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|Address:||27a Hay's Mews, London W1J 5NY|
|Tel:||020 7499 3331|
|Price: £98.00||Wine: £40.00||Champagne: £102.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm Mon-Sat 6.30-11pm|
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I hadn't eaten here since Paul Merrett was at the helm which is more than a decade ago, and have pretty good memories of many a meal. The dining space may have had an uplift, but still feels very similar. Apprehension hadn't occurred despite managing to book fairly last minute, so what did we think of the food now? The breads were a dense, satisfying, butter enriched style but the raw mackerel over-amused the bouche with fishiness which I knew my other half would find tough to tolerate. Seeing his mackerel untouched they volunteered an alternative and as a welcome mushroom morsel arrived, it was promptly consumed with average contentment. The sweetbreads were good but I just didn't understand my crab, mint jelly, and cauliflower starter which had the texture of a super-smooth baby food, crab flavour not strong enough as the cauliflower surprisingly over-powered both mint jelly and crab. The combination sounded unlikely in my amateur opinion, but I figured that a 2* restaurant must know what works. Doubts began to creep in for I didn't enjoy it hardly at all even as I tried to salvage the crab (a favourite seafood) from beneath the jelly and puree, but still failing to get sufficient crab satisfaction. Happily, my main of soft, succulent veal was a complete contrast being excellently prepared and put with the most wonderful jus. Across the table, enthusiasm was not quite matched. Chateauneuf du Pape helped an overall enjoyable evening. Service was good, the female Maitre D'hôtel was a delight. With liqueurs to complete our experience the bill was brought up to what one might expect to have to pay in Mayfair – quite a lot.