Here are our favourite Mayfair restaurants. Some of the best foodie spots include afternoon tea at The Luggage Room and bottomless brunch at Hix. Check out our ideas for eating and drinking in Mayfair
In a nutshell: The Square has embarked on a light approach to French fine dining.
What’s the vibe? Think upmarket (if slightly chilly) minimalism – stark grey walls, mustard-yellow chairs and large-scale abstract art. Service is formal without being pompous, and impeccably attentive.
What’s the food like? Diners have the choice of either an à la carte menu or a seven-coursing tasting one. New chef Clémont Leroy’s cooking is classically French, but a little lighter – less butter and cream, and seasonal ingredients are treated with a delicate touch. Highlights of our meal included langoustine marinated in olive oil and citrus, lent zingy lightness thanks to pickled cucumber and tonic-water jelly, and umami depth from a langoustine consommé. A dish of red mullet was cooked by pouring hot olive oil over the raw fish, rendering the skin deliciously crisp and crunchy, and the flesh perfectly cooked underneath. Seared scallops came, unusually, with a coffee foam that proved to be a surprising hit, the sweetness of the shellfish pairing well with the subtle smokiness of the coffee. The only duff dish was a dessert of confit sweet potato with a honey cage and grapefruit compote, the shredded potato too dry and claggy.
And the drinks? Oenophiles will be impressed by The Square’s huge – if pricey – wine list. We enjoyed a crisp Cedar Grove chenin blanc, and a 2015 Cal Pla Priorat grenache, which had luscious dark fruit notes.
olive says… Fine dining at The Square comes with fine-dining prices, so if your budget is tight then visit at lunch, where you can enjoy three courses for £37, or a six-course tasting menu for £60.
Words by Hannah Guinness
This sleek, intimate restaurant brings sushi and Japanese ‘tapas’ with a fine dining twist to Mayfair. Butter-soft scallops are a must if you’re a seafood obsessive; perfectly cooked, they came drizzled with an intense sea urchin butter so delicious we nearly drank it directly from the scallop shell it was served in. The soft, tender lamb with a bronzed, crisp ribbon of fat was another hit; the sour, refreshing oroshi a clever spin on a classic mint sauce.
Click here to read our full review of Cubé
A Mayfair institution has been given a slick, high-end makeover. Exceptional produce is a highlight here and the best way to sample a little of everything is to try one of the sushi platters; from plump slices of butter-soft, fatty marbled tuna and luscious scoops of sea urchin to (predictably good) slices of Kobe beef and creamy seared yellowtail.
Click here to read the full review of Ginza Onodera
Fera at Claridge’s
The triumphant arrival of Simon Rogan at the prestigious space left vacant by Gordon Ramsay sees the highly seasonal, ‘new natural’ style of cooking embraced by the smart set. Plush, expensive and elegantly run, Fera serves a weekday lunch menu, £45, an à la carte menu at £85 and a tasting menu at £105.
Dishes include dry-aged Herdwick hogget with sweetbreads, cucumber, yoghurt and blackberry, and hake in caramelised cabbage with new potatoes, chicken skin and nasturtium.
Click here to read our full review of Fera at Claridge’s
Arriving early for dinner during the opening week at Magpie allowed us to get a table easily and we were warmly welcomed by the staff, who brought us drinks before showing us to our table. The concept is similar to that of dim sum, in that they bring round a selection of dishes that you can either choose or decline, staff then mark your choices on a card. The trolley concept encouraged debate and conversation between tables, contributing to the fun atmosphere.
Click here to read our full review of Magpie
London’s first outpost of Japanese ramen chain Yamagoya, with counter service ramen, cold ramen salads and an Instagram-famous rain drop cake. We started with a selection of snacks, including a crunchy wakame seaweed salad with popping edamame beans and toasty sesame notes, and knobbly, lightly fried kara-age chicken. The latter had a pleasant soft crunch (with no hint of grease) and a punchy green spinach and yuzu dipping mayo.
Click here to read our full review of Yamagoya Ramen
The Luggage Room, London Marriott hotel
he Luggage Room is a speakeasy-bar-cum-afternoon-tea-lounge hidden underneath the London Marriott hotel in Mayfair. The award-winning bar has won favour with tourists and socialites alike and the 1920s prohibition-inspired low tea menu, which, launched in March 2016, hopes to match this level of success and popularity.
Click here to read our full review of The Luggage Room, Mayfair
Check out our restaurant review of Tokimeite in Mayfair, London, for high end Japanese food including tempura and wagyu, and sleek and sophisticated interiors.
Tokimeite, roughly translating as ‘anticipation’ or ‘butterflies’, is an apt name for this high-end restaurant from Michelin-starred Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata. Yoshihiro has collaborated with Japanese cooperative Zen-Noh Group to bring his washoku Japanese cooking from Kyoto and Tokyo to the heart of Mayfair, London.
Click here to read our full review of Tokimeite, Mayfair
HIX Mayfair, Brown’s Hotel
Mark Hix’s Mayfair outpost is the destination for a leisurely weekend brunch cocooned in British elegance – white linen tablecloths, dark wood paneling and impeccable service make it extremely special.
The focus is on seasonal British produce: colourful Isle of Wight tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, finely shaved Wye Valley asparagus topped with smoky cheese and a zesty lemon dressing, and Hodmedod’s green pea dropped scones with Black Coombe ham and a perfectly poached pheasant’s egg.
Go for a proper toastie for your main, filled with sweet brisket, Montgomery’s Cheddar and pickled cucumber. This brunch is a full three course affair, and desserts are worth saving room for – Bakewell tart has a crunchy base and a generous dollop of Cornish clotted cream, and 80% Peruvian Gold chocolate mousse is thick and rich with a strong hint of booze from soaked cherries.
Bottomless drinks: As soon as your glass begins to empty, a waistcoat-clad gentleman wheels over the elegant, marble-topped drinks trolley to tempt you with “more Champagne, ma’am?” Ask him to make up pokey bloody marys using creamy Black Cow vodka from Dorset, homemade tomato juice and crunchy celery. Bellinis are given a British twist with homemade seasonal syrups such as Wye Valley rhubarb.
Elystan Street is the latest venture from restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas and chef Phil Howard, who sold his restaurant, The Square in Mayfair, in March this year.
Open all day, it serves “delicious, clean, ingredient-led dishes, full of natural vitality,” according to Phil, in an elegant space designed by Clare Nelson.
It’s a 64-seat dining room with near floor-to-ceiling windows lining two walls, blue and soft salmon coloured chairs, and teal leather banquettes.
Click here to read our full review of Elysian Street, Mayfair
It was hot gossip when Le Chabanais, the eagerly-anticipated French restaurant from chef Inaki Aizpitarte and his partners at Le Chateaubriand, closed on September 1 after only four months of business. It was perhaps a spate of poor reviews that did the damage, and soon after a split between Aizpitarte and restaurant owner Valrun Talreja was announced.
But as a fresh season dawns, so does a fresh restaurant. 8 Mount Street keeps the same luxurious interiors as its predecessor – marbled bronze tiles that shine like mother of pearl; leather banquettes opposite Scandi-style wooden chairs; and a solid marble bar that runs the length of the room.