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Hibiscus

29 Maddox Street, Mayfair, LONDON, W1S 2PA

5 rosettes

Like many a great restaurant, Hibiscus doesn't look much from the outside. But once you step over the threshold and into the dining room, you just know you're somewhere special. A revamp in early 2013 has resulted in a classy, elegant look, with a pale-wood floor, white walls broken up with modern artwork's, and plushly upholstered blue chairs and banquettes at tables draped in their best white linen. A magnificent central floral display provides a focal point in the room, while the lighting is subtle and the tables well spaced. The front-of-house team, led by Claire Bosi, manages the clever trick of always being on hand when you need something, but otherwise being almost invisible. The whole place exudes an air of confidence and refinement: it's little wonder it's firmly on the foodie map as a must-visit destination in the capital. Claude Bosi is a passionate chef who puts his all into sourcing the best ingredients, mostly from around the UK, and turning them into stunning compositions on the plate. His early career saw him working in some of France's most stellar kitchens, and it's that classical French training, combined with a desire to celebrate the flavours of prime, seasonal produce in dishes which are bold, innovative and with just a hint of rusticity, that defines his own distinctive style. The idea of the tasting menu is given an unusual twist here: you merely choose how many courses you want - either three, six or eight - say whether there's anything in particular that you don't eat, and then leave it up to Bosi to do the rest. If you come for lunch - and at 34.95 per person for three courses why wouldn't you? - there's a more conventional menu to choose from, which is a great introduction to Bosi's modern take on the cusine of his homeland. Smoked guinea fowl and leek terrine with rapeseed emulsion and chicken liver parfait makes a fine opener, or you might go for the celeriac 'risotto' lifted with a good measure of three-year-old parmesan, egg yolk and pink grapefruit. Bosi's delicate touch with fish produces a perfectly moist roast Cornish cod, partnered with wild mushroom orzo and a deeply flavoured langoustine sauce, while rabbit leg confit in hay with glazed wild cabbage and Jerusalem artichokes is a wonderfully earthy-tasting main course which looks a picture on the plate. It's not unusual to see vegetables cropping up in desserts from time to time, but a fine cream of white asparagus (with an incredibly intense flavour) is quite way-out, especially when it comes with black olive and coconut. It really works though, and there are more treats in store if you linger over coffee, with the petits fours including three different flavours of warm madeleines and some chocolates that are out of this world.

Further information

Tel: 020 7629 2999
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

Days closed: Sun-Mon
Dates closed: 10 days Xmas, New Year

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern French
Chef: Claude Bosi
Number of seats: 48
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.

 
 
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Nearest station: Oxford Circus, Marble Arch

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