You will love this quintessentially upmarket British dining experience.
The Ormer Mayfair Restaurant in London has changed me, as I could never find time for long lunches in London as there were always so may other things to do. I ate there last week, and it was one of the best British dining experiences I have had in years, and I did not want it to end. Michelin star winning chef Shaun Rankin opened the restaurant at the end of last year to rave reviews and I can see why.
Mannettas bar is where every meal there should start. It is a 30’s style bar hidden at the far end of the restaurant where you can quietly enjoy a glass of champagne or a cocktail at one of the red and black bar stools right at the bar. Velvet, rose gold detailing and supple leather create a warm, sophisticated and opulent feel, very 1930’s movie star glamour, and the barman is as attentive as he is good looking. This is a restaurant to dress up for.
The restaurant area has more of an understated glamorous feel, and is lined with aged oak wood panelling, so still warm in feel and relaxing. It’s a place where close friends relax, share stories, and wear their finest to celebrate life slowly, savouring each other as much as they do the food. It’s a restaurant filled with laughter, and the heavenly scent of carefully tailored dishes, and hand picked wines from every wine area across the globe.
My friend and I started our meal with the roasted foie gras and the lobster ravioli. The purply unshapely foie gras was sitting in a yellow creamed Beaufort vouletè, and was a spectacularly tasty, warm, rich winter dish. I could have had two plates of it, and not eaten for the rest of the day – it was a delicious combination of rich, fresh, warm winter flavours, and it was a hearty entree. A very clever, well thought through dish.
The Jersey Lobster was presented as one large ravioli sitting on the middle of the plate like an art deco jewel in a bisque of crab and tomato with shallot salad. It was also delicious, the tender pasta falling away from the lobster filled centre, which was quickly consumed by the acidity of the tomato, blending to create a taste sensation in the mouth. Dishes don’t often surprise, but both of these did, particularly the frois gras.
The restaurant’s resident sommelier was one of the most passionate I’ve seen in London for a while, and was careful to listen to the type of wines we said we liked rather than just bringing his personal favourites. He insisted on wine matching with the food, glass by glass, and what a treat that was. He served me one of the best Californian Oaked Chardonnays I have had in ages, which went perfectly with the lobster, and my friend had a German reisling which was also sublime with the foie gras. The noses on both wines were incredibly fresh, floral and fragrant.
Selecting our mains wasn’t easy as there were so many choices I could have ravished. In the end, I couldn’t resist the roast duck with maple syrup and turnip and pistachio puree. As hoped, the duck was rare, with just a hint of fat and skin, the sauce sweet and the wine match, a Malbec, was sensational.
My friend had the turbot served with a pine nut crust, cauliflower, cockles and sea vegetables. Fresh tender fish made this dish a joy to look at and to taste. A sweeter reisling was another great match.
The dark chocolate brownie dessert was another piece of heaven and sat in a neat slice on the plate. It came with popcorn and salted caramel ice-cream, a brilliant combination. A glass of champagne was the perfect accompaniment. What was fabulous about the whole meal was that the servings were not too big so that as women having a long lunch, we both felt we could still eat some sweets.
In case you haven’t been there, Mayfair is one of the more upmarket parts of London, with fabulously dressed people who work in the surrounding buildings which house finance companies and designer brands.
Don’t miss this, just take the right person and don’t be in a hurry, this is something to savour.