, and no doubt the a la carte plays up the smokehouse name much more. It’s a restaurant that made me want to come immediately back, half because I absolutely loved it and half because I felt that I missed out on the main event and need to give it another try before casting judgement.

Food: 7/10

Service: 9/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Value: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

63-69 Canonbury Rd, N1 2DG

Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

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St. John Bread and Wine

This was probably the last place to take somebody who had been heaving up their stomach lining all weekend. But then again given that stomach lining has no doubt featured on the menu at some point here, it felt somewhat appropriate. I probably could have been more generous when ordering and gone for something a little more gag-friendly than brains on toast, but this was a satisfying payback for being made to endure the Kardashians all week.

In-keeping with the industrial east London surroundings, St. John’s is about as bare a restaurant can get. White walls, tables and coat hangers is all you get here.¬†This no doubt was one of the first to embrace the¬†paired back look, and at least it fits the theme of the restaurant’s¬†no-fuss nose-to-tail cooking. This means it isn’t the sort of place to get all dressed up for, and to come and gasp over the beautiful presentation. It’s somewhere to get down and dirty with a good old plate of guts and bollocks.¬†I still can’t decide if this look is¬†for me though. I love the food, I just want to feel warm and comfortable when I eat it.

The decor aside, what does the talking at St. John’s is the grub, and¬†what better way to start things than with¬†a generous plateful of the brown sourdough. I’ve trekked across London on a Saturday morning to get my hands on one of these prized loaves, so I made sure I got my fill.

To start, we shared¬†some brains on toast, that actually sounds a lot worse than they were. Cooked in butter and capers and served on another slice of that sourdough this was a really tasty starter. I’d never had brains before, and I can’t say I was too excited about the prospect of tucking into them, but¬†I can now see Hannibal Lecter’s obsession. The closest taste they resemble is bone marrow, and spread over the bread they were delicious.


Next up was Blood Cake and duck egg (£8.10). A classic simple combination that pleases everybody. This was rich and salty and is the perfect match for the creamy yolk.


For main we shared mince on toast with a chicory salad (around ¬£15). This was as homely as a dish can get. It’s basically what your mum would knock up on a cold night if she had a Michelin star under her belt. Again the sourdough worked perfectly to mop things up and give an added bite. What really pulled the dish together was the bitterness of the chicory which¬†really cut through the deep meaty juices.


Then came pigeon with puy lentils (around £16) and this was another top notch dish. The pigeon was cooked to perfection and there was plenty of meaty juices to soak all of the lentils.


They’d run out of the rice pudding I’d had my eye on all night, so we passed on dessert. With a few¬†bottles of Meantime Pale Ale each¬†the bill was just over ¬£80 which was good value for food of this quality. The service was friendly but a little inattentive, although I’ll put this down to the boisterous (and plain annoying) table of 30 next to us that were taking up all of the staff’s attention. Christ they were annoying. The type of east Londoners who are so chuffed of the fact that they are part of the ‘in’ crowd that they have to let everybody know. That aside, St. John’s was worth the trek east, even if it had the warmth of a hospital canteen,¬†it was still as enjoyable¬†a meal as I’ve had in a while.

Of course the nose-to-tail eating is what this restaurant got it’s name for, and while that has lost it’s novelty now that many restaurants across the capital have copied, what St. John’s continues to do, and what it has always done best, is just get on with things in its own simple way. Good British ingredients don’t need to be glamourously presented. They don’t need a thousand different cooking techniques. You can come here for the novelty of eating offal and brains, but if you think that’s all St. John’s is good for, then I’d challenge you to find a better restaurant in London that does such justice to British ingredients.

