Welsh Lamb at Wild Honey Mayfair

Wild Honey, St James, London SW1: restaurant review

Try cacio e pepe macaroni, fresh Cornish red mullet with zingy tomato vinaigrette and bespoke vermouth at this central London restaurant

Looking for a restaurant in Mayfair? Read our review of Wild Honey, and check out more suggestions for eating in Mayfair here.

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Wild Honey in a nutshell

Iconic London chef and restaurant finds a new home in Mayfair.


Who’s cooking?

Anthony Demetre has a long pedigree at famous London destination restaurants, including Arbutus and the original incarnation of Wild Honey, which first opened in 2007. He leads the kitchen alongside head chef Simon Woodrow.


What’s the vibe?

Housed in a front corner of the Sofitel Hotel in St James, the grand, high-ceilinged dining room shares the space with the swanky St James Bar. Powder-blue velvet banquettes, opulent chandeliers, huge double-aspect windows and some impressive artwork all give a sense of luxurious grandeur to the space. The staff are warm and knowledgeable, and questions about dishes are swiftly answered without having to refer back to the kitchen.

A dining room with people sat on brown leather chairs
Powder-blue velvet banquettes, opulent chandeliers and some impressive artwork all give a sense of luxurious grandeur to the space

What’s the food like at Wild Honey?

Anthony is known for precise, delicate, seasonal cooking. A starter of crispy chicken with cacio e pepe macaroni is a masterclass in contrasting textures – silky, pepper-flecked, handcut pasta topped with slow-cooked chicken wings which are boned then blasted with heat to crisp and caramelise the skin. Our other starter of cool, creamy burrata comes with slivers of tender trumpet courgette, peppery nasturtium leaves and a sprinkle of spicy, nutty dukkah.

A bowl of cacio e pepe pasta with chicken wings
A starter of crispy chicken with cacio e pepe macaroni is a masterclass in contrasting textures

A lamb main is harmony on a plate: a perfectly pink canon is served with a fresh sheep’s ricotta, tender deep-fried lamb sweetbreads and a sweet pea purée. A spankingly fresh Cornish red mullet comes on a bed of white beans in a zingy tomato vinaigrette.

A white bowl with pink lamb
A perfectly pink canon is served with a fresh sheep’s ricotta, tender deep-fried lamb sweetbreads and a sweet pea purée

Puddings are super-indulgent. Warm chocolate “soup” turns out to be a rich, gently baked mousse with an oozy centre served with a spoon of toasted-rice ice cream to melt in, and Wild Honey ice cream is topped with honeycomb cut straight from the frame tableside – the honeycomb solidifying to a deeply satisfying fudgy texture when it hits the cold ice cream.

A bowl filled with chocolate mousse and a quenelle of cream ice cream
Warm chocolate “soup” turns out to be a rich, gently baked mousse

And the drinks?

The restaurant’s bespoke vermouth is a must-order, whether on its own or as part of Anthony’s prescriptive recipe for a negroni (other ingredients include gin, amaro, Aperol and bitters). He’s also curated the concise, mainly European wine list – highlights are a beautifully light, crisp sauv blanc/sauv gris from Piedmont and a light sangiovese/cabernet franc from Tuscany. There are also two house wines on tap, available by glass and 500ml carafe.


olive tip

Check out the set Sunday lunch menu which is incredibly good value, and includes those heavenly chicken wings.


wildhoneystjames.co.uk

Words by Janine Ratcliffe, August 2019

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