New? Spanking new restaurant with a modern feel and a cracking new tapas menu sampling delights from across the Med (sun not included).
Where? The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, Mayfair W1J 8LT www.mayfairkitchen.co.uk
On the menu: Achingly good Spanish and Italian tapas with a plethora of plates to suit all tastes, you won’t get bored picking and choosing your favourite dishes and will almost certainly leave wishing you hadn’t had that last white sangria…
First Impressions: After a great gin and tonic sitting outside in the evening summer sunshine, we wandered in to a relaxed restaurant immediately wishing we had invited an army of friends to enjoy the evening with us. The team of chefs were clearly visible through the kitchen.
The Look: Imagine a cross between a chic modern Spanish hacienda and a converted Italian vineyard cellar – this is a place that caters for all occasions, be it a romantic sharing dinner for two or a large party for a birthday – make sure you book the spectacular oak table in the centre. There is also a smart private dining room and even terrace bar for those partial to a post dinner digestivo.
What We Ate: Where do I start? The food was incredible, far more tasty than any tapas restaurant we have been to recently. Definitely not your stuffy Spanish tapas bar, here, classic dishes are reworked to delight the taste buds. From the Chilean sea bass with padron shiso walsa which was full of flavour and cooked to perfection to the tomato and manchego arancini with spicy mayonnaise and king crab ravioli we were spoilt from start to finish.
What We Drank: White Sangria – infused with lychee, elderflower and lemon. Lots of it. Oh – and try the Amalfi cocktail, you’ll need at least four of those as well.
Go With: People you like sharing with – your friends, your wife, your conquistador, your relatives – this place caters for all but beware, lots of small plates doth not mean a lot of small bills at the end.
Final Word: It wasn’t perfect – but that is what made it perfect in our eyes. The May Fair Kitchen has re-kindled our love of tapas and it’s great to see it evolving once more into exciting new styles and dishes here. Apparently tapas originated in Spain, where King Alfonso 10th had once been stricken with a serious illness which only allowed him to take in small portions of food with small amounts of wine. Needless to say – we didn’t have this problem here. A truly wonderful place to eat out. Watch this space…