Saturday, 4 September 2010

Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London

The Berkeley Hotel
Me and the Other Half travel to London, once a year usually, to try out one of the cities highly regarded restaurants. We had saved up for awhile and this time decided to instead of visiting just one restaurant for dinner, we decided to do a couple for lunch. Michelin Star on a budget if you like. Michelin Star lunch menus are usually about a third of the price of dinner making it quite a good deal as you get to sample incredible food for a snip at the usual price.
Our first restaurant was Marcus Wareing's Restaurant at the Berkeley hotel a 2 Michelin Starred Restaurant in Knightsbridge. The restaurant is located at Gordon Ramsay's old Petrus site, after a falling out he kept the name whilst Marcus Wareing remained at the hotel renaming it Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley.

The Restaurant
The restaurant is very well decorated, velvet walls and chairs contrasting with white table settings and flower arrangements. Due to it being in the Berkeley it had quite formal atmosphere and I wonder if this would be different if the location was. Part way though our meal, the 'bonbon' trolley was brought out, a stunning golden trolley/carriage with buckets of mouth-watering truffles with a centre piece of chocolate covered peanut brittle. Me and several other tables were just staring in amazement for several minutes.

The Meal
We quickly chose the Lunch menu at £38 a head for 3 courses before losing our heads and ordering the £95 prestige menu. I ordered chargrilled rabbit with sweetcorn, lime and coriander, Ribble Valley duck breast with pain perdu, beetroot, cherries and horseradish and Custard Tart with plum, crumble ice cream and little meringues with a raspberry filling.
As is the trend with restaurants of this standard, pre course samples were brought out to try; they were crispy fried chicken with mango sauce, an amuse bouche of mushroom soup with truffle foam, (rich, creamy and very morish)  and a pre dessert of mint and rum sorbet, (tangy and very refreshing).
The food was visually stunning as you can see from the pictures, I didn't take a picture of the starter as I was still trying to get the courage to get my phone out to snap away. The main was a confit of rabbit leg, crispy and juicy flesh complemented by the contrasting sweetness of the sweetcorn and the kick of the lime and coriander. The main course was equally as good with delicious hunk of duck breast oozing juices and perfectly cooked. The highlight however was the dessert. since looking at this restaurant's menus while booking, I have wanted to try this dessert. Watchers of the Great British Menu will have seen Marcus cook this custard tart for the Queen herself and she is a very lucky person because of this. it was quite simply out of this world, buttery crispy pastry with wobbling rich creamy custard which literally disintegrated into a wave of custardy wonderness as soon as my mouth was closed, utterly amazing. The meal was finished with the arrival of the aforementioned trolley. My personal favourite from the ones I chose was the rosemary and orange truffle which i can only describe like this; a combination of two strong flavours kicking and screaming for attention before coming together in a big friendly flavoursome hug, delicious.

The Duck (slightly eaten)
Custard Tart *drools*











Service
The service as you would expect was very very good, friendly but not overbearing and very informative about the menu when requested. The service was topped off when I requested, if possible, a signed menu from Marcus. The Maitre'd not only attended to this personally but organised a tour round the kitchen for us as we waited for the menu. My only regret was not asking to see Marcus himself.

Overall
Superb food, superb service, go if only to sample the Custard Tart.

Marcus Wareing Website
Wilton Place
Knightsbridge
London
SW1X 7RL
020 7235 1200

Nearest Underground Station: Hyde Park Corner

Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley on Urbanspoon

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