"As this one boasts the “Evening Standard Restaurant of the year 2008” title I had to go along... "Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
As this one boasts the “Evening Standard Restaurant of the year 2008” title I had to go along. And who better than to go with the man who was there when all the real food critics were there when it opened about six months ago…
It’s located near the old US Embassy and surrounded by houses and offices – so you would probably need to make a special trip as you are unlikely to be just passing. The receptionists were friendly and efficient and took me straight through to my dining companion who had already arrived.
I walked past a large extremely well stocked looking bar – high stools, plenty of space, the back wall covered with modern bright battered metal was a nice contrast to the old world library lamps up front and a highly polished wooden floor.
I was there on a Tuesday lunchtime and it was encouraging to see that the place was practically full – while many restaurants struggle to get a decent trade on a Friday or Saturday evening.
However, it was full of suits (probably all the local property people from their Mayfair offices) – so it’s a thumbs up for business lunches but probably not so good for friends and loved ones – although possibly it changes in the evening and may catch some tourists from the nearby Dorchester and Grosvenor House hotels.
Despite the owner being Irish, I didn’t detect anything particularly Irish about the menu – which is a shame as I adore Colcannon. For starters, I was tempted by the selection of oysters and the South Coast fish soup (£8.75). Surprised to see such an interesting mix of dishes including octopus carpaccio, mussels mariniere, beef tartare, medjool dates, mulligatawnay soup, pigs head terrine, roast wood pigeon and roast foie gras.
Whilst contemplating the vast menu I happily tucked into an assortment of little nibbly things – olive and goats cheese bites, cheesy disk crackers. And whilst I usually manage to resist the bread basket, I found myself munching on some marvellous soda bread.
Anyway to start I tried the duck ham, manchego (a favourite Spanish cheese which is usually quite strong) and French bean salad (£8.75). My colleague was more adventurous and sampled the linguine cooked in red wine with pecorino and bone marrow (£12) – it was a rather interesting colour reminiscent of pickled cabbage but he indicated that the flavour was mild.
For my main courses I opted for the butter poached smoked haddock – which was deliciously firm and bathed in a frothy creamed parsnip cream and topped with a knot of lobster and some borlotti beans (£20). Albeit just a tad too salty. My colleague dared to try the braised pigs trotter with pomme puree (£19). He reported that the skin and fat were braised to melting perfection and that the meat was firm and highly flavoured.
No space for dessert but the petits fours were a triumph with tiny elegant marshmallow, passion fruit and chocolate delights.
KimT reviewed Corrigan's Mayfair on Wed 08 Apr 2009