SquareMeal Review of Moncks of Dover Street
This all-day brasserie comes from the team behind the glamorous Chinese Park Chinois, which is just round the corner on Berkeley Street. Park Chinois may be famous for its celebrity pulling power and opulence but Moncks has ditched the bling for a more brasserie-influenced style.
That’s not to say that Moncks isn’t good looking, just that it veers on the side of contemporary elegance rather than all-out glamour. Moncks may only have opened its doors in 2019, but this is a restaurant that harks back to the Mayfair of old – think brass fittings, cosy booths for two opposite the marble-topped bar and an indoor ‘courtyard’ where the walls are lined with vintage-style artwork.
The all-day menu, meanwhile, stretches from breakfast right through to dinner with a run of crowd-pleasing brasserie classics, often given luxurious updates to remind you which postcode you’re in. Take the signature breakfast dish of truffled benedict, which adds artichoke and black truffle to the combo of hollandaise sauce and poached egg (the eggs are organic, natch). But the kitchen can also do modern: witness a plant-based fry-up which updates the full English with vegan fried ‘eggs’.
Still, we’d suggest you embrace the decadence to get the most out of this place. A decent lobster roll features sweet chunks of shellfish slathered in béarnaise sauce and served in a fluffy brioche bun, with the option to add 10g of caviar on top for an extra £24.
The standout dish, however, has to be the truffle mac ‘n’ cheese. Most restaurants simply top the dish with black truffle shavings, whereas Moncks fills each tube of pasta with thick truffle-flecked cheese sauce before topping it all off with truffle shavings, which are revealed when your fork breaks through the crisp gratinated topping. It’s the ultimate indulgence.
Service is as sleek as you’d expect in this part of town while a well-assembled (if expensive) drinks list includes a refreshing peach Bellini. Moncks may not be doing anything revolutionary, but it certainly does traditional luxury very well.
About Moncks of Dover Street
The name of this brand-new Mayfair brasserie sets the tone nicely for what is – unsurprisingly, given its location – an upmarket establishment. Inspired by Christopher Monck, the 16th-century duke who owned the Clarendon Estate (which encompassed Dover Street, Bond Street and Albemarle Street), Moncks comes from the team behind nearby Park Chinois, though the concept is quite different.
Both share the same ethos on quality and expertly sourced ingredients, but whereas Park Chinois is all about big-money special-occasion Cantonese dining, Moncks bills itself as an all-day destination (though still for discerning foodies with money to burn).
Breakfast, served until late morning on weekdays and midday at weekends, offers everything from gourmet porridge (made with coconut, chia seeds, soya milk, pomegranate and matcha tea powder) and goji berry granola to its signature truffled benedict (artichoke, black truffle, organic poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on English muffin) and the full vegan, a novel take on the traditional full English complete with vegan ‘fried eggs’.
Those wishing to dine from the all-day menu can go for light and healthy options, such as Dover sole meunière with toasted almonds, or a salad from a range including Caesar, caprese, nicoise and beetroot, or something a bit more substantial, such as beef bourguignon or a lobster roll.
Either way, as the kitchen is led by Gennaro Vitto and Valentino Pepe – two passionate Italian chefs who worked alongside each other at Park Chinois – you can be sure that whatever you order will be beautifully cooked and perfectly presented.
To drink, a French-leaning wine list has about 40 wines by the bottle and a dozen by the glass, though with scant choice for under £40, there’s no mistaking you’re in Mayfair.
As for the decor, stone floors, cosy booth seating and plenty of reflective surfaces help to create a classic brasserie feel that’s classy enough to warrant the pricey menu without being pretentious.