Stem closed permanently in May 2019
Chef Mark Jarvis’s third restaurant in as many years occupies a plum spot a minute from Oxford Circus. Neutral interiors are smarter than at Jarvis's Clerkenwell dining room Anglo, and prices are higher, too, although at around £25 for a main course, it’s par for the Mayfair course.
Mains were the highlight of our meal: pan-roast halibut with fennel, grapes and celery, and roast saddle of lamb with artichoke, courgette and basil were both humdingers of distinct flavour and precise technique; starters and puddings such as asparagus (picked at the peak of seasonal ripeness) teamed with a smooth whip of duck egg and a gentle tarragon cream, and roast peach in a raspberry sauce with toasted almond, didn’t strike us as quite so compelling, although they’re beautifully plated.
Service was excellent, particularly on the finer points of an intelligently assembled wine list with an eye for the unusual, and the whole set-up feels very business-friendly – not least the three-course set lunch for £27.