From Moor Hall to Mayfair. Here are the Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.
Mark Birchall’s restaurant in Aughton, Lancashire has been awarded two Michelin stars, 5AA rosettes and was voted the number 1 restaurant in the UK at 2019 NRA. After sampling the 8-course lunch tasting menu this week, the dumbwaiter can safely say it deserves each of these accolades. Every course was a stand-out in its own right, from the baked carrots with chrysanthemum and sea buckthorn, to the grilled scallop with artichoke and truffle and the gingerbread with roots and pine. The food is perfectly complimented by the fantastic service and idyllic setting. Complete with rooms, Moor Hall is a must-visit for anyone looking for a reason to escape London for the night.
Lazy Susan, like many, admires the chef Douglas McMaster’s pioneering approach to food sustainability and his zero tolerance to food waste. But is Silo – his new restaurant in Hackney Wick – as delicious as it is virtuous? Yes it is but – from a superb six-course tasting menu that’s a bargain at £45 – it’s hard to choose a stand-out. However the whole ethos is summed up perfectly in this goat’s milk ice cream with sourdough miso caramel and a ‘snow’ made of douglas fir stems and leaves.
Taking over the 10 Heddon Street residency from Chris Leach and David Carter is Shaun Presland’s Pacific concept. Presland hails from warmer climes having spent many years as Exec Chef for Nobu Australia. The Dumbwaiter enjoyed seeing a sunny disposition from the chefs on the pass, perhaps it has to do with the flawless execution of Kingfish and Sea Bass Sashimi and a perfectly cooked hunk of Wagyu. Presland’s Katsu Sando iteration – fast becoming a must-have on any Asian inspired menu – is full of monkfish morsels and a delicious “Bulldog Sauce”.
On Wednesday Lazy Susan celebrated Lancashire Day with the county’s finest chefs in the kitchen and Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote warming up the dining room for lunch. In a male-dominated brigade of Oli Martin (Hipping Hall), Mark Taft (The Assheton Arms), Steven Smith (Freemasons at Wiswel), Chris Bury (Cartford Inn) and Mark Birchall (Moor Hall) it was Stosie Madi of the Parkers Arms that won guests over with her curried mutton pasty, and had several guests sneaking a second helping. That said, Lazy Susan won’t be forgetting March Birchall’s dish of roast fallow deer, sea buckthorn and Crown Prince squash in a hurry.
The restaurant and bar on Trafalgar Square have undergone a major revamp recently, and the dumbwaiter went to check out the plant-filled hideaway. Located on the edge of Trafalgar square, The Dumbwaiter opted to try a selection from the bar menu, including mushroom and minted yoghurt flatbread, falafel slides, salmon tacos, and a particular favourite skin on rosemary and parmesan fries. The highlight though is the extensive bar menu, with a mix of classic, creative and non-alcoholic cocktails there is certainly something for everyone.
The Dumbwaiter heard that the popular ‘film & fizz’ nights made a comeback at One Aldwych Hotel in Covent Garden and couldn’t wait to book in. After enjoying a film in their cosy and intimate cinema, alongside a glass of fizz and popcorn, the dumbwaiter enjoyed a meal at Eneko. Grilled asparagus was up first, followed by a traditional crispy corn talo with heritage tomatoes and basil tomato.
To The Biltmore on Tuesday evening for the launch of Jason Atherton’s newest restaurant The Betterment. With Nick ‘Grimmy Grimshaw’ on the 1s & 2s and A-listers like Ronan Keating strutting their stuff, The Dumbwaiter wishes every restaurant launch was this fun, although his liver may think differently. Particular highlight was the Duck Wonton canapes and the generous helpings of caviar.
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