Murano – Review (Mayfair) My two visits – Angela Hartnett has got serious game

Angela Hartnett MBE who worked in the Ramsey stable for 15 years, was the first female chef-patron in 2002 at The Connaught which of course is run by Hélène Darroze since 2008 now. Not bad going in a male-shrewn industry – two years later she gained a Michelin star for her Italian inspired cuisine there, made sense really considering both her folks are from Emilia-Romagna and she was taught to cook by her grandmother. Prior to this she began working with Ramsey in 1994 at Aubergine restaurant in Chelsea, she also had a brief stint in Amaryllis in Edinburgh in 2001 and fleeting tour at Verre in Dubai. Finally on August the 21st 2008 she opens Murano in Mayfair as part of the Gordon Ramsey Holdings. However, as of 11th of October 2010, Ramsey Holdings offers sole ownership of Murano to Angela and of course a sale was concluded. Murano gains one star in 2009 and has retained it ever since with Diego Cardoso at the helm who left in May 2014 to open Percy and Founders in March 2015. He was succeeded by current Head Chef Pip Lacey. For the purposes of this post though I’m focussing on the food and if you’d like to know more just click here.

I’ve been twice so far and here are the proceedings of my first visit in October 14:

Some delicious Coppa di Parma and parmesan tuilles to start off with  amuse bouche Italian style- both packing some seriously good flavour.

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In case you’ve never eaten here before, the menu is split across 5 sections and you can mix/max the dishes for your chosen course – they come in corresponding sizes. You could even go for 5 deserts if you wanted to as our waiter advised – we go for 5 courses!

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Truffles from Alba for a £50 supplement if you wish:

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Occhipinti Il Frappato Sicilia 2012 £75 and Colbertina Barbera £57. Both fruity and minerally – went great with the food.

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FIRST COURSE

Braised beef, celeriac, bone marrow brioche, capers and parsley. Lip smackingly unctuous and fork tender. The parsley freshens things up and that crispy onion garnish was delectable too.

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SECOND COURSE

Hand rolled papardelle, braised hare, Treviso, golden raisins. This dish was nailed, al dente papardelle, perfectly seasoned hare ragu and those little plump raisins were a novelty surprise for me.

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Let it rain!

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THIRD COURSE

Crispy pork belly, celeriac purée, langoustine, grapes, kale tempura. It was crispy alright and so damn porky, the flavour was intense and so was that sweet little langoustine. Everything worked well on this plate and it all belonged in my mouth!

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FOURTH COURSE

Loin of venison, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, ceps, pears. I hear people say venison is a ‘gamey’ meat, I didn’t notice it in the dish – the flavours I tasted were quite sweet, although it wasn’t the most tender piece of meat it was quite flavourful and paired nicely with those earthly vegetables. The pear was an odd addition though and didn’t really work for me.

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FITH COURSE – DESERT – Pear sorbet and popcorn soufflé. Quite a delicate as most soufflé’s are and the popcorn flavour is a mere rumour in an otherwise beautiful fluffy dish. The pear sorbet was the perfect palate cleanser.

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White and dark chocolate brownie, caramelised banana, banana sorbet. Piped chocolate on a that soft white/dark chocolate brownie with shards of chocolate with those bananas done two ways? Ridiculous.

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Petit fours of passion fruit jelly and chocolate lollipops!

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ROUND 2 – 2ND VISIT March 2016:

Same menu format but the ‘winter’ menu is still on – this time we opt for 5 courses + desert:

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Fondoti Chianti Classico £56 and Pollera Nocheti £61. Both excellent drops but the elegance and fruitiness of the Nocheti stole my heart – I will be seeking some for me cellar!

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AMUSE BOUCHE: Parmesan tuilles – savoury and piquant, just as delicious as the first time.

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Truffle arancini – creamy inside with the perfumed pungency of the truffle. These are adult rated snacks.

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Coppa di Parma and Spinata di Romano (salami). Both were moreish but my favourite is the salami as you could really taste the air-dried cured flavour. The spices shone through.

