Fera at Claridge’s is Simon Rogan’s 2014 London venture at what used to be Gordon Ramsay’s art deco dining room. Remodelled with a chic olive grey and silver colour scheme, this is without any doubt one of the most stylish dining rooms in London.
The food served is equally beautiful too. This is partly achieved through the way Rogan sources and selects his ingredients. With the amount of greenery and flowers on show, he gives Columbia Road market a run for its money, though these impressive dishes are also a result of his meticulous, artistic style. But what about the food and its flavour?
Strangely, Fera was a bit of a roller-coaster experience for us. Strange, because months and months of preparation would have gone into creating these menus. Successful influences would have been adopted from his **2 star l’Enclume and elsewhere. While some dishes were wonderful, others were just nice or even a bit flat. A shorter, punchier menu could have achieved a higher level of consistency with less work. That said, the wonderful things were outstanding, so the overall feeling we came away with was very, very good.
Among the exceptional dishes was the alligot style potato foam mise-en-bouche. With an unbelievably rich duck jus, it was a great piece of art, which certainly revolutionised the French dish from Aubrac. The foam, was so light and strong with its cheese flavour; this was a master-class in treating a classic with a twist….MA-GNI-FIQUE!
The stand-out starter took inspiration from the victorious Great British Menu grilled salad. With a fresh taste, laced with another strong cheese flavour, the balance was perfect, while the hint of truffle on the ‘custard’ added a welcome depth to the background.
Though when it came to the main courses, we felt less impressed. Particularly after the sensational level of the mise-en-bouches and other courses that had gone before. Classical and rustic, the brill was a nice dish – however – it was a bit overdone and was served with bland blewit mushrooms, when another variety could have provided more power.
Other dishes that lacked a punch across the menu included the asparagus with mushrooms, the beef (tartare) and the apple and sorrel dessert.
That said, we think that Fera will certainly be awarded*1 star. Dine with Mr. Rogan and his front-of-house team will go one step better and give you the full **2 star treatment. Plates will come from his precision kitchen looking like an artist put them together. Produce will be quirky and mixed in clever ways. Fera is certainly something new for London to contemplate. The mix of the art deco decor and the avant garde cuisine will be one for sure.