Since opening in 2017, Mere has become a firm favourite with readers who are quick to praise its many virtues – “exceptional service”, “stunning food” and a “luxurious but relaxed” vibe. We’d expect nothing less, given that this is the first solo venue from MasterChef judge Monica Galetti and her husband David, both veterans of Le Gavroche (she was senior sous-chef, he was sommelier).
The feel-good factor kicks in the moment you walk through the door, with a warm greeting from staff who have a genuine passion for their work. Pause for drinks at the elegant bar, before descending to the restaurant below – a cosy, chic and beautifully designed space complete with a clever double-height glass frontage.
Born in Samoa and raised in New Zealand, Monica fuses South Pacific native influences with the finery of French haute cuisine to create accomplished, distinctive and thoroughly original dishes that will delight all your senses. She is also “charm personified” when she emerges from the kitchen.
Her ingredient-led menu is peppered with hits, including a textured melange of poached artichoke and artichoke crisps, artfully plated with pretty edible flowers and shot through with the earthy aroma of black truffle. Elsewhere, Cornish cod is strikingly coated in black curry and served alongside silky lovage sauce, with pickled celery and crunchy hazelnut dukkah adding bright contrast.
To conclude, there might be ‘Hokey Pokey’ (Manjari chocolate crémeux, salted toffee, honeycomb ice cream and L&P gel) or a seasonal idea combining the sweet fruitiness of strawberry curd with refreshing basil sorbet and creamy chunks of aerated matcha. Flavours sing and the results are further enhanced by clever and considered wine pairings from a list that will thrill oenophiles. Put simply, Mere is a triumph.