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Marcus

Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, LONDON, SW1X 7RL

5 rosettes

Recognition by first name alone must surely be considered a sign of success in the cheffing game. Marcus's national recognition is helped by appearances on the Beeb's MasterChef: The Professionals, which lays bare Mr Wareing's evident passion for his profession, not to mention his exacting standards and supreme technical ability. He's been a big-hitter on the London dining scene for a lot longer than he's been a 'face' on TV, and The Berkley remains the place to head for if you really want to get a measure of the man. Walk confidently past the limos outside, breeze through the lobby, proceed through the Caramel Room, and expect a sincere greeting from the team out front. The room itself has a sleek contemporary finish, nothing too stiff, with some vivid modern art to add splashes of colour. Mark Froydenlund is the man charged with delivering the Marcus Wareing style, which is rooted in classical good sense, with modern ideas introduced in a measured and assured way. Everything looks stunning on the plate, and, like every top chef, Wareing ensures the very best produce finds its way into his kitchen. The set lunch menu is a great value introduction to the place, while the tasting menu offers the opportunity to go the whole hog (an excellent vegetarian value is one of the most eyecatching in the capital). It all kicks off with dynamic little canapés such as red polenta topped with black olive crumb, and then there's fennel and polenta bread that lingers long in the memory. First course proper might be a crabby number that sees the crustacean shipped up from Dorset and served as crisp beignet, au naturel and added to a rich sauce, with chargrilled courgette, white peach and cobnuts completing a masterclass of complementary flavours and textures. Among main courses, pink and tender grouse stars in a dish with fontina cheese and a bang-on bread sauce, with little kicks of sweetness from the accompanying plump red grapes, while Herdwick lamb is enriched with anchovies, and sea bass gets a zesty hit from bergamot. There's plenty of showboating when it comes to dessert, with the kitchen pulling out the stops to deliver the likes of a combination of white chocolate, blackcurrant and coconut, or another that brings out the best of the classic combination of lemon and meringue with the additional flavour of iced tea. Save room for the stupendous cheeses, delivered via a trolley, but it's all too easy to blow the budget on something from the stellar wine list - over 1,000 bins - which includes the option to taste some of the rarer wines by the glass.

Further information

Tel: 020 7235 1200
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

Days closed: Sun
Dates closed: 4-10 Jan

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern European, British
Chef: Marcus Wareing, Mark Froydenlund
Number of seats: 90
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 4
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.

 
 
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Nearest station: Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner

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