Harden's survey result
“There is nowhere better in the North West” than Marc Williamson’s “very special” 12-seater on the fringe of Birkenhead. “Very much a labour of the chef’s love, it is unique and hard to compare as his talent is invested into every conceivable aspect of the experience”. “It’s a fantastic effort all around, the music, the ambience; staff who are excellent, attentive, friendly and professional; but the best is the food, with exceptional taste and flavours”. And it has “a brilliant wine list – exciting and well priced – for a small restaurant” too.
“Mark Wilkinson seems to be taking the cuisine to another level” at his “small but perfectly formed” 12-cover foodie Mecca, on the fringe of Birkenhead. His “dazzling, flavour-packed and perfect” dishes are married with “playful” décor and “superb and attentive” service. “Hard to get a booking, but worth the hassle!”
“It’s impossible to book” nowadays at Marc Wilkinson’s “one-of-a-kind” (and fairly small) Wirral dining room (perhaps something to do with his success last year, when he topped our Top-100 UK Restaurants?) “You should keep trying though as you won’t be disappointed” – “brilliant dish follows brilliant dish” from “an amazing menu full of surprises”.
“Mark Wilkinson is a brilliant one-of-a-kind”, and his “marvellous”, “artful” cuisine made this “serene” but unshowy Wirral dining room this year’s UK’s No. 1 in the survey; “in Tour de France parlance, «hors catégorie!»”.
Fraiche Restaurant Diner Reviews
"It was immediately obvious that things had developed since our last visit. It is still very difficult to get a booking on any particular day and we were lucky enough to find a relatively convenient date on the first day of booking for three months ahead, but we were not prepared for the digitalisation of the menu - we were handed an iPad style screen with the details of the dishes and a very spare wine list, which made no distinction between by-the-glass and bottle, apart from the price, and the relative cheapness of some of the bottles made one imagine that they might be halves. The wondrous glass wall sculptures had been replaced by computerised light shows, a shame in our eyes, and the seating arrangement was more akin to an 80s coffee bar set-up. We just hoped that the food, which had previously raved about, would still have that wow factor and the almost poetic note shown in the anonymous little handout accompanying the menu. The canapés started arriving almost before we had settled in, a red pepper shot preceding spiced pecans, which were followed by cheese jelly with pine nuts, a yuzu gel and a clever sourdough cream, and then, in quick order, a tomato mousse with small chunks of feta. The West Country smoked salmon was elevated by a super bergamot cream and some smoked almonds, but the overall pleasure was diminished by the grated pineapple, even though it was not as acidic as it might have been. The Orkney scallops with a dashi sauce, grape gel, samphire, and hints of radish had an almost caramelised note which was not very pleasant. Granary and treacle breads were then served before the next course which took the form of a parsley mousse backed up by hazelnuts, garden salad leaves and buttermilk cream, and which was quite unremarkable. A tiny and not uniformly perfect portion of monkfish followed supported by rather bland carrot cream, trendy puffed rice, and accents of black olive. Not for the first time we were told that the reason for importing guinea fowl from the Loire was that it is simply superior to anything in the UK, and it has to be said that the bird was outstanding - the confit leg in particular - as was the artichoke heart, although the textures of onion, the ceps, and the nasturtium leaves did nothing to help. The two desserts, apricot sorbet with rice and frozen lemon verbena, and blackberries with coffee meringue, white strawberries and pistachio cake failed to make a lasting impression. Our fond memories were not lived up to."
11 Rose Mount, Oxton, CH43 5SG
|Wednesday||7 pm-9:30 pm|
|Thursday||7 pm-9:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-9:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-9:30 pm|