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Two Michelin Stars, London

Reviewed by Justine Murphy, CEO of mymuybueno – February 2016

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley opened in 2008 and in 2009 it was awarded two Michelin stars, which it has proudly held to the present day.

After an extensive refurbishment in 2014, Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley reopened as Marcus, offering a more relaxed dining experience in an elegant and contemporary setting.

Marcus has since expanded his restaurant group with The Gilbert Scott, in the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel (where I stayed and dined a few weeks later, and both experiences were absolutely superb) and Tredwells, a more relaxed offering, which I am still yet to try.

I was staying at the Berkeley Hotel, and the same British elegance and style were duly reflected in Marcus. It had just the right balance of atmosphere, appealing to businessmen entertaining as well as to couples wanting a romantic dinner for two. I felt relaxed and comfortable.

I selected the Taste menu and opted for just a glass of red and a glass of white wine to accompany my meal, as I had an early start of meetings ahead.

Carrot, Black Garlic, Mushroom, Pine Nut. This was beautiful, and whet my palate in anticipation of what was to come, which was Mackerel, Caviar, Miso, Pepper dish. It was very nice, however at this stage I wasn’t yet ‘like, wow’. 

Aha, here we go. Quail Pigeon, Blood Orange, Grumolo. The quail was a perfect little breast cooked to perfection and served with a pigeon tartare, what a revelation. Now I was sitting up and the two stars were making absolute sense. It was just delicious with the blood orange and grumolo. It had a perfect sharpness and meaty chord of flavour running through it. I hope this dish makes an appearance again in my life, as it was really exceptional.

Just delicious with the blood orange and grumolo. A perfect sharpness and meaty chord of flavour running through it.

Scallop, Roscoff Onion, Red Wine came next, which was also delicious.

Herdwick Lamb, Onion, Anchovy that followed was quite possibly the best thing that has ever graced my palate. It was heaven. The most flavoursome lamb with anchovy, truly striking with its salty, umami goodness.

When I arrived, the lady on the table to my left had said ‘don’t eat the cheese dish, the bread is awful’. I just laughed and sat down and shot a glance at my very uncomfortable waiter, who didn’t know how to react but just said, ‘I hope you do like it’, so I was slightly apprehensive at what was coming. I don’t usually get very excited about cheese dishes but now I was intrigued to see what was ahead.

Colston Bassett Stilton, Port, Walnut. This was an exceptional choice of Stilton. It had such a creamy taste and smooth texture with no bitterness or sharpness at all. It was served with a Guinness bread that was so delicious, (my dining room neighbour clearly had absolutely no clue what she was talking about) that it complemented everything just perfectly, and was accompanied by a candied walnut for sweetness. It was just a party on my tastebuds, which I really relished and didn’t want to end. It transported me a million miles away from being sat in a London restaurant. I closed my eyes with most bites just to enjoy everything it was provoking in my senses. Simple but genius. 

 It was just a party on my tastebuds, which I really relished and didn’t want to end.

On to dessert, which was Pumpkin Custard, Maple Syrup, Passion Fruit. I had been hoping to try the famous custard tart that Marcus made for the Queen, but this was only available on the lunch menu, and wasn’t far off of what I had here in front of me. The pumpkin worked so very well and it was a delightful dessert, the perfect balance with the acidity of the passion fruit and the sweetness of maple syrup. The pastry was crisp and the custard was light with a perfect set. They clearly know how to make an impeccable custard tart, a skill I would like to achieve myself.

Toffee, Hazelnut, Milk Chocolate Nougat. This was good, nothing to overly blow my mind and to be honest by this time I was just so very full that I actually could not even sample my petit fours or drink more than a sip of my espresso. 

Service was absolutely flawless and the whole dining room worked with precision. There was a good relaxed yet formal ambience. 

Marcus was not around on my visit but I did meet with Mark Froydenlund, Head Chef.

No food photos sadly, as my DSLR was not working, and the images from my phone are not good enough to use here. It just gives me an excuse to return another time – perhaps for lunch to try the original custard tart.

Wine:
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Clos des Brusquières, 2010
Riesling “Loiserberg”, Weszeli, 2013
Favourite Dish: The pigeon tartare was exceptional.
Napkin Fold:Yes.
Menu to take home:Yes.
Meal for two, including wine, water and service:£450
Final Thought: Amazing. I loved it here, the food is just delicious, very good plates, well executed with a lot of flavour going into them, allowing those beautiful ingredients to really sing.

Marcus
Address:The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London, SW1X 7RL
Telephone: + 44 (0) 20 7235 1200
Hours:Monday – Saturday (including bank holidays)
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10:30pm

Website:https://www.marcusrestaurant.com/