Mews of Mayfair - Modern European
10-11 Lancashire Court
New Bond Street
London, W1S 1EY
+44 (0) 20 7518 9388 www.mewsofmayfair.com
In these difficult economic times, it falls to each of us to do what we can for those less fortunate. So it was that Ms Robinson found herself taking a hedge fund manager to dinner in Mayfair, an area where he once walked tall in Kilgour suits. Having successfully halved the net worth of his clients, he is now reduced to slinking between the doorways of Curzon Street in Oxfam cast offs, avoiding anyone with a Russian accent. I found him in a manhole in Brook Street.
“Is that moustache drawn on with marker pen?”
“Yes. What is my job again?”
“You’re a former gang member and drug dealer.”
Down a stiletto-munching cobblestoned passage Mews of Mayfair feels like a proper night out from the start. The cocktail bar on the first floor was already humming at 7pm with a fashion meets finance crowd. Recalling the halcyon days of early 2008, Hedgie momentarily forgot himself.
“We’ll have the Krug Clos De Mesnil.”
“He means two beers please.” The beer was Peruvian.
There were more surprises upstairs in the restaurant. This is one of the loveliest dining spaces in London: a lush, playful, cream room – not cold stiff cream, but warm, inviting cream - with banquettes. Ms Robinson loves banquettes as much as she loves attractive staff. They are led by the restaurant manager, Evo, a charming and very personable young man whom I wanted to hug at the end. (I did).
Evo suggested we try the tasting menu. 5 courses, chosen from the menu, by the chef with accompanying wines, at £70 a head.
This is classic French food with some British cameos. First came sea bream with celeriac and truffle puree. I find the vogue for truffle perplexing, as its contribution is often not evident. This was a brilliant dish in every respect, one that danced into your mouth but knew exactly when to stop. It worked perfectly with the NZ Sauvignon Blanc. I shall eat it again.
I am not a huge fan of foie gras. Like group sex, it is vastly overrated. There was a slice sitting atop the next course, Ravioli Paysanne. While this was a good dish, I would have preferred my ravioli light and unburdened, perhaps just with a little sauce.
The bar was raised again with the arrival of the Chicken Pot au Feu. I rarely exclaim about chicken but this was truly, phenomenal cooking. A juicy, flavour-packed tranche of chicken with crispy skin, it showed off the skill of the chef more than anything else. The Italian Chardonnay that accompanied it was an inspired, delicate choice.
While the Duck with Lentils would have passed muster on any menu, I was still busy dreaming of the chicken. The Devil on Horseback that came on the plate, was fun and reminded the Hedgie of happier, innocent times. He also enjoyed the 2005 St Emilion.
The pudding was cheesecake. It was good if not overly memorable, but then I expect my puddings to perform as well as my men. It came with a delicious glass of honeyed Australian dessert wine.
By now Hedgie was thoroughly enjoying his rehabilitation into polite society and I had the warm glow that people like Bono and Geldof must get all the time. We decided to end our evening in the glamorous basement lounge with hidden places. This is made for illicit meetings. And frisky Hedgies. Having taken him to dinner, it was only right that I take advantage. He would have done the same.
The Short List:
Mistress Safe: Go straight to basement lounge. Do not pass go.
First Date: Yes, but only if you both know that you want to remove tight clothing afterwards.
Dining Dead: Also known as sad couples who text at the table. Low.
Vegetarians: Who cares?
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