Wild Honey Mayfair
As a chef you know how hard it is to create and run a successful restaurant. There are many components to consider almost like a secret formula. The location, the clientele, the menu, the dining room, the chefs and service staff, and the price these all add up and mix together to create success or failure. Success is dependent on all these factors one is no more important than the other. Restaurants are factories with a showroom attached. They are hard to get right. I take my hat off to any successful chef patron just for taking the risk, having the balls to put it all on the line and then to pull it off. To actually have a restaurant that has longevity and success is the holy grail of the business. This kind of success comes from experience; it is as simple as that.
As one of my absolute favourite restaurants in the world Wild Honey in the very upmarket Mayfair in the centre of London delivers the Holy Grail. Many years ago this was my first London dining experience a delicate and fragrant chilled white bean veloute and the best Sweetbreads I’ve ever had still haunt my mind. The sweetbreads to which all others are measured!
My Lunch begins with complimentary green olives and spiced cashews and a simple yet ethereal carrot bhaji with house made mayonnaise. Bread arrives. The best bread in London from the bakers at Hedone restaurant in Chiswick. The brown is chewy, moist and the crust almost burnt but not quite. Salted English butter completes the picture. Stunning.
I order the Chicken Ravioli with smoked potato bouillon. Three classic ravioli arrive in a beautiful ceramic bowl. All the flatware is stunning. The smoked potato bouillon is poured at the table from a small jug. The chicken is moist while the gentle smoke flavors of the broth create another level of flavor. Served with a young new world pinot noir, superb.
Next course. Stunning looking slow roasted pork belly, fat rendered and the skin crisp arrives served with a perfectly cooked carrot, snails and a tiny dice of chorizo. Served with a Turkish red wine of a gape I can neither spell nor pronounce. The dish is crafted to perfection the pork moist and tender yet the skin crisp.
A stunning white plate is presented. A simple dish yet prepared and cooked with such skill it is elevated to great heights. A Scottish hand dived scallop caramalised golden yet opaque and tender sit atop a bed of corn puree ringed with a scattering of sweet corn and tiny griolle mushrooms. Sensational enough yet with a topping of roasted buckwheat kernels lifts the texture.
A glass of cabernet sauvignon is placed in front of me. Then a dish of Lamb. Welsh Elwy Valley Lamb, crushed broccoli, sheep’s curd, Provencal figs and toasted hazelnuts. A dish that crosses the channel from the sunny Mediterranean, (figs, curd and hazelnuts) and back to the UK (lamb and broccoli) Yet the combination of the tender lamb, both braised and roasted work wonderfully with the earthy broccoli and is offset with the sweet fig and crunchy nuttiness of the hazelnuts. Fantastic.
Dessert is small, a tasting of the chocolate Aero, salted caramel with roasted pear and coffee essence. A tasting plate as requested. The interplay of sweet and bitter worked a treat. Double espresso and petit fours completed the picture.
In a word superb!