Mayfair was a sound choice to open a second site for Jersey chef Shaun Rankin’s restaurant Ormer (the original has since closed). A glance around the luxuriously appointed basement dining room within Flemings Hotel reveals diners who are doubtless as familiar with Jersey’s exclusive restaurant scene as they are with London’s. Yorkshire-born Rankin, with his wealth of experience (Longueville Manor, Bohemia, Charlie Trotter’s), knows how to cook for this crowd and has a network of Jersey suppliers providing stellar produce: oysters, lobster, crab, fashionable sea vegetables and, of course, Jersey royals.
Ormer explores such ingredients in a repertoire that includes £29.50 lunch, £75 tasting menu, à la carte, and both vegetarian and vegan menus. Rankin’s ‘signature’ plates are the best place to start, whether a classy dish of poached oysters with caviar and saffron linguine, or assertively flavoured lobster ravioli with an Asian-style shallot salad. Newer plates such as ibérico pork ‘secreto’ with squid and Asian pear are just as beautifully executed. The rather pedestrian treacle tart, a winner for Rankin on BBC’s Great British Menu, feels incongruous in such company. Flemings has backed a thoroughbred in Ormer, but whether this plushest quarter of W1 has space for another top-rankin’ restaurant is another matter.