Four days, 10 Michelin stars – Part 3!
Supper at Marcus Wareing has been on my to-do list ever since he left Petrus and set up on his own at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. With an abundance of restaurants from which to choose in London, staying at The Berkeley provided the impetus to visit for dinner on a Monday evening.
Access to the opulent dining room is through the hotel’s caramel room (not ideal). The restaurant is warm and inviting, decorated with deep reds and chrome accents. Tables are well spaced; however, there is a long walk to the hotel toilets. Service was formal but friendly. Most diners are offered the opportunity to visit the kitchen once finished their meal – I urge you to do so, it is a wonderful environment and the sight of the chef’s table made me green with envy!
After a week of fine-dining our waistbands were at breaking point and it was doubtful if we could have given a two star tasting menu the justice it deserves. We opted instead for the seasonal À La Carte, but still managed to sneak in an optional cheese course! The food was delightful. Classic technique and beautiful marriage of flavours.
Portland Crab Salad with Radish and Cucumber was deliciously light and sweet. Accompanying ‘toast’ provided good texture against the soft crab. The crab was definitely the star of the show, the cucumber surprisingly did not wash away any flavour. The only negative was a little bit of shell which had slipped through the net, an excusable mistake.
Charred Mackerel with Greengages and Onions was an outstanding dish – most definitely the dish of the evening. The mackerel skin was beautifully blackened yet the flesh perfectly cooked. Long forgotten greengages were an inspired addition maintaining a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. The accompanying onions were sweet and moreish, putting me in mind of a summer barbecue. A little cream which was slightly soured rounded off a stunning plate of food. We should all eat more mackerel.
Grouse with Blackberry and Apple was well executed. The grouse was well cooked and the skin on the leg deliciously crisp. The blackberries and apples offset the rich, sweet jus well – the apples maintaining their bite. The accompanying bread sauce with chives was a triumph – a real kick of oniony chive and deliciously smooth, perfect. This dish was very satisfying and I have since recreated at home with Venison.
Lamb was also well executed – the lamb evenly pink. Perhaps the jus was a little strong for the sweet lamb, but this was somewhat curtailed by the accompanying vegetables and cubes of bacon.
Lemon, Meringue and Ice Tea – three of my favorite things, all in one dish! Lemon curd was sandwiched between two impossibly thin sheets of pastry. Two large slices of curd was a little rich but was delicious. Crisp meringue was very sweet, which helped dampen the lemon a little. The ice tea granita (sprinkled over table-side) was very good – a delicate floral flavour.
The first round of petit fours were amazing – you must try Marcus’ egg custard tart at least once! After visiting the kitchen I was given a little birthday treat! Although I was at bursting point, I had managed to save a little room – the hazelnut ice cream was delicious as were the little cakes!
Marcus Wareing most definitely deserves two stars. The service and surroundings were professional and welcoming and the food was faultless. Beautifully precise cooking and perfect marriage of flavours old and new. Most definitely worth a visit, I only wish I had room for the tasting menu!
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
Food (For Four): £345
Dress Code: Smart