The Arch, a glamorous London hotel just minutes from Marble Arch, has thrown caution to the wind and entirely made over the menu at its signature restaurant, Hunter 486. It previously struggled to conquer a wide-range of international dishes, but now – thanks to a new approach from head chef Gary Durrant and the help of food writer and consultant Henrietta Green – the food has become far more focused.
Contrary to such stylish surroundings (leather booths, polished wooden floors, and pewter top bar), the menu itself is pretty informal – a sheet of card as opposed to anything leather-bound, with all-day, the grill and the stone oven options. The latter takes centre stage in an attractive open kitchen, which most tables are well-placed to see.
Hunter 486’s new theme is all things British (no surprise there, given Green’s reputation as a local food movement advocate), so expect roast Norfolk black free-range chicken, peppered venison and Sunday lunchtime roasts. Tender, slightly charred steaks start from £26 (try with the bone marrow sauce), and the homemade burger with onion marmalade and smoky Hunter ketchup is well worth a try, too.
But it’s not all meat and potatoes – most of the food is delicate and prettily presented. A simple bowl of homemade crisps, for example, is lifted with lemon and sage, and the crab cakes to start are some of the best we’ve ever tried… fragrant and perfectly proportioned, with a light and entirely grease-free coating. Try the roast whole sea bass, shining with rosemary butter and served with caramelised orange segments, and pan-fried scallops with not-too-sweet chilli jam and mango salsa.
Aside from an overly salted spinach side dish, and desserts that don’t quite match up to the standard of main course cooking, the new menu at Hunter 486 is a success. Service, too, is top notch – staff have clearly tried every dish, and are confident in recommending them. Don’t forget to try a cocktail – we love choosing from four different bellinis (ours is a honeydew and lime, please).
BULLSEYE: Crab cakes with cucumber pickle
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