Hotel fine dining
This was my third visit to Marcus Wareing's namesake restaurant inside the five star prestigious Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. Marcus is one of the few British chefs who really knows a thing or two about pioneering modern French cuisine using top British ingredients in a refined manner, his cooking is all about attention to detail with a world class service to match. Having eaten twice there already over Saturday lunches, I headed back there for dinner, hoping for a top class gastronomic experience.
This time around I went for the 8 course tasting menu at £115 per person, and to start was the mackerel with cockles, artichoke and fennel. The raw mackerel was very refreshing while the artichoke offered a hint of bitterness and sourness. Foie gras with venison and date was a very rich and powerful dish, the foie gras with sesame reminded me of some kind of Chinese BBQ pork pasty with that sweet and robust taste, the venison offered a settled gamey flavour and overall a good balance of rich flavour combinations.
The mushroom risotto was a real winner with a rich and luxurious aroma, the risotto was cooked really well with just the right level of seasoning, the teal was moist with a good depth of gamey taste which matched perfectly with the earthy mushroom and truffle. The scallop with Dorset snail, garlic and egg was pretty much a French classic with pan fried scallop in the mix, the scallop itself was sweet which offset the very powerful flavour from the garlic, but I found it pretty average compared to other dishes on the night.
The meat course: Lake District lamb was cooked to perfection, served pink with lovely moistness. The beetroot and turnip added a lovely a hint of earthiness and texture while the meat jus with barley gave it a lovely grainy aroma and richness. For cheese I was given Cropwell Bishop Stilton with fig and rye bread, it was a real full flavour cheese with a semi soft texture which went great with the rye bread. I finished off the evening with lemon meringue and ice tea pudding, a very citrus dessert with an ice tea finish which delivered some beautiful herbal aromas, but the sour note was a little too sharp for my liking.
In the end I couldn't find much difference between the lunch and dinner at Marcus Wareing over the quality of the food, yet I paid almost double the price on food alone so value wise it wasn't good at all. I was really hoping the dinner tasting menu, the most expensive item on the menu, would take me to another level due to the use of more luxurious ingredients which the Saturday lunch menu could not offer, but my experience proved not to be the case. That aside the service was still as good as ever, one of the best in London and I would still highly recommend to visit there for lunch.
What I paid:
£170 per head, with a cocktail and a glass of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
Lunch menu: £49
Tasting menu: £120
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley,
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL