Saturday, 19 January 2013

Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley

A benchmark of haute cuisine

A living legend in the hospitality world, Marcus Wareing is one of the top chefs in the UK, the passion and commitment he has for cooking is just incredible, a true chef.
This is my second visit to Marcus Wareing's two stars venue at the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. On my last visit I was just so amazed how good everything was. The service was faultless, the food was stunning and the presentations were second to none. I know some people aren't fussed with presentation but for me, it really lifts up the whole dining experience and I really appreciate the effort that chefs put into creating beautiful dishes. (Well as long as the food is as good!) I also had the chance to visit the kitchen afterwards to chat to their chefs and seeing how a two star kitchen in action.

So, here comes my second try, I arrived a little early so went to the other side of the hotel to have a nice glass of daiquiri in the famous Blue Bar. The interior of the bar is interesting, I felt I was walking into a mini chateau run by the Smurfs! Designed by David Collins who is the same guy behind Artesian (my favourite!). The Daiquiri was mixed using a special vanilla infused Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum, the result? A rich and spicy daiquiri with a sweet and mellow taste, I can drink that all day long!
Blue Bar

On arrival at Marcus, we were warmly welcomed by the staff and selected the lunch menu, I found this is one of the best-valued two stars lunches in London. My starter was a beef ballotine with pickled vegetables, I found the beef just a touch over salted, it was a decent plate of food but I really expected it to be better considering how great it was on my last visit. We were offered truffles pasta as a pre main, the level of seasoning was spot on, the kitchen managed not to have the truffles overpowering the creamy texture of the well cooked pasta, it smelt great and tasted even better.
Beer Ballotine
Truffles pasta

For main I had the venison and it was greatly executed, beautiful cooked and I could easily have the whole thing without the gravy as the meat was so moist, tender and juicy, the earthy characteristics of the venison showed brilliantly with the vegetables and garnish which added a sweet and fruity taste, a treat to the palate. I also managed to try a little bit of my friend's cod and it was cooked to perfection, it was so fresh and smooth. The natural sweetness of the fish came through nicely and with the well seasoned creamy puree, it was the dish of the day.

On to the cheese board! They have a wide selection of cheeses from La Fromagerie, a stunning cheese board, all the cheese I had were light, soft, creamy and nutty. And I just got to give a special mention to their chutney, they have by far the best chutney in London!! The sweet and fruity taste of the chutney just worked so well with the cheese and it opened up some hint of spices, top stuff. 
Cheese from La Fromagerie

I did not have any space left for dessert afterwards, I just wished I did as they looked stunning, the desserts at Marus Wareing are at the highest level in London in terms of presentation, and from my friends' feedback they tasted just as good as they looked. Below are some pictures of the dessert dishes.

To finish off the meal we ordered some very top quality tea to go with the Madagascar chocolate. It is really interesting how they serve their tea, they offer you a box of tea leaves samples in tubes so you can have a sniff before deciding. I think this is a very good idea, as unless you are a tea expert, it is hard to pick just from reading off the menu. Most of the teas are blends from the Far East with very distinctive flavours, full of floral and mixtures of oriental spices. When our teas arrived the whole table just smelt so lovely as if we were at a flower garden!

Overall yet another great meal, apart from my starter the rest was wonderful, and the services were great. The level of attention to detail and the professionalism is one of the best in London, Marcus Wareing really has created something special here at The Berkeley. I will definitely return. I highly recommend it. 

Food 4/5

Executive chef: 
Marcus Wareing

What I paid: 
£97 per head, with a cocktail and a glass of house wine

Average cost without drinks and services:
Lunch menu: £49
Tasting menu: £120

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, 
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, 

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley on Urbanspoon

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