Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“The wonderful flavours of Southern Europe” (“sharing plates, that are not your typical French food: much lighter and fresher”, prepared to “an incredibly high standard” and with “everything tasting of its ingredients and the sun!”) – plus a “fantastic”, Côte d’Azure atmosphere to match, inspire “simply outstanding” feedback on Arjun Waney’s “busy and noisy” Mayfair haunt… even if “prices are flabbergasting” and “it’s something of a hedge fund canteen”.
“You’re whisked to the South of France”, when you visit this “sophisticated”, “noisy” and “crowded” Mayfair haunt; few seem to begrudge the dizzying prices, as the “gimmick-free” Mediterranean-style sharing plates are “simply stunning” – “appealingly light” and so, so fresh.
“Bubbly and genuinely French in feel”, but “flashy and expensive” too, this mews spot brings the authentic charms of the Côte d’Azur to the backwoods of Mayfair – these include “perfect sunny-days food”, “snooty” service and Russian oligarchs aplenty.
“Outstanding zest and freshness” characterise the “sensational” but simple-sounding sharing plates on offer at casually glamorous Nice-comes-to-Mayfair scene; the prices, though, are “crazy”, and the whole “noisy” vibe is a bit “oligarchic” for some tastes.
Petite Maison W1
Not often do you get four national newspapers reviewing the same new restaurant on the same weekend. All raves too. Must be something special going on. Bungs? No way: with the price of a bent review starting around £10k (according to one leading critic), costs would quickly become excessive,
No, the reason is that La Petite Maison has form. You've probably never heard of Arjun Waney, but he's the main man behind Knightsbridge's Zuma. As smash hits don't get much more bigger than that, it's not surprising that critics all wanted to pile in to his latest opening. And the 'back' story is good too. The original La Petite Maison is in glamorous Nice, so the critic can impress with his or her worldly-wiseness, (or, failing that, regurgitate the bit in the press release about how Elton John goes there).
We visited before it became clear that this was going to be one of the most synchronised raves of the year, and we'd have to say the place struck us as thoroughly pleasant. Handily sited just off Bond Street, it's light, bright and elegant in a classic style that the French can do so well, and service is generally entirely in keeping.
The food was good too. Classic provenÃ§ale dishes, largely in a trendy small-plate format, but with a few bigger dishes for those who want them (or, as one is instructed, for sharing). In fact, everything was fine and dandy, but not quite to the point that we shared the delirium that seems to have seized so many other reviewers. But that's really beside the point. With this location, this backer, these reviews and the hype machine in full swing this place is going to be where the action is for the next few months. Until something hotter comes along, of course.
54 Brook's Mews, London, W1K 4EG
lunch noon - 2.30 pm, dinner 6 pm - 10.45 pm
Last orders: 10.45 pm, Sun 9.45 pm