The Ninth – 1 Michelin Star

March 2017

Chef: Jun Tanaka

I was intrigued to try this restaurant because the menu looked a little unusual and because I was amazed by the price of their set lunch at three plates for just £25.

The restaurant, an unassuming little place on Charlotte Street, is small and cafe-like. We were early for our reservation and initially sat at the bar for a drink. The general drinks menu is a little limited with nothing especially exciting but the wine menu is perfectly fine and we did enjoy the wine which we tried, particularly a very drinkable and affordable Beaujolais.

I do like the style of this restaurant which is informal and perfect for lunch. This isn’t a fine dining sort of place but it certainly has charm.

The restaurant describes its cuisine as ‘French Mediterranean sharing food’ but I think it is easier if I were to describe it as more akin to high quality tapas. Wanting to experience both menus we chose three dishes from the set lunch menu and then some further dishes from the main menu.

From the set menu we had king prawn macaroni, marinated mussels with chorizo, and chargrilled lamb, crisp breast and couscous salad. The mussels were nice but not exceptional. The other two dishes were however, very good. The prawn macaroni was wonderfully rich and flavoursome whilst the lamb was absolutely divine; some of the best I have had. I was amazed at the flavour of the crisp breast which worked perfectly with the rest of the lamb which was tender and succulent. The couscous was nice enough… as interesting as couscous ever is.

From the main menu we chose the freshly baked pitta, oxtail croquettes, crispy pigs trotter and the razor clam ceviche. All the dishes were good but the razor clam ceviche stood out, being very fresh and flavoursome, with perfectly balanced flavours. I also very much enjoyed the oxtail croquettes especially the wasabi green sauce which they were served with which complimented them so well.

All the dishes are designed for sharing and we enjoyed this style of eating as we frequently, half-surreptitiously, pass forkfuls of food to each other, even in the most formal of restaurants. This certainly makes for an enjoyable meal but it only suites a relaxed sort of meal probably only with fellow diners who you already know.

The service is fine but not exceptional (expect to pour your own water) and some of the restaurant looks a little tired.

In summary I do like this restaurant, and two of the dishes stood out as being exceptional. The restaurant does not feel like a Michelin starred restaurant so don’t expect fine dining but I would recommend it as a great value place to visit for lunch or an informal supper.

Rating: 7/10

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Club Gascon – 1 Michelin Star

September 2016

Chef: Pascal Aussignac

Oh what a lovely place! The restaurant is quite unassuming from the outside. Inside you are transported to France and the sort of cosy restaurant you might hope to find on a trip across the Channel.

We started with cocktails and I can recommend their French 75. We were dining in the evening and had the five course taster, paired with wines. Impressed by the choice of wines, I later researched one or two and they were inexpensive but they were excellently paired which is surely the sign of a good sommelier . The sommelier certainly seemed to know her wines although her strong French accent meant we had to confer afterwards to establish what she had told us. Still that isn’t a criticism – this is a French restaurant after all and I can never remember anything a sommelier tells me anyway so this just added to the, already abundant, charm.

Now to the food…what a delight.

The fact that two of Mr M’s favourite courses were the amuse bouche of tomato tartare (he is a reluctant consumer of vegetables of any sort) and the dessert (he really just eats meat given the choice) indicates the quality of the chef. Other highlights were a delicate rose veal tartare and a course of red mullet. The food here is really excellent, and better than I had hoped. I can’t stress enough just how lovely our meal was.

Anything negative? Well I thought the loos were a bit grim. I know, I know… one isn’t dining in there but still it is the sort of thing I do notice. However the restaurant is undergoing a revamp in early-2017 and is due to open again at the end of February I imagine that criticism will no longer apply. Once it does re-open I can see this place getting a second Michelin star.

In summary this is a wonderful place, one of my favourites, and  inexpensive for the quality of the food and wine which are superb. I look forward to visiting again following the re-launch.

Rating 10/10.

 

 

Petrus- 1 Michelin Star

January 2016

Chef: Lary Jayasekara

(A Gordon Ramsay Restaurant)

Having visited Maze and The Savoy Grill, both excellent Gordon Ramsay restaurants, I was naturally keen to try another.

I love the decor of the restaurant which is perfectly, serenely, calm and oozes elegance. It has an intimate atmosphere, making it perfect for couples.

The food was delicious. The amuse bouche was an obliquity Gordon Ramsay broth which I do find a little dull however the rest of the food was exceptional. Some highlights were the tasty canapés, excellent steak tartare, the lobster tail and the venison. The style of dining is very classical French, which I personally very much enjoy.

The service was impeccable and the wine was also perfect.

In summary I would thoroughly recommend a visit as this is another great Gordon Ramsay restaurant. Next stop Restaurant Gordon Ramsay…

Rating: 9/10