Food: 9/10

Service: 7/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Value: 8.5/10

Overall: 8.5/10

94-96 Commercial Street, E1 6LZ

St John Bread & Wine on Urbanspoon

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The Gilbert Scott

Not too long ago King’s Cross was better known for its greasy kebabs and hookers than its culinary delights. It was that seedy area you always tried to avoid. Thanks to a hefty reinvestment it is now an urban hotspot, with a list of trendy restaurants to choose from, as well as the Kerb street-food market. There are few better symbols of the area’s rebirth than the St. Pancras building.¬†Finally getting off the train in London no longer dashes your hopes of what the big city might have in store. With this grand building, comes The Gilbert Scott. In itself this is a sure sign that King’s Cross is on the up, given that no other than Marcus Wareing, the feisty dictator of the two Michelin starred restaurant in the Berkeley, is attached. And as a side note I like that it isn’t called Marcus Wareing at The Renaissance, because unlike other chefs he hasn’t sold himself to have his name above the door of a restaurant he doesn’t always cook in.

The restaurant matches the grandeur of the building with one of the most opulent dining rooms in London.¬†On a packed Thursday evening it was a world away from the polluted Euston Road outside. If the room itself isn’t enough to please, then I’d defy any Brit not to be seduced by the menu. It reads like a greatest hits of British classics. There’s no fancy cooking techniques mentioned, just faith in good ingredients, the way that proper British cooking should be.

A bottle of Coates and Seely Rose (¬£74) was a pleasant alternative to a rose champagne, and got things off to a smooth start. It was just a shame that the service began to falter from here. First of all we had to ask 4 different waiters for a bottle of water before one arrived, and then after I knocked a glass of champagne everywhere no new napkin arrived after I’d mopped it up.¬†These were all little hiccups that I didn’t mind too much. It was when the starters still hadn’t come an hour later that I began to get a bit frustrated.

Thankfully when the food did arrive it was good enough to make us forgive and forget the slow start. The Omelette Arnold Bennett (£10.50) was filled with Gruyère cheese and flakes of smoked haddock. It was incredibly light and had the texture of a souffle.


My starter of foie gras was fine but the accompanying jelly (I forget what it was) was just too strong in flavour, and combined with the pear it overpowered the delicate taste of the foie gras.


The Yorkshire fish cake with nettles and tartare sauce (£8) was the pick of the starters. It was a big thing as well, with plenty of succulent fish keeping things moist.


The Dorset Crab (¬£10.50) with radish and fennel was lovely and fresh, and the crab was probably the best I’ve tasted. There was also a really generous heap of it.


For main the Wood Pigeon in a pudding (¬£19.50) was served with baby onions and mushrooms in a good Yorkshire pudding. It was a deliciously hearty and comforting dish. ¬†Bold flavours that can’t help but please.


The rib of beef for two (£66) was right up there with the Hawksmoor beef. It was a huge hunk of meat with a Flintstone sized bone to suck the marrow from. A side of fries (£4) came with a cracking tangy mayonnaise. This really was belly pleasing stuff.


The braised ox cheek (£19.50) came with bubble and squeak and chanterelles and again it hit all of the right notes. This is the type of cooking that restores your faith in British cuisine.


To finish we shared the Yorkshire rhubarb posset (£7.50) which was that needed bit of freshness after a rich and heavy meal.


The sticky toffee pudding (£8) was rich and avoided being too heavy. That sauce really was sticky.


We were then invited to see the kitchen which helped to smooth things over. It was a shame we hadn’t gone down in the middle of service, as there was little action at the end of the night. I had hoped for swearing and heat, instead there was a few laid back chefs doing stock checks. Still though it was a nice unexpected gesture.

Everything about the restaurant from the grandness of the room to the excellent menu and strong cooking made it an enjoyable expeirience. It was just a shame we caught the service on what I hope was an off night.¬†It is also decent value for money, as eating food this good in surroundings like this could easily take you up to the ¬£80 a head mark. Here you’re looking at closer to the ¬£50 mark.

Food: 9/10

Service: 5.5/10

Atmosphere: 7.5/10

Value: 8/10

Overall: 7.5/10

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Rd, London NW1 2AR

The Gilbert Scott on Urbanspoon

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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.

Food: 8.5/10

Service: 8/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Value: 7/10

Overall: 8.5/10

20 Mount Street, London W1K 2HE

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