Monday 16 June 2014

Wild Honey

So, I might have mentioned that, at some point relatively recently, I got older.  Significantly older. 
So GrubsterGirl took me out for dinner.  TWICE.  To Michelin restaurants.  I literally couldn’t be luckier.  I've already written about round one (Story), but now it's time to talk about round two: Wild Honey
Wild Honey describes itself as "a contemporary Mayfair timeless classic..." which sounds like just too much marketing bullspin to me.  Fortunately, it fails to live up to the self-imposed wanky motto and churns out, instead, phenomenally good food – and drink.
In our usual style – and to be fair to other pretenders – we kicked off proceedings with a round of cocktails.
I had a vesper.  This was lovely, but I am slightly disappointed – more in myself than anything else.  I could certainly have had something more exciting, even if this was perfectly put together.

GG, on the other hand, did have something more exciting: a Professor Cornelius Ampleforths’ Bramble.  Sadly, this didn’t quite live up to the expectation.

It's also worth mentioning at this juncture that they serve a lot of their wines in 250ml carafes.  This is a flipping brilliant idea and one that all restaurants should have to do.  It gives pleasure in two ways: one, it lets you chop and change your wine throughout the meal; and two, it lets you not drink an entire bottle if you don’t want to.  Which meant there was more room for cocktails. 
Whilst we perused the menu we were brought a plate of spicy fried onions.  These were yummy.  However, they were a touch onion bhaji-esque, and so a little out of place in a restaurant serving otherwise contemporary British food.  I'm also not entirely sure why we had them, or what they were for.

My starter was vitello tonnato, a dish of cold, wafer-thin veal doused in creamy tuna dressing.  It was absolutely divine and, despite its size, not as frighteningly filling as you'd expect.  The veal was beautiful, moist and fresh, not at all dry.  The dressing was similarly perfect, with a hint of tuna rather than being overpowering.

GG had the crab salad with avocado.  The crab was delicate, fresh white meat – very tasty – whilst the avocado took the form of a sort of avocado and coriander soup.  Slight Mexican influences shone through – backed up by the accompaniment of a small plate of chicharrónes, a kind of Mexican pork scratching, that was slightly unnecessary.

GG followed her starter with slow-cooked short rib of beef, served with beetroot.  She definitely won in the main course stakes – this was simply amazeballs.  The beef was soft, tender, juicy, flavoursome – all of things anyone could want from such a meal, and perfectly offset by the beetroot.

But even if she did win, I came an incredibly close second.  I had slow-cooked neck and rack of Welsh lamb, served with braised radishes and a crushed pea and sheep's cheese accoutrement.  This was fantastic.  Top rate – fresh, springtime flavours perfectly complimenting one another.  I have a soft spot for rack of lamb especially, something this dish only served to remind me of.

GG finished up with honey ice cream and honeycomb.  I didn’t actually try this, but she seemed very content.

Whilst I went for the cheese. One negative comment here: it would have been nice to know what I was eating, but sadly this information was not volunteered.  (By the way, in case you're wondering - sure, those portions look small, but there's more than enough cheese there for one person.  Seriously.)

And then, with coffee, some delightful little petit fours arrived.

I'd also like to say a little thing about the staff.  They were wonderful.  Seriously wonderful.  Lovely people, that made us feel at home and never once stuffy or condescending – which is sadly all too rare.  There was a slight mix-up with the bill and the manager tried to take service off – it's the only time I have ever had to argue to have it put back on – he was absolutely adamant that we should not pay for service following an error, mistakes "shouldn’t happen at our level".  Needless to say, I won that argument – but it just goes to show, I think, the evident dedication to making your dining experience flawless.

All in all this was a fantastic meal.  Brilliantly executed dishes, great service, a really lovely spot. 

 - GrubsterBoy -

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