Murano ★ // Mayfair // London

as expected

There are few things more satisfying than to have a long, leisurely meal in a lovely dining room and to be served beautiful, delicious food. One place that continues to deliver this winning formula is Angela Hartnett’s Murano. And while she manages to orchestrate all the elements of great fine dining at her Mayfair restaurant, it’s still the high-quality ingredients really stand-out and make the whole experience what it is.

Once you’ve got past the heavenly truffled arancini, cured meat and luscious bread, it’s time to ‘start’ your meal. Hartnett’s grilled rabbit has to be one of the most balanced and rewarding meals on her menus. Perfectly pretty, every item on the plate hums with quality. The meat, undoubtedly cooked sous-vide before a gentle pan fry, is so pale in colour and velvety in texture that you might realise that it is in fact rabbit; it simply melts in your mouth. Its companions of a silky corn purée and some earthy, textured Scottish girolles offer sweetness, texture and depth. This dish sounds rich and heavy but it is light and delicate; perhaps the stand out plate.

The summer vegetable salad with crispy gnocchi is another master-class in using simple, excellent ingredients to fantastic effect. Dotted with flecks of herbs, the gnocchi are almost dumpling like in flavour. Soft on the inside and lightly crisped-up in some golden butter, the gnocchi are scattered around a lavish garden of vegetable textures and flavours. Some fresh and crisp, others, lightly pickled and punchy. The dish is garnished with two streaks of purée, one pea, which helps to gather everything up on your fork. The other, an astonishing purée (carrot most likely) has a strong, orange oil essence that reminds you of a refreshing fresh twist of zest.  Overall, this dish shows that vegetarian options can sometimes be the best things to order if you want something original and surprising.

Desserts, are slightly more standard, but the quality of the summer berries served alongside a white chocolate and mint ice cream, is outstanding. Again beautifully plated though perhaps a little safe, the flavours are there to leave you feeling satisfied. The cheese trolley is a good one too, so if you’re not in the mood for sweetness, the enthusiastic staff serve-up hefty plates to go with one of Murano’s fine dessert wines.

Murano is certainly a benchmark *1 star British restaurant. It’s such a pleasure to be able to eat somewhere, where humble ingredients are turned into masterpieces of flavour, texture and art; thank you Angela.

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20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PP (View in a map)

Tel: +44(0)207 495 1127