The pressure of having **2 Michelin stars is not only do you have keep up standards year-on-year for the critics, but you also need to fulfil the expectations of diners who come for that extra special experience; perhaps the more daunting task for the restaurateur. Regular diners will spot small faults while first-timers will want to be “wowed”. Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley achieves this effortlessly and it’s not by luck.
Aesthetics and service are wonderful at The Berkeley. The dining room is calm, spread-out yet still animated with a mix of business and private clients. Front-of-house staff are charming, friendly and excellent at their respective roles. However, it’s Wareing’s menu that truly makes this experience unforgettable.
After a deeply tasty ricotta foam and pumpkin velouté amuse bouche, the courses start. Wareing, while showing-off his classical skills successfully adds modern twists to great effect. Rich pan-fried scallops are teamed-up with snails, roasted garlic and a slow- poached egg. The egg yolk serves as a rich sauce, mixing with a fresh green salsa. The smoky paste of garlic is delicate against the crispy snails and scallops, which simply melt. A dish that has some traditional flavour combinations alongside more experimental ones is pulled together by a variety of textures, depths in flavour and outstanding produce.
The Anjou pigeon is also wonderfully balanced for a dish that could be quite rich. The stand-out product on this plate is the hipsi cabbage, which has been picked with a sweet and sour flavour, allowing it to cut through the stronger elements on the plate. The pigeon itself is delicate and soft and is served with an intense glaze. Nasturtium leaves give each mouthful a peppery bite.
Desserts are simply faultless and offer something for everyone. Wareing still serves the custard tart that was presented to The Queen for her 80th birthday as part of the Great British Menu banquet. It’s a seriously light and delicious piece of patisserie.
Truly an outstanding meal which goes beyond the **2 stars that Michelin has awarded. Faultless on all courses and the overall experience. Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley is a PLUS for the vialaporte team.