marcus wareing at the berkeley
Another day, and another restaurant – tonight I took T for dinner at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley. This is my third time at the 2-michelin starred restaurant since it changed its name from Petrus, following the rather public fallout between the chef and his former mentor Gordon Ramsey (they have since reconciled their differences). If my past experiences were anything to go by, we were in for an incredible meal.
We were warmly greeted at the door, our coats quickly whisked away, and led to our seats. Spying us from the corner of his eye, the sommelier rolled over the champagne trolley and offered us an aperitif; I had a glass of the Louis Roederer Brut but T declined. While we studied the menus we were served canapés of taramasalata with melba toast, tiny foie gras sandwiches and miniature sage and sausage rolls to nibble on. T loved the taramasalata, dipping the melba toast in it enthusiastically. I quite liked it too but preferred the exquisite sausage rolls which at one bite (smaller than a first class stamp), could have been a whole lot bigger as far as I was concerned. The foie gras sandwich (foie gras pate between small crispbreads) in comparison, was pretty ordinary. (I apologise for the lack of photos – I did ask the maître d’ but he relayed that Marcus asks guests to refrain from taking pictures as he did not want photos circulating on the web that did not do his food justice. He did however offer us a photo of/with the chef after our meal)
After an amuse-bouche of tomato gazpacho with pineapple and mint (served with green olive grissini), our first courses arrived. T had the Poached Lobster, Tian of Crab and White Asparagus. She found it pleasant but as she was ravenous (she had polished off two pieces of bread and was on to her third at this point), was craving something more substantial. Considering the £12 supplement for her dish it was probably a little low on the lobster. I on the other hand was very happy with my pan-fried Veal Sweetbreads with a Celeriac Ravioli of Swiss Chard and Celery, thyme roasted Ceps, Summer Truffle, and a Sauternes jus. The flavours were rich and beautiful, pairing nicely with the wine (a soft, approachable 2001 Savigny-lès-Beaune “Aux Grands Liards” from Simon Bize).
There was a bit of a lull before the main course and just as T was contemplating having more bread our mains were brought to the table. We both chose the Rhug Farm Welsh Suckling Pig, cooked for twenty four hours and served with braised Chicory, Wild Mushrooms, Pommes Mousseline and Pork jus. I have had this dish before on a previous visit and it was better than I recalled – moist and succulent pork, perfect crackling, earthy girolles, ceps and oyster mushrooms and smooth creamy potatoes.
The pre-dessert of Passion fruit jelly, Lemon cream and Lychee Lime sorbet that followed was delicious (like a passion fruit lemon meringue pie shooter) but did not leave us much room for dessert of Apple Tarte Tatin. OMG, the tarte tatin…now, I have had my fair share of tarte tatin but this particular specimen was just out of this world. The sweet, slightly tart soft apples with the deep sticky caramel (so wonderfully chewy it got stuck in my teeth) and the thin puff pastry, all brought together with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream – so ridiculously good.
A pot of fresh mint tea and several house-made truffles (dark chocolate salted caramel, praline and turkish delight) later we found ourselves in the kitchen for a tour with the maître d’. And he made good on his promise; after a smile and a hand shake from the chef I got a snap of Marcus and T. We left full, a little sleepy, but in high spirits.
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
London, SW1X 7RL
t. 0207 235 1200