Restaurant Review: Corrigan’s Mayfair, Mayfair in London
In London you are never short of a good quality restaurant, whether there are Michelin stars, AA rosettes or some damn good personal recommendations attached to its name. There is nowhere quite like the capital to experience such a majestic display of food, so it begs the question – how do you stand out among the rest? I think the answer is actually to not try too hard to stand out from the rest but instead simply offer a good, solid meal and stay true to your ethos. I feel that Corrigan’s Mayfair does just this. There’s humour in the menus at Dickie’s Bar (newly opened and offering some cocktails that are not for the faint-hearted!), the food is of excellent quality, dishes are expertly crafted and the service is pretty good too.
Chef patron of Corrigan’s Mayfair and Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, Richard Corrigan, is known for his appearances on TV’s Great British Menu and Chef race: UK vs U.S. He is a Michelin award-winning Irish chef who has cooked for the Queen and has a well-established career. As a fan of Great British Menu I was well aware of who he was before my visit and was excited to see what my evening would bring.
I popped along for dinner one evening in late February and loved the elegant, yet relaxed, nature of the place. Diners were happily chatting in the low lit, sophisticated restaurant, which created an engaging and comfortable atmosphere. Banquet seating, small tables covered with white cloths atop dark wood flooring and walls highlighted with metallic panels creates a stylish space with almost a gentlemen’s club feel. A drink in Dickie’s Bar before or after dinner (or at any time really, I could sip cocktails there all night!) comes highly recommended, but watch out for those cocktails, The Fourth Marquess made a decent attempt at knocking my socks off!
At the table in the restaurant I pored over the large menu (in sheer size – I nearly knocked the glassware flying) which offered a plentiful and rather lavish display of dishes – foie gras, venison tartare, oysters, caviar, veal sweetbread – and those are just a selection of the starters. I was recommended a number of items on the menu and loved the sound of the Dorset Crab raviolo with caviar with a shellfish sauce to start. Before I sampled the seafood special though I was presented with some delightful warm soda bread, Lancashire butter and olives with jalapeño in a light breadcrumb with cheese, which had a wonderful kick. Then came a leek and potato veloute amuse bouche, which was a gorgeous blend of delicate, foamy liquid and ever-so-thin crispy leek pieces and then my crab raviolo was brought out.
My starter was an utter delight, starting with the shellfish bisque being poured into my bowl at the table, to the wonderfully sumptuous and rich flavours, to the gorgeous glass of rose wine from Puglia that accompanied the food. I thought the crab got a little lost among the beautiful bisque but the texture was apparent and, though I think caviar is a little overrated, it added some texture and colour (well black, but it wasn’t browny/beige) to the dish. A winner.
For my main course I shared the Todenham Manor middle white suckling pig for two (shared with my dinner guest – I did not attempt this by myself!) and the extravagant dish had many elements to delight. A large tray was bought to the table with a huge piece of meat covered in a crisp top layer, this was cut in two and dished out along with some crispy pig ears, a wedge of black pudding, carrots with pomegranates, oh-so buttery mashed potato, sweet red cabbage, super thin apple slices and a homemade apple sauce. The first thing I noticed was the glorious smell of the salty crackling and the meat itself, which was juicy and tantalising. I didn’t think the pigs ears were all that appetising but my other half loved them and we had asked for chips instead of mash but that didn’t happen, however, I wasn’t sorry as the mash was gorgeous. A glass of French Pinot Noir to accompany was a great choice from the sommelier, I love the light and fruity nature of this wine and it suited the pig perfectly. The dish has great theatre and it tastes sublime but it’s simply too much to tackle, unless you haven’t eaten for a day or two that is!
I had to wait a while before I could even think of dessert but I saw a chocolate soufflé on the menu (I don’t see enough chocolate soufflés on menus) and I would not resist. Served with hazelnut ice cream and sprinkled with crushed nuts, the sumptuous soufflé was fluffy and delicate inside, as expected, and was light in flavour too, which was ideal as I couldn’t have coped with a rich dish at that point.
If this all sounds rather tempting and you fancy a visit then a good opportunity to go would be Sunday, March the 17th to enjoy a four course meal for £49. Expect to experience an Irish Sunday lunch menu including some dishes from the Irish specials menu as well as a traditional roast.
IN A NUTSHELL
Overall Corrigan’s Mayfair offered up a gorgeous meal and we revelled in the extravagance of the pig dish and thoroughly appreciated the quality of the desserts too (the salted caramel tart was sampled too and declared to be divine with a lovely range of textures and sweet flavours). The staff were friendly the sommelier knowledgable, serving up some very well paired wines. With such a big menu it is a place that is just tempting you back for more so you can sample some of the other delights on offer, I know I would return.
Address: 28 Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London W1K 7EH