From Marylebone to Moorgate. Here are The Dumbwaiter’s Best Bites of the Week.
Sitting proudly atop of the new Treehouse Hotel – just off Great Portland Street – Madera is an organic Mexican focused restaurant. With reclaimed wood and sustainable products used throughout, the ceviche and guacamole are reason to visit enough. With an almost unobstructed 270 degree view of London is a particular highlight, The Dumbwaiter is eagerly awaiting his return.
It was with great excitement that Lazy Susan arrived at Davies & Brook, very newly opened in Claridge’s – not least because last time she was there it was a building site. The cool grey room was buzzing with guests, both at the bar and around the elegant, well spaced tables. From the four-course a la carte menu she loved everything – special mention to the poached lobster with delica squash bisque and saffron, plus a dazzling venison dish – and went home with homemade granola too. After a nose around the shiny new kitchen, it’s truly a momentous London arrival. And with an ace-sounding £38 express lunch menu, a return is on the cards.
The Dumbwaiter escaped the chaos of Oxford Street for lunch at Locanda Locatelli, tucked away in a slightly quieter corner of town. If it’s pasta you’re after, you’ll be in good company: the orrecchiette with turnip tops, chilli and anchovies, pumpkin ravioli and creamy mushroom gnocchi were all first-rate. Make sure to order the (huge portion of) zucchini fritti, too. Not a bad place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The chefs Chris Leach and David Carter have settled very nicely into their new digs – Manteca on Great Marlborough Street has many of the dishes that were so well received at 10 Heddon Street, plus some terrific new ones, in the black and wood setting softened with plenty of plants. Lazy Susan has no trouble with triple helpings of pork, from a truly stellar, piquant mortadella sliced wafer thin through agnolotti with pork and hazelnuts to a vast, extremely succulent pork chop. There’s a great wine list, too.
That pocket from Moorgate to Old Street has always to be a funny spot. If you need avo on toast you’re well served, but otherwise you may find yourself stuck in no-man’s land. Yet that’s all changed now thanks to Richard Corrginan and John Nugent’s Daffodil Mulligan. Needless to say – there’s Guinness and oysters. But there’s so much more too, from chicken liver parfait and red mullet to steak and chips.
For the CODE Christmas lunch this year, The Dumbwaiter and team headed to Sorrel Restaurant in Dorking, led by head chef Steve Drake and his wife Laura. In the heart of the Surrey Hills, Sorrel’s cosy dining room with open fireplaces and exposed beams was the perfect place for a festive lunch. Though the duck with ras el hanout and persimmon was a firm favourite, the starter of scallops with oyster and thyme sauce and the freshly baked mini brioche loaves were pretty great, too.
The Dumbwaiter loves a good Sunday lunch and he’s found a new favorite at the Northall at the Corinthia hotel. Chef André Garrett’s Sunday lunch menu includes a fruits de mer to start, followed by a Chateaubriand to follow with all the trimmings. To finish it’s up to the dessert station where The Dumbwaiter would highly recommend the crepes Suzette.
This article was first written for the CODE Bulletin. To subscribe, click here