French glamour with a creative touch
My fourth visit to Claude Bosi's 2 star Michelin restaurant on Maddox Street. Beside the cheap and cheerful restaurants, I'll only return to a restaurant if the food is exceptional in quality, great service with the cost justifying what you are getting and Hibiscus is one of the very few in London that ticked all the boxes for me. There is just something special about Claude's signature cooking, fine French but with a very different approach, lots of playful elements in texture and flavour but yet remaining elegant with the principal of high end French cooking.
|chestnut mushroom, coconut and |
curry en cocotte
This time around we went for the 8 course tasting menu, the fun thing about here is diners don't get to choose the dishes, but instead, they take a look at the menu to get an idea of what kind of in-season ingredients are on offer. Choose either 3, 6 or 8 courses, alert the waiter if there are any dietaries or special needs then the kitchen would take care of the rest and select what are the best they can offer on the night. We were served a selection of canapes before the actual dishes arrived and the foie gras ice cream with mango already reminded me why I came back, somehow the unexpected flavours combination really worked with that sweetness from the mango blended beautifully with the foie gras inside an ice cream cornet.
Warm veloute of pumpkin again showcased the cleverness from the kitchen, a warm bath of pumpkin veloute with iced cold buttermilk cutting through the settled flavour of the pumpkin beautifully, then the blue cheese added a real kick on the side but somehow it did not overpower other elements in the dish. The salad of Devonshire crab improved a lot from my last visit, that smoked olive oil cream really managed to bring out the freshness of the crab and the earthiness of the turnip.
|warm veloute of pumpkin, iced buttermilk, |
Crozier blue royale
|salad of Devonshire crab, Tokyo turnip, |
smoked olive oil cream
I've eaten plenty of top class raw scallop dishes this year and this was a nose above the rest: Scottish hand dived scallop with black radish and truffle, the intensive flavour from the truffle produced a wonderful contrast with the thinly sliced fresh scallop with that hint of lemon really bringing the whole dish to life. Cornish cod with Coq au Vin on the other hand was an interesting concept, cooking fish with a chicken sauce with mulled wine, it had great depth of flavours, it was peppery and fruity with a silky texture from the cod.
|Scottish hand dived scallop, black radish, |
hazelnut and truffle
|Cornish cod, Coq au Vin, brussel sprouts and mulled wine|
Next came the star dish of the evening: Roast Adour foie gras, it was rich but not strong, powerful but not challenging. Every bite just reminded me how exceptional foie gras can be if done properly, it was heavenly. For the meat course, I had the roast Yorkshire venison, cooked to perfection, served pink with lovely seasoning, meat was moist and went wonderfully with the sweet and earthy artichoke. We had a selection of French Cheeses before moving onto the dessert, The Hazelnut cream Millefeuille was as light as you can get, lovely crispiness with a nutty aroma, it was a real treat along with the passion fruit and pumpkin ice cream.
|roast Adour foie gras, liquorice and Nashi pear|
|roast Yorkshire Venison, Quince Aioli, Mace and |
Once again Hibiscus delivered a great evening, some very interesting flavour combinations that you would not expect that it can work but the kitchen managed to pull it off in style with a stunning outcome. In the crowned London fine dining scene, Hibiscus really stand out with its uniqueness and refinement. Presentation, taste and texture, it has everything that's required for a top notch dinning experience. Service was also charming and very knowledgeable, just what you would expect at such a high level establishment. I will definitely return.
What I paid:
£160 per head with 2 glass of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
£35 lunch menu
£120 tasting menu
29 Maddox St, London,
Greater London W1S 2PA