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One Michelin Star, London

Reviewed by Justine Murphy, CEO of mymuybueno – November 2016

Simon Rogan is renowned as a British chef who understands nature so instinctively that he can use this to prepare incredibly vital, wild and creative dishes. Simon’s original restaurant is the two star L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria and this is very much on my list to try when my schedule will allow it.

Fera, the Latin word for ‘wild’, reflects the powerful connection to nature that is at the very heart of this restaurant. Fera at Claridge’s opened in 2014 and was awarded one Michelin star a year later. Four AA rosettes have also been awarded.

I was staying at Claridge’s for this trip and the restaurant is a luxurious beautiful dining room designed by Guy Oliver. It upholds the same chic, signature Claridge’s Art Deco style and it really is a beautiful blend of modernism and luxury. Simon was not there on the day of my visit.

The amuse bouche was a super light chickpea wafer topped with curd, herbs and flowers, presented on a piece of bark.

Then followed some different ‘snacks’. Stewed Rabbit with Lovage. This was excellent. It was deliciously crispy with a great balance of flavour and was beautifully tender. The lovage purée was vibrant and green, a taste of nature with an almost celery-like flavouring, which complemented the richness of the rabbit well. The smooth texture of the purée worked with the crispy outside coating, which was made with tapioca starch and then fried, making it crunchy and delicious. It all just worked really well.

The lovage purée was vibrant and green, a taste of nature with an almost celery-like flavouring, which complemented the richness of the rabbit well.

Seaweed Cracker, Lemon Sole, Sea Herbs. This was presented on pebbles and was so fresh, light and delicate in my mouth. Just beautiful.

Buckwheat, Almond, Scarlet Kale. This was once again presented on pebbles and was very tasty.

Torched Mackerel, Mylor Prawn, Bergamot, Radish. Another good dish, crisp and fresh with each ingredient working together in perfect harmony.

Pink Fir Potato with Duck Hearts, Watercress, Tunworth. This was beautiful, delicate and delicious. It consisted of Tunworth cheese mixed with potato and duck hearts, and was comforting yet refined.

 

Halibut cooked in Pine, Leeks, Parsley, Whey. This was perfect in every way – a stunning piece of fish cooked sous vide and blow torched on the top giving it a lovely flavour. The taste of pine worked so well, and did not overpower any other ingredient. The fish was served with a selection of onions and leeks. Every element of this dish was spot on.

The taste of pine worked so well, and did not overpower any other ingredient

Cornish Lamb, Chervil Root, Crosnes, Seeds, Cocoa Nib. This too was very good. The ingredients blended well, the lamb was delicious and the cocoa nib worked. The crosnes were fabulous, I love seeing these used, as they don’t crop up too often. They are Chinese artichokes and quite similar in taste to Jerusalem artichokes, with a crunchy texture and an earthy flavour. A perfect ingredient for Fera.

Stout Ice Cream, Buckwheat, Verjus. This was interesting. A quenelle of stout ice cream served with crispy buckwheat. It was good, but I felt quite neutral about it.

 

Cox’s Apple, Marigold Sorbet, Oak Meringue. Yum, this was terrific. The oak-smoked meringue dissolved in my mouth and gave the gentlest taste of wood, which worked really well with the apple. It took my palate on an apple pie-cum-apple tree tasting experience, if that makes any sense at all. It did to me, and it worked.

The oak-smoked meringue dissolved in my mouth and gave the gentlest taste of wood

Petit Fours of green ‘sponge’ and elderflower jelly. The elderflower jelly was gorgeous, a perfect finish.

Wine:
Bernadeau, Les Ongles, Loire, France 2014
Matthieu Barret Domaine du Coulet Cornas Brise Cailloux, Rhone, France, 2011
Favourite Dish: Halibut cooked in Pine, Leeks, Parsley, Whey.
Napkin Fold: Yes.
Menu to take home: Yes.
Meal for two, including wine, water and service: £425.
Final Thought: All in all a very good experience. Nature really did come alive on my palate with each very clever dish. The flatware was absolutely beautiful too and really showcased Simon’s dishes well. Some of this is made in-house and they embodied the rustic feel of nature and its surroundings. A well thought out menu and excellent service.

Fera
Address: Claridge’s, 49 Brook St, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Telephone: + 44 (0) 20 7107 8888
Hours: Monday – Sunday (including bank holidays)
Lunch: 12pm – 2pm Dinner: 6.30pm – 10pm
Website: http://feraatclaridges.co.uk