55 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5RB
Chef Igor Tymchyshyn
At the top of Marylebone High Street sits this charming D&D London French restaurant, set in a converted stable block. The main restaurant looks good – all white and clean lines – however we opted, along with most of the patrons, to enjoy the summer evening on the upstairs terrace.
Our five-course meal did not live up to expectations, however. Whilst the fresh ingredients used in dishes such as the gazpacho amuse-bouche, salmon gravadlax starter and roasted cod main (still dreaming about those green beans), the rest was well below fine dining standards – especially given the price point.
Food: 5 / 10
– Amuse-bouche –
Gazpacho poured at the table
Nice fresh mix of tomatoes, peppers and olives in a small glass topped up with bland gazpacho from a jug. This dish would have been much improved if they had misplaced the gazpacho… In fairness it was better balanced and fresher than the cartons you can buy from the supermarket, but not enough to make it a worthy accompaniment.
– Starters –
Salmon gravadlax, fromage blanc, caviar
Simple layout, simple flavours, good quality. Overall well–executed and tasty.
Quail, roast figs, lardon, Madeira velouté
Sweet game with rich sauce, good punchy flavour. Let down by a paucity of texture, each mouthful was essentially mush – even with the toasted bread.
– Mains –
Kentish rump of lamb, summer vegetables, garlic and rosemary jus
Posh meat and two veg, a pretty simple dish so a lot of the emphasis is going to be on the quality of the ingredients. The vegetables delivered – well cooked and seasoned – the lamb, however, did not. It turned up a bit tough and lacklustre, needing to be loaded with the gorgeous jus to give it flavour.
Roasted cod, pork belly, asparagus, morels, velouté
Essentially posh fish and chips. In counterpoint to the simplicity of the lamb, this dish was far more complex, and technically it delivered. The peas were fresh, the mash was buttery and velvety, the cod we’ll leave for later… all lifted with meaty notes from the morels and pork belly. The combination worked well, but the dish, as a whole, was brought down by mediocre cod. Surprisingly, the most enjoyable aspect was the garnish of perfectly cooked and seasoned green beans (I would have been happy with a whole plate of them).
– Desserts –
Chocolate délice, passion fruit, coconut sorbet
A polarising dish. If you like the dark stuff the délice is a treat, while if you are more partial to the milky you’ll be gagging on the bitterness. The highlight was the coconut sorbet. The lowlight was the explosion of crumb; tasty in small quantities, but drowning the plate.
Elderflower panna cotta, strawberry, meringue, sorbet
I had great hopes for this dish, but the elderflower was overpowered by the sweetness of the panna cotta and its jelly topping. At least the strawberries were fresh, the meringue crunchy, and the sorbet light and full of flavour.
Macarons, chocolates and cherries
Eat the cherries, chocolate if you fancy some liqueur, and feed the macarons to the birds.
Service: 5 / 10
Surprisingly mediocre, especially given the waiter–to–guest ratio. A bit slow and inattentive at times.
Price point: Painful
Around £50 a head pricier than it should have been.
In short, the food was hit and miss. The common theme was for the plates to be visually well put together, but flavour-wise; a let down on centre stage with touches of glory on the periphery.
For the price we paid (£100 a head, including wine), one is honestly better off visiting one of the thousands of better restaurants in London.
In conclusion, if you are forced to go here make sure that the company is good to cover up the grumbles of disappointment.