Head to Stratton Street in Green Park and you’ll find The May Fair Kitchen, The May Fair Hotel’s new restaurant. Its focus is the freshest and finest sourced ingredients cooked up into humble but simple dishes – they’re channelling ‘the simple things done well is better than substandard flounce and frills’ vibe.
The interior is a mix of turquoise, camel, low lights and big floor to ceiling windows it’s got the feel of a grand brasserie turned modern restaurant, it’s low key whilst still smart. A glass wall houses decanters and artichokes, the open kitchen runs along one side, whilst a cabinet displays the different cuts of meat and a grand ice display houses the fresh fish and seafood on the menu.
The menu is kept simple, (the restaurant sources all its own ingredients right down to the salt) and is separated into seafood, grill and vegetarian which actually features more than just a goat’s cheese tart, so bonus points there, instead you’ll find the likes of quail’s egg, blue cheese and lemon ravioli. The extensive range of sides are equally as creative, such as samphire with ginger and colcannon potatoes.
We began with steak tartare, which arrived with crisp flat bread and was topped with a quail’s egg, it had a fiery kick and was deliciously smooth and melted perfectly as steak tartare should. Salt and pepper king prawns with fresh chilli and slow roasted garlic were wonderfully fresh with a real chilli punch.
We barely had time to finish our starters before our mains were brought to us, it was less than a minute, given that the restaurant wasn’t busy it wasn’t as if they had to get us out quickly, it felt all too rushed. It needed to be slowed right down for us to savour our steak. A rare steak was verging on medium and we were divided on the ‘real chips’ – they were thick and chunky as chips should be. I thought they were a little dry however, but my friend was sold on them.
Iberian Peninsula spiced chorizo and smoked garlic prawns were delicious, full of flavour, generous chunks and perfect when drizzled in garlic butter. Match them with the lobster mash if you can’t face the tackling a whole lobster, it’s served with tarragon and capers and it really was brilliant.
Crab and fennel croquettes, had a more subtle flavour, picture croquettes and you picture small bite sized pieces, these however were more like the size of a large sausage and aesthetically, well they weren’t that appealing, whilst steamed vegetable en papillote were a little underwhelming.
Baked bramley Tart tatin was sweet, crisp, light and served with silky Madagascan vanilla pod ice cream, whilst a chocolate fondant arrived with a foil casing on it – you know the sort shop-bought jam tarts come in, which seemed rather unnecessary but the presentation didn’t reflect the taste. It was rich and oozed chocolate sauce over the salted caramel sauce and honeycomb.
On reflection some parts were spot on, the lobster mash, the steak tartare and the general ambience, but other areas needed a little work mainly the timings.