Harden's survey result
With its “understated” style, Angela Hartnett’s “elegant-but-relaxed” HQ manages to be one of the most personal of the “luxury” central London restaurants run by a big name, particularly one in Mayfair. Under head chef, Oscar Holgado, the accomplished modern cuisine “with an Italian twist” is “first class”, as is the wine list: incredibly consistent and, “if not cheap, not wildly expensive”. But it’s the “professional service with a smile” that sets the seal on the experience: “warm, welcoming, and less pushy than at some other top destinations”. “I’d just returned from Rome and was worried I’d be disappointed, but in fact it topped things off with a level of refined luxury I enjoyed very much”.
Angela Hartnett’s “superb” Mayfair flagship has taken Pip Lacey’s 2017 departure in its stride, and although its ratings dipped fractionally year-on-year, many reporters still feel Oscar Holgado’s “Italian-oriented cuisine must be amongst the best in town”. When it comes to the interior, the harsh view is that these “un-flashy” premises “on a quiet street” are “a little dull”, but the more common verdict is that its “restrained and elegant” style “oozes class and calm” and that “the warm welcome and graceful professional service gets any visit off to a flying start”.
As it enters its tenth year, Angela Hartnett’s “understatedly brilliant” Mayfair haven is an unusual example of a swanky, celeb-backed restaurant just getting better and better as it approaches middle age. Though not enormously distinctive in design, “the dining room is beautifully set up – you don’t feel crowded” – and the “charmingly kind staff” help “create a wonderful and romantic atmosphere”. Head chef Pip Lacey’s Italian-inspired cooking is taking the food quality here to new heights – “fantastically good” – and reporters “love that you can construct your own tasting menu”, whereby you select any number of dishes from the menu’s five sections in the order of your choosing. STOP PRESS: in July 2017, Pip Lacey left Murano, to be replaced by Oscar Holgado. Here’s hoping he can keep up the good work.
“Not a restaurant for those who want fireworks… just very good!” Angela Hartnett’s “smooth-running” Mayfair haven is low-key stylewise, but it’s a “comfortable” place “exuding warmth”, thanks to its “first-class” yet “unpompous” staff. Chef Pip Lacey has upped the ante, when it comes to the Italianate food – “superb” – and the flexible “build your own menu” approach is a “simple yet brilliant idea”.
Murano Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Murano Our visit did not start too well. The welcome was fairly summary and we were shown to a table uncomfortably close to the stand at which the front of house staff gathered. My request to be moved was met with a shrug of the shoulders, and we were taken to a smaller table at the far end of the dining room, which in fact had the benefit of a good view of the kitchen, although this did not entirely compensate for the lack of space on the table. There is no tasting menu, so we chose from each of the five groups of dishes offered, our first selection being being the seared scallop, which was tasty but far less than melt-in-the mouth. I left it and expressed my disappointment to the waiter, who returned a little later to inform us that chef had found nothing wrong with it as it was only seared. Clearly I was just a paying customer with no taste. Not how to run a starred restaurant in my opinion, and in complete contrast to the attitude in the restaurant we dined in the previous evening. Obviously I tried not to let the first course cloud the picture for the rest of the meal. Our agnolotti presented a pretty picture with good balance between the exceptional morels, the notable herbiness of the pasta and the cheese, and this dish was followed by some of the best asparagus we’ve ever had, from a small grower in Essex, with perfectly done hazelnuts making for a good taste and crunch match and topped off with good parmesan. We never turn down the chance of having Cornish turbot, and even though it was a tiny portion its class showed, as did that of the St George’s mushroom, of which we unfortunately got just one, as was the case with the white asparagus. The fish was done in what appeared to be the set method for the restaurant, namely seared, but this time properly. The final Spring Menu course was very good pork belly and loin with a good old-fashioned match of apple sauce and mash, plus fruit with mild mustard and decent stuffed cabbage. From the separate dessert menu we ordered lovely Amalfi lemon tart which was well caramelised to balance the strong lemon, and a peanut mousse, chocolate and banana sorbet concoction which went down well. Our fresh mint tea was served in one ungenerous pot for two people. There were a few lovely elements to this meal but overall nothing that sparked the chain of appreciative remarks we had hoped to be making. We almost had the impression that the good was sufficient and that most of the staff were more or less going through the motions. Typical of the situation was the fact that our request for a copy of the menu to take away seemed to throw the waitress and we were simply provided with sheets removed from the presentation folder - there was no indication of the name of the restaurant nor any further details. We found this lacking in professionalism. At least cost of the scallop dish was deducted from the bill!"
