Last weekend we travelled to London for a series of gastronomic and entertainment experiences, the first of which was Angela Hartnett’s restaurant Murano in Mayfair. You  might remember Angela from the early series of Hell’s Kitchen when Gordon Ramsay fronted the kitchen up.

She’s worked with the inimitable Ramsay for many years – in fact he gave her her first job after she wrote to him begging for a job straight out of college – and now she has her own restaurant albeit part of the Ramsay group and oddly not having her name over the door. There are some that say she should cut loose from our Gordon, but that’s another story.

Anyway, Julie and I headed there for a Friday evening meal which lived up to our expectations and then some. The michelin starred cheffery was definitely in evidence and the place had real class. According to Giles Coren, the restaurant is styled like ‘an Adu Dabi hai salon’ which is highly amusing as it does have this weird 1970’s London vibe which is not unpleasant in a kind of retro riche kind of way. It’s only small and the staff were really on the case – we arrived early only to be presented with a green apple bellini (amazing) whilst our table was prepared.

that really did set the bar for a memorable evening. We opted for the tasting menu and let the sommelier (Patrick) select a couple of appropriate wines. At £75 per head, the tasting menu was worth every penny I can assure you (in the zone cost-wise to Anthony’s posh dining in Leeds, by the way). I won’t bore you with all the details, but the highlights were:

San Marzano tomatoes, Burrata Campagna – “tastes just like Italy” J said

Braised halibit, grapefruit and mint salad – zingy combination of flavours that shouldn’t work but did

Gressingham duck breast – to die for (and a duck did)

Pistachio Soufle, warm chocolate sauce – sensational taste and real table theatre. “Wow!”

Special mention has to go to the artisan cheese fromagerie. I’ve never seen a cheese table like it. I had a selection for an additional £8 that blew my cheese mind:

Cathare from Languedoc, St Felicien from Rhone, Cardo from Somerset, Camembert au Calvados from Normandie, Epoisses from Bourgoogne and the sensational Perazola Azul from Spain. OMG as they say. we shared this before desert and the recommended Rioja complemented them beautifully.

The service was impeccable all evening and even though we were the last people in the dining room (at 1pm) they weren’t trying to rush us off. A truly spectacular dining experience and one that I highly, highly recommend. It’s definitely a special occasion place and fellow diners were doing just that and the smiles on their faces told me everything. Save up and go.

2 thoughts on “Murano

  1. Sounds the bee’s knee’s Phil. A place I have wanted to try and hopefully will get to. Still in the place at 01.00 you should have carried on for your breakfast review.

  2. We booked two tables of five for my 30th birthday, as they only do large bookings for private dining, and decided to go for a lunch menu. 3 courses for £25 seemed amazingly reasonable.
    We were greeted warmly by experienced and charming staff and offered an aperitif. We were shown to our tables and made to feel rather good about the level of attentive but non-intrusive service already. Breads, hams, butters and water were all served almost immediately. The starter was fantastic (a single rabbit ravioli on a bed of champagne creme), the sea bream main was delicious, well presented and a perfect amount. We decided to go for a Sancerre which was, again, a wonderfully selected wine.
    The amuse bouche between main and dessert was a two-tiered glass platter of miniature sorbets to guess the flavours of, one of which – the basil sorbet – I won’t ever forget. A perfect accompaniment and genius little idea that turned out to be a highlight and inclusive in the price!!
    Dessert was served with a chocolate squiggled of Happy Birthday on my plate and served just so with a warm smile from the waitress.
    The service was impeccable and the food exceptional. OK, the breads and hams were not included in the price and we didn’t ask for them but still, at around £55 a head all in, service and extras, it’s the best way to spend your money for an exceptional culinary experience.
    The staff should give themselves a pat on the back.

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