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Richard Corrigan never fails to impress, and the Irish chef’s Mayfair flagship continues to go from strength to strength. This low-ceilinged annexe to Grosvenor House (with its own street entrance)
isn’t immediately appealing, but a long bar, tinkling piano, petrol-blue leather upholstery and witty touches such as feather-clad lampshades strike an ‘elegant but not too stuffy’ pose. There’s
some generous ‘British character’ here and the cooking is robustly in tune, with a keen eye for seasonality and a talent for transforming butch ingredients into dishes of sublime refinement.
Oysters and game are star attractions (venison with pumpkin relish and choucroute, for example), but there’s quality across the board: deep-fried, melt-in-the-mouth crubeens (pig’s trotters) are
set amid salad leaves as daintily arranged as any florist’s bouquet; rib of beef balances majestically atop marrow toast, while rhubarb-crumble soufflé is a witty two-puds-in-one idea. The
Euro-focused wine list is extremely user-friendly, and relaxed staff deliver ‘timely and polite’ service.
Hugely informative, the
list at Corrigan’s Mayfair is fantastic if you don’t want a sommelier hovering while you sweat over which wine to order. ‘Wines to go with oysters’ is one of the sections, as is ‘inky, dark
concentrated reds’, but each category is bursting with imaginative, top-notch choices. And given its swanky Mayfair location, mark-ups are reasonable, too.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a food and wine matching dinner with natural wines at Corrigan’s restaurant in Mayfair. The dinner took place in a private dining room downstairs which was very dark (so apologies about the photos!) but did have a picture window into the kitchen, where you could watch the staff do the delicate dance of people who have worked together for a considerable time in a small space. Canapés were served as we all stood around chatting and included a gurnard maki roll (why do we not see more lovely sustainable gurnard used in sushi??); a blue cheese fritter sprinkled with Parmesan; and a teensy slice of delicious rabbit pie. These were all paired with a Paul Déthune organic Ambonnay Grand Cru Champagne which was toasty with a clean lemony finish and a lovely delicate mousse...
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Since leaving his native Ireland at 17, Richard Corrigan has made quite an impact in the capital. His first restaurant, Lindsay House, opened in Soho in 1997 & gained a Michelin star two years later. He has also revitalised seafood insitution Bentley's & teamed up with caterers Searcys to help shape the food at top contracts such as the Gherkin & the St Pancras Grand. In 2008, Corrigan moved from Lindsay House to The Grosvenor House hotel, where he opened Corrigan’s Mayfair. The restaurant was awarded London Restaurant of the Year 2008/2009 by the Evening Standard, and three AA Rosettes within the first three months of opening. Corrigan also makes regular television appearances on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, and hosts the Irish primetime television series, Corrigan Knows Food.
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