The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, London, W1J 8LT www.mayfairkitchen.co.uk
The May Fair Kitchen, inside The May Fair Hotel in the heart of Mayfair, has recently been refurbished and in traditional out with the old style, in comes a new Mediterranean-themed sharing menu alongside a new modern interior with exposed pipe lighting, marble topped tables, and lots of dining space.
As it is a sharing menu, May Fair Kitchen sticks to tradition and brings out each dish when it’s ready, rather than all at the same time. We sampled a selection of the dishes, attempting to try at least one from each section of the menu: small bites, antipasti, salads, pizza, pasta and risotto, fish and seafood, and meat and poultry.
We started off with May Fair Kitchen’s signature sangrias, one white and one pink, which came delicately presented with little edible flowers. The first of the food dishes to arrive were the slow roasted padron peppers with Maldon sea salt, swiftly followed by the seared tuna with caponata, which remained my dining partner’s favourite dish all night.
Understandably so, as the balance of lightly seared, but perfectly pink, tuna and caponata made it an exceptionally tasty dish. This was accompanied by the aubergine and goats cheese salad with aged balsamic – a delicious plate that took the simple aubergine to a whole new level. A great start to the meal.
We then tried the tomato and manchego arancini with spicy mayonnaise – the only criticism being there could never be enough of that spicy mayonnaise on the plate. This was closely followed by the lobster risotto with cherry tomato and seared scallop. This was the only dish that didn’t quite live up to expectations, as the natural sweetness of lobster and scallops wasn’t quite allowed to shine through the slightly heavy salt seasoning.
The slight disappointment from the risotto was quickly swept away by the appearance of May Fair Kitchen’s signature dish – smoked lamb carpaccio with crème fraîche which arrived covered by a glass cloche filled with delightfully aromatic smoke. This left the lamb with a delicate smoked flavour and a texture that really did melt in the mouth.
Just in case we hadn’t tried quite enough food, our ever-charming and incredibly knowledgeable waiter Stan then brought out chicken and chorizo sliders with avocado and chilli mayonnaise for us to sample as well as some gambas al pil pil, which definitely kept the vampires away.
The savoury part of our meal was concluded with the king crab ravioli with sage butter – potentially the softest, most delicate ravioli I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
We finished off our meal with a white peach and oregano panna cotta, which we were sceptical about initially, but on the strong recommendation of the General Manager Nicolas were pleasantly surprised with, and the sugar coated doughnuts. The doughnuts are served here with either warm Grand Marnier or Rococo chocolate elixir but I couldn’t choose between the two and I’m glad I didn’t have to. The perfect end to a scrumptious meal.
May Fair Kitchen’s new sharing menu and refurbished dining area is a great place to share a meal and a glass of wine with friends and their Mediterranean-inspired menu, packed full of flavour, can really could convince you that you are in the Mediterranean for a few hours. There are still a whole host of dishes to discover on the menu, and I would definitely recommend a visit.