"A visit to Murano will always be a highlight of my dining calendar especially as I am a lover of Italian food. So therefore it came as a great surprise when I realised that it's been over two years since my last visit. But I will honestly say that after this fabulous lunch I definitely won't be leaving it that long before I return again. There's always a nice relaxed feel when you dine at Murano and this was enhanced once more during our visit on saturday . We arrived to the usual friendly greeting before being shown to our table which was along the far wall which gives you a great overall view of the restaurant. We started with an Italian Gin & Tonic and for me when having Italian food it has to be a Negroni. These were enjoyed along with some amazing snacks & bread while we browsed through the menu. The Al a Carte is set out into five sections in an Italian style i.e starters , pasta , fish & meat with a separate dessert menu. This is nice as it gives you the opportunity to create your own tasting menu if you so wish. There is also a lunch menu which I think is good value for money and was quite popular. We decided to go for the four course option to be followed by dessert. So now it was on to our first courses which were a Pea & Wild Garlic Soup with a Smoked Trout Crostini & a Beef Carpaccio with Pecan , Caviar & Truffle. Both of these dishes were amazing and a perfect way to start. Before our next course we received a delightful surprise as Chef Martina sent us out a couple of little extra dishes. These were the Scallop with Chicken Wing , Taramasalata & Grapefruit plus a Herb Agnolotti , Morels & Crottin de Chavignol. These dishes were fabulous and a nice touch from the chef. Now it was on to our Pasta course where we enjoyed a Carnaroli Risotto with Cauliflower & Smoked Almonds as well as the Gnocchi with Cime de Rapa , Pecorino & Tomato Oil. Next to come was the Fish course and these were both amazing. The Halibut with Herb Farfalle , Chicken Broth & Spring Vegetables was a delight as was the Cornish Brill , White Asparagus , Jersey Royals & Marjoram. It was now time for our Mains the first being a Rib of Beef with Sunchoke , Porcini & Smoked Bone Marrow this was matched perfectly with a glass of Taurasi Sant ' Eustachio 2007. The second was a Herdwick Lamb , Braised Neck , Sweetbreads , Peas & Goats Curd which was also delightfully matched with a glass of San Leonardo Villa Gresti 2013. I'd to thank Sommelier Franco for her excellent wine pairings that accompanied all our dishes. Now it was time to finish with dessert where our waiter Lorenzo who it was a pleasure to meet gave us his recommendations with his favourite being the Rum Baba. With that in mind we decided to choose the Peanut Mousse with Madagascan Chocolate & Banana Sorbet plus the Savarin Cheesecake with Lemon Blueberry & Cucumber Sorbet. A nice surprise was to come though as not only did our choice of desserts arrive but our waiters favourite Rum Baba also arrived and just like our choices it was delicious so thank you Lorenzo. Before we finished with a coffee & petit fours we was asked if we'd like to see the kitchen and meet the Chef. With delight we said that would great and enjoyed a lovely chat with Martina while the rest of the team were either finishing of the lunch dishes or prepping for the evening. This really was a fantastic way to end our lunch which is definitely one I won't forget in a hurry. The food was amazing , the wine selections were excellent and staff were all very friendly and professional so yes I would highly recommend a visit"
"Superlative food, service and atmosphere. Wonderful set and a la carte menu and wine list combined with relaxing surroundings and welcoming staff combine to make a very special lunch or dinner. We will be back!"
"Entered the subtly decorated restaurant was greeted and jacket taken and shown to my table. Amuse bouche/snacks bought very quickly, a nice selection of meat bread pickled veg and olive oil. The menu came after a while and found myself conflicted as to which I chose, in the end it had to be the winter menu. First course was a lovely beef carpaccio with sliced celeriac, with nuts and a beautiful dressing. I then had Haddock with clams and artichoke, again beautifully presented Main was a superb rack of lamb with a selection of vegetables and a small piece of lamb shank too. Pre dessert was a superb Tiramasu Main dessert was the best Soufflé (pistachio and chocolate sauce) I gave had. Lovely efficient staff sadly other venues have invited me to visit the kitchen and meet chef, not on this occasion. Toilets clean but a little compact. Only minor complaint, the door needs an inner door, as each time it opened I was assaulted by a strong blast of cold air."
|Wine per bottle||£28.00|
An elegant and refined, if perhaps rather anonymous, addition to the Gordon Ramsay empire, on the former Mayfair site of Zen Central (RIP); Angela Hartnett's Italian-influenced menu is the highlight of an impressive across-the-board performance.
Gordon Ramsay is so omnipresent in the media nowadays that it's easy to forget that the number of undoubted 'hit' London restaurants with which he has ever been associated is precisely three - the Royal Hospital Road flagship and maze (plus Grill), and the now-departed Pétrus. Everything else is media hype and (largely) Michelin-sustained nonsense.
That's not to say that the other restaurants have necessarily been bad, just that there's been nothing outstanding about them. Angela Hartnett - chef at this latest venture - is a case in point. We always felt her gig at the Connaught was a middle-ranker which was wildly over-praised in some quarters (a view consistently upheld by responses to our survey). Our expectations of the new venture, near Shepherd Market, were therefore not that high.
Well, it just goes to show' This turns out to be one of the best openings of 2008. That's not the least of the surprises. Especially as Ms Hartnett's PR machine is always banging on about her Italian heritage, it's something of a surprise to find that the menu is, at most, 'half-Italian' (the remaining bit being largely French). (This applies to the standard and dégustation menus, and also to the very good-value lunch.) Nor were we expecting a grand wine list of biblical proportions and diverse inspiration' and with 'entry-level' glasses at around a fiver.
Service is excellent. Of course, you expect a polished performance in a swanky Mayfair joint, but the attention to detail here is first-rate, generally (if not quite invariably) avoiding a descent into servility.
Prices - especially for lunch - are not excessive, for the area. For the record we enjoyed lunch for two, with a couple of glasses of wine and unrudgingly-brought tap water, for about £85. Highlights included the bread selection, a chicken and foie gras terrine, a monkfish 'stew' and an almond tart. Best of all, perhaps, were the vast array of inter-course and post-meal twiddles, which included an outstanding basil sorbet, plus some wonderful chocolates and wafer-thin brandysnaps.
On the downside, most reviewers have found the general style of the place to be rather anonymous, and this is a criticism with which it is hard to disagree. You could be inside an hotel. That said, the lavishness of the décor is executed in a very comfortable way. Like all other aspects of the operation, it seems well tuned to the Mayfair market at which the establishment so elegantly aims.
20-22 Queen St, London, W1J 5PP
|Monday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-11 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-11 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-11 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-11 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-11 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-3 pm, 6:30 pm-11 pm|