Scores: 2 M*/ GFG 8/ Z 26 / H 4
Hibiscus is one of a few London restaurants that has held two Michelin stars for 8 or 9 years so in theory it is one of the top spots but in recent years it seems to be left off the lists of cool places to go. Hibiscus is Claude Bosi ‘s flagship restaurant- he also owns 2 pubs in West London. It is situated in what is fast-becoming a foodie hotspot on the edge of Mayfair on Maddox St near Pollen St Social etc. I have dined at Hibiscus before but I took advantage of a free afternoon to go for their lunch deal; which at £49.50 for 3 courses including drinks is good value when compared to a minimum of £87.50 in the evening (see this post on lunch deals) so I was keen to compare the two experiences.
The meal started with some olives and nuts as well as a velouté which was okay but not memorable. I decided to start with the crab rolled pasta with melon sorbet and wasabi. This was quite nice; it contained a decent amount of crab rolled in a piece of pasta. Overall, it had a very refreshing flavour but I was unconvinced by the combination with sorbet which gave a strange texture; also while I could see the wasabi on the plate, the actual wasabi flavour was lost in the mix. My friend’s lobster and guinea fowl terrine, although slightly unusual, had a good meaty flavour. For mains, barbecued poussin with fresh almond, lettuce and romanesco sauce was the more refined dish, this looked very much like the Michelin style food you would be expecting and it also tasted like it, with a beautiful balancing of flavours. On the other hand, plantation pork belly chorizo and peas was almost a dish that you would find in a decent gastro pub. It did taste good though with very strong flavours and perfectly cooked crackling!
Our meal was rounded off by some cheese and a caramelised blonde chocolate tart with lemon sorbet. The tart tasted more of caramel than chocolate (which I quite liked, but you might be disappointed if you’re a chocolate fan), however, unfortunately although the base was fine the end was burned- tasting bitter as a result. This is a very basic mistake at this level of dining.
The lunch menu is good value price-wise, but if I was being honest I would say that this value is cancelled out by the standard of what we were served. It was a decent meal, but not up to the restaurant’s two star standard and certainly not as good as the evening meals I have enjoyed there in the past. I fear that they may fail to perform at their evening level at lunch thus negating the better value.