Tucked away behind the corner of Bond and Brook streets is a wonderful labyrinth of lanes seemingly miles away from the noise and stress of the West End. Right in the heart of said labyrinth is Mews of Mayfair, a converted mews house dating back to the eighteenth century and a very satisfying find indeed.
To get to Mews of Mayfair you have to navigate tables belonging to various neighbouring restaurants, the patrons of which all seem to be having a very jolly time. Downstairs is a large bar, marshalled by ‘mixologists’ who have invented many of the cocktails we love today, that is very popular with the after-work crowd. The restaurant upstairs is removed from this happy throng, occupying an all-white dining room which, as my wife observed, offers a definite feeling of calm intimacy as opposed to the atmosphere of a mental institution. (Although I was certainly crazed by hunger by that stage of the day.)
This is a smart but unpretentious restaurant offering up blindingly good food and impeccable service. So slick is it, in fact, that we were in-and-out within an hour-and-a-half, having consumed three courses without feeling the slightest bit rushed – marvellous. Not only that, but the chef managed to produce six outstanding dishes for us – they were so good that I have already booked my next visit.
We started with a crab and avocado cocktail and scallops with a Jerusalem artichoke purée. The former was presented in a rather retro martini glass and was declared ‘summery, fresh and delicious’, the sweet white crab meat and creamy avocado making an epic match. The scallops were seared golden and served with a dreamy, rich and creamy purée and tiny droplets of apple caviar; done this well, it’s an unbeatable dish.
The main course of organic chicken breast, morels and summer vegetable fricassée was a delight. Not that they were needed, but I thought that I should try the chips, which turned out to be among the best I have ever eaten – bronzed, crunchy morsels of joy made even more joyous with continuous dipping in Béarnaise sauce. The grilled lemon sole, golden in colour and served with perfectly seasoned French beans and spinach, was likewise declared a triumph.
Pudding was a tumbler of soothing tiramisu and a bitter chocolate tart, the latter a picture of mahogany so magnificent that was saved from being swallowed in one mouthful only by the ice cream that accompanied it.
I will be returning to Mews of Mayfair, and recommend that you visit it too. They have the formula just right: price (the two-course prix fixe menu is just £15), atmosphere, people-watching and charming and efficient staff. I’m going to become a regular.