Ive been wanting to come here since I visited taste Of London 3 yrs ago and had tried to get that famed melon soup recipe off of Stuart Gillies!
After all that I didn't even have it for my starter!!!!!! If Id had the tasting menu , I would have got to have it alongside my chosen starter and nosing at the tables aside from us , it looked like a good idea to have such variety.
Image care of Berkley Hotel Website, see link below
Its attached to the Wonderful Berkley Hotel , which has the famed Blue Bar inside its classic , quirky yet contemporary decor and on the opposite side of Boxwood is also the famed Petrus , head chef Marcus Wareing.
I thought the atmosphere quite low key and relaxed with soft jazz music playing , despite this muted atmosphere , it seemed like every chic Hen do had decided to come for the evening (reems and reems of all female tables). It isn't what I would say is a funky happening place , but it was still quite lovely. We unfortunately weren't in our loveliest of moods , having dealt with a meltdown from Cupcake an hour before at home! More of that on Gifted Hand!
At an opened door we were greeted by a Maitre de , (he the mans pointed out that he felt all of Gordon Ramsey's Maitre de's look like someone from the Mafia, think Godfather!!), in what seemed like a very green interior .The main theme is dark woods and dark mint green leather with silver walled tiles. Some of the lighting looks tired and battered and above some of them were ripped! I don't think we had the best table in the house and really should have said something, no matter the food was still very good!
He the mans started with a Foie gras pate, he found he couldn't finish it due its rich sweetness , so I did him the favour of cleaning the little pot out! It was a nice taste change to my Salmon Ceviche , which I was a little disappointed with, as this is one of my favourite dishes if done properly. A true South American Ceviche is teeny cubes of raw fish marinated in citrus's and sometimes spices, which gives the dish a piquancy I love and may be I'm being philistine to want these strong flavours with such good qaulity salmon , but there you go! Although beautifully served , I found the large slices a bit bland and the shredded crab a bit tasteless. It was all very very fresh though.
For my main I just had to have Lobster, I don't have it out very often due to the cost v the quality as in many places its been so rubbery and measly, but on my birthday he the mans said to go for it! It was most probably the best Lobster Id ever had ; soft , sweet , flaky and melt in the mouth. The only thing , although I love it ,was that I stank of garlic for the next 3 days, as it was smothered in it with herbs!!!
He the mans had a lovely Halibut on a buttery sauce with new potatos , but I didnt even try it , as by this time , I think I was all fished out!!
For dessert although quite cheesy , we had a Valrhona chocolate fondue with fresh marshmallows, Biscotti and strawberries. I was channeling the 10yr old in me , as the table next to us had been served with a Birthday plate version of his fondue for the husband and I didnt get any such a thing , (he the mans take note for next year!!!).
Id say It was a lovely meal but I wouldn't rush back there as it didn't set the world alight. I found the menu to be mainly good classic dishes, but may be I'm in the mood these days for something a bit crazy and different, like L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (as I'm so spoilt at home with he the mans own great food, so its all his fault for raising the bar!!!!). It was however very fresh , beautifully served , amazingly cooked and the service was efficient , may be a little too efficient !