Corrigan’s Mayfair

Corrigans Mayfair interior
We had a brilliant meal at Corrigan’s Mayfair recently.

Canapes – parmesan biscuits, olives stuffed with goats cheese

Cornish crab with dark jelly and melba toast.
Foie gras, rhubarb jelly and gingerbread.

Rabbit cutlet, spinach and garlic puree.
Pan-fried John Dory

“Cheese from our islands”

Hot banana bread, banana fritter, banana ice cream

The food had a strong focus on ingredients. The highlights of the evening were the crab, which was delicately fresh but combined with the deeper taste of the crab jelly; and the rabbit, where most of the edible bits of the rabbit (loin, cutlet, breast, liver, kidney) were cooked in different ways.

The restaurant has interesting decor, blue banquettes, crisp white linen, combined with dark glossy tiles and a wooden frieze with carved hunting scenes. The welcome was warm, with calm and attentive service.

Overall, a very contemporary feel. There were no fripperies such as amuses bouches or pre-desserts. All very in keeping with today’s more frugal feel.

I definitely want to return in the game season.

Tom’s Kitchen, Chelsea

Tom’s Kitchen was fully booked last night, but a little-known secret is that there the bar stools set around two sides of the room are all reservation-free. Not bad for a Saturday evening!

We’ve been to Tom’s Kitchen for breakfast before, but never been for dinner. Last night the dinner was excellent, the lamb was falling-apart tender and incredibly tasty; the chocolate pot dessert was utterly moreish. We’ll definitely be back!

7-hour cooked shoulder of lamb, onions and balsamic vinegar

treacle tart with clotted cream
milk chocolate pot, hazelnut ice cream and gingerbread madeleines.

P.S. Ruth, not a great veggie choice here, have you ever tried Leon?

Hibiscus

The second visit to Hibiscus within 6 months! But oh so good!

The best bit this time was the surprise between the starter and the main course. One of Claude Bosi’s signature dishes is his foie gras ice cream with brioche and balsamic emulsion. J was disappointed that this was not on the starter menu, but it unexpectedly turned up between the starter and the main course, definitely making J’s evening!

In addition to the superb food, we had the usual excellent but unobtrusive service. A very relaxing and enjoyable evening.

Amuse bouche: cucumber foam, cucumber juice, pineapple, olive oil & black pepper

Mackerel – tartare of mackerel, strawberry and celery salad
Spring onion – ravioli of spring onion and lime, glazed broad beans,caramelised onions, broad bean and mint puree

Surprise special! Savoury ice cream of foie gras with a warm emulsion of brioche and balsamic caramel

Kid – slow-grilled Pyrenean kid, caramelised spring onion, broad beans, glazed white turnips, white onion and lemongrass puree, lemon thyme jus, shepherds pie

Pre-dessert: Fennel cream with frozen raspberry

White asparagus – white asparagus cream, black olive tuile, white chocolate and goats cheese ice cream
Caramel – balsamic mousse, salted caramel parfait, sorbet

Coffee & petit fours: smoked fudge, honey salted caramel, plain chocolate granache, white chocolate truffle

Breakfast in Tom’s Kitchen

After our night out in Hibiscus, we needed some more food (well, not really, but…). So we wandered round the corner from our hotel to Tom’s Kitchen for breakfast.

Cherry Berry meusli with vanilla yoghurt

Eggs Benedict with grilled bacon
Beautiful, dark-yolked free range eggs

Three kinds of toast

Needless to say, we didn’t eat anything else until we after Preston later that evening!

Hibiscus London

Hibiscus

We were unable to go to Claude and Claire Bosi’s Hibiscus in Ludlow this year – because they’d closed down in April and moved to Mayfair, opening on 24th October. So we booked ourselves in for a Wednesday night in mid-November, and took the train down to London for what we expected to be our culinary highlight of the year.

And it didn’t disappoint.

Although in an urban setting a few metres from Regent Street, the atmosphere in the new Hibiscus is similar to the old location in Ludlow’s Corve Street. The new restaurant has similar oak panelling, neutral colours and familiar glass plates and white crockery. The welcome is friendly, including from Claire Bosi who manages front of house efficiently.

But while the atmosphere is relaxing and welcoming, the food is the real star:

Cheese choux pastries

Amuse bouche: Hibiscus & elderberry soda

Cornish crab, avocado, apple jelly
Lamb sweetmeats
(yes, testicles), tartare of oyster & sweetcorn
A strange combination of tastes, adventurous and not really to my taste!

Mortimer Forest venison, chocolate sauce, foie gras ice cream, cabbage puree, potato and chestnut gratin
The undoubted star of the meal – the venison was meltingly tender, and the potato and chestnut gratin was a gorgeous combination of creamy flavours.

Cheeses: 3 French, 2 English, eaten in a particular order from strong to creamy.

Pre-dessert: Granny smith jelly with lemon grass foam

Hazlenut mille feuille, butternut squash and pine nut ice cream, mango jelly
Apple tarte tatin, ginger and lentil ice cream

Coffee & petit fours

While both the service and the food were excellent, there were some (very minor) disappointments compared to our previous (5) times. The basket of three home-baked breads has been replaced with a basket of a single sourdough; there was no home-made chutney with the cheese; no madeleines with the petit fours. But these were really minor, and I hope that Hibiscus gets it’s two Michelin Stars back in it’s new location.