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Brown sour dough, rosemary focaccia, rosemary and parmesan grissini (bread sticks). I’m a big bread fan of bread, it’s hard to deny and the stand out one here is the rosemary focaccia, springy to touch and baked so beautifully, I could have eaten a whole loaf to myself. Dipped into that peppery Olivi Leggero made me as happy as larry.

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FIRST COURSE

Rabbit, baby carrots, radish, clementine, quail eggs, pancetta. There was so much technique and flavour in this dish and there was even a piece of perfectly seared rabbit liver. We’re off to a great start.

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Cured monkfish, almond purée, paprika, fennel, basil. I’ll reserve comment on this one as I didn’t get to taste it sadly.

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SECOND COURSE

Chive farfalle, veal sweet breads, cauliflower, prunes. Creamy sweet breads encased in a crispy batter, al dente bows of farfalle and luscious cauliflower cream on top. Lot’s of great technique that cannot be unnoticed!

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Crab tortellini & bisque, cucumber, turnip, spring onion. Beautifully presented but I live vicariously as they were enjoyed by a fellow diner.

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Crispy pork belly, white asparagus, wild garlic, pickled onion – enjoyed by my neighbouring diner as their second course. I’ve reserved mine for the fourth course, I really couldn’t wait and it’s making my mouth water. Just look at that crackling!

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THIRD COURSE

Turbot, langoustines, confit potato, red onion, almond. A devine piece of meaty fish with a crunchy almond topping. It was a very refined piece of fish. Triple it in size and watch me grin like a cheshire cat!

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FOURTH COURSE:

Beef sirloin, potato fondant, beetroot, kohlrabi, watercress. (Had by my fellow diner). Watercress and steak makes sense, adding the chioggia beets and kohlrabi is an inventive little touch. The steak cooked rare, packed full of flavour which is what you want.

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Halibut, octopus carpaccio, black radish, baby chard, cucumber, paprika butter (Had by my fellow diner). Lot’s of technique on this plate and quality ingredients. I had a bite and the fish was elegant and fresh. My fellow diner raised gracefully mentioned that it was over cooked and didn’t enjoy it, leaving most of it behind. Front of house wiped it of the bill which was a nice touch.

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Crispy pork belly, white asparagus, wild garlic, pickled onion. (Had by me). Delectable piggy my swiney friend, you’re cooked to a melting tenderness and you make me so happy! A great plate and intensely porky – you can tell it’s a great product, probably sourced from one of their butcher friends who keeps the special stash away for them!

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5TH COURSE – DESERT

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Pre-desert – palate cleanser:

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Pistachio soufflé, hot chocolate sauce. It was like eating pistachio clouds and contrasted nicely with that warm and inviting dark, bitter sweet chocolate poured into it. Decadent and sinful at the same time.

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Toffee sponge, date purée, coffee & mascarpone ice cream, hazelnuts. Not too sweet, sticky, unapologetically exuberant toffee sauce and hair raisingly good!

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Carrot cheesecake, ginger, Lady Grey sorbet. This one was with compliments from the slick front of house. I simply couldn’t decide to go for the soufflé or cheesecake so they brought me both! I’ve never had this combination before but combining the spice of the ginger and bitter freshness of the sorbet against that rich cheesecake was undeniably good.

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PETIT FOURS

passion fruit jelly – very juicy jellies!

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Chocolate orange and caramel – all the ingredients were clear and identifiable, pure fudgey goodness.

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Cheese trolley if you will.

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The verdict:
When did I go? October 2014/March 2016
The damage: Expect to pay £120-150 with 5 courses and wine per head.
The good: An ingredient led agenda with matching classy service, overall pitch perfect.
The bad: There’s not a lot not to like!
Rating: 4.5/5
20 Queen Street Mayfair
London W1J 5PP
+44 (0)20 7495 1127
enquiries@muranolondon.com
W: www.muranolondon.com
Closest tube: Green Park

 

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