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|Address:||20 Queen Street, London W1J 5PP|
|Tel:||020 7495 1127|
|Price: £91.00||Wine: £29.50||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 6.30-11pm|
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
I must highly recommend Murano, that's the restaurant and not the small glass blowing island near to Venice although please don't misunderstand me, that's a pretty place to visit too – for glass. The food's better though at London's Murano restaurant.
Yes, it may be part of the ubiquitous Gordon Ramsay group and yes, we'd all love the excellent restaurants that we adore to be small, independent entities but, Murano must take some beating.
My husband is, as those who know him will attest, a generous spirit. He's also ever so slightly barmy and when those two personality traits collide, it can be a very dangerous and hazardous combo. I say that because he invited a group friends to a lavish dinner at this Michelin starred restaurant to celebrate both our birthdays. How often have you had a invitation like that?
We were lucky to get our table for eight at Murano because they don't really do tables for eight. Gordon Ramsay restaurants apparently think that a table for more than six people is horribly vulgar. They don't say that overtly but I'm told it's just that those ‘in the know’ know.
Our table was a great. A big round one at the rear of the restaurant although we were just opposite the door to the kitchen but, as we were eight and the conversation was flowing, it's didn't disturb us. Anyway, it was nice to glance into the kitchen from time to time. No shouting, no flying saucepans, no Gordon-type theatricals in evidence here. Perhaps it's because the chef is a lady. It's Angela Hartnett's restaurant and she's doing a brilliant job. The menu is fabulous with a great choice and even a full vegetarian menu as an option which was music to our ears as two of our guests were non-meat eaters. With the fish choices on the main menu and the added bonus of the vegetarian menu, they had more choice than they are used to. They actually got a bit over-excited.
I started with Scottish sea scallops served with apple and cucumber salsa, pata negra, pumpkin purée, and candied walnuts which was quite simply drop dead delicious and followed that with a perfectly cooked Gressingham duck breast to die for, served with parsley root purée, creamed Savoy cabbage and confit leg. The portions were small but perfectly formed leaving room for dessert – the best bit. I chose a Plum crémeux and spiced caramel parfait with a feuillantine crunch and roasted plum which was perfect – until I clapped my beady-greedy eyes on the pistachio soufflé with hot chocolate sauce (that another of our party had opted for) which was even more perfect. I've never seen such a quintessentially voluptuous, impeccable soufflé in my entire life and, hovering menacingly with my spoon, I barely waited to be invited before plunging in for a taste. It was utterly spectacular and I wished I ordered it too – along with the Plum crémeux! It was that delicious, I could have eaten both.
Other highlights included well, everything. I could go on in detail about the white onion risotto, Scottish venison loin, Winter vegetable sald or line caught sea bass but suffice it to say, our whole party was agreed that it was some of the best food we'd eaten in London in recent memory.
If I was to be an icky-bicky bit picky, I'd have to say that the wine list is über expensive. My advice, stick to Italian wines as the French wines on their list are second-mortgage worthy. The service was also a tad slow although all of the staff were very friendly without being intrusive or in any way snotty. It didn't matter to us as we were up for a whole evening out but our table was booked for 8pm and we eventually rolled out at just before midnight. At just under four hours, it was a long dinner. In their defence, it was the night before Valentine's day so they were running a special eight course Valentine menu alongside of their à la carte and the restaurant was full to capacity.
It's not cheap and not somewhere to go everyday but for a special occasion and for Mayfair, it's not extortionately, ludicrously expensive either. The dinner menu is priced at £60 per head for three courses, the only supplement being an £8 charge for cheese (which I don't fully understand). We didn't stint ourselves. We started with a bottle of Prosecco and followed that by a bottle or two of white and three or four bottles of red. With all of that, we felt we'd had good value.
Murano offers a set lunch at £27 per head. If you like lunching, that'd be a real bargain. And if you want company, I'm free!