Scores: 1 M*/ GFG 7/ Z 26/ H 3
Angela Hartnett, like another former Ramsey group head chef, Jason Atherton, has been busy this year opening new venues in London with both Café Murano in St James and Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch now open. I hope these openings do not end up hurting Murano, a restaurant, where I have always had good meals. Murano has been owned by Hartnett for several years after being spun out from Ramsey and I think it has gained a little more personality along the way.
One of the best things about the restaurant is the menu format, one can have from two to five savoury courses and the kitchen alters the sizes accordingly to make the menu work. Two courses are £50.00, three are £65.00, four are £75.00 and five are £85.00, with desserts extra. Firstly, some arancini containing cheese and mushrooms and some parmesan crackers arrived; these were very tasty and got quickly inhaled with our cocktails. A bread basket then appeared containing some breadsticks and focaccia. These both would have been very nice but unfortunately the bottom of the focaccia was overdone giving it a slightly bitter taste. A nice touch was the addition of two types of ham to have with the bread.
A first dish of roasted scallops, curried parsnip purée, apple chutney and macadamia nuts was a good combination, with savoury and sweet flavours as well as texture from the nuts. The scallops were very well cooked and flavoursome. Pheasant tortellini with truffle and a jus was very good, featuring very well made pasta with a rich flavoursome filling. The sauce was also top drawer and there was a good amount of it, this was a very good winter pasta dish.
Turbot with Purple sprouting broccoli, almond purée and shaved parmesan was a very simple dish, leaving the star of the show to shine. This was a very good piece of fish that I enjoyed eating very much. The salty and earthy notes from the other ingredients just helped enhance it. Other dishes which looked good and that received compliments included an Octopus salad with Romano peppers, sourdough with romesco dressing, and Pork belly, Apple purée, glazed prawn and baby gem.
We were reasonably full after three savoury courses each so we skipped dessert although some very good biscotti and chocolate truffles were supplied with coffee. I think this is one of London’s top places to visit, perhaps the cooking is not as cutting edge or technically excellent as some places but it is consistent and very tasty and the extensive menu gives one piles of choice.