Marcus * | London (UK)

A wonderful showcase of seasonal flavours and ingredients.
Each dish offered something different in terms of taste and originality.

Marcus Wareing’s eponymous restaurant is located at the 5 star Berkeley Hotel right in the middle of Knightsbridge, London (UK). The dining room is dark and glamorous, with large windows covered by sheer curtains, and spacious, deep-purple leather banquette seats surrounding large, white linen-topped tables. I must say, most restaurants situated in a hotel lack atmosphere or that restaurant feel, but not here. A dining room that suits the Belgravia environment.

Beginning of 2017, Mark and Shauna Froydenlund took over the rein of the Marcus’ kitchen. The husband and wife became joint Head Chefs and partners of Marcus. Both have been working for Marcus for over 10 years now and actually met at Marcus. Mark worked for Marcus Wareing since his training at Westminster Kingsway (when the restaurant was still called Pétrus and was owned by Gordon Ramsay). Mark worked his way up from Commies Chef to Head Chef (a feat he achieved at age 27). Shauna came to the restaurant from Ireland as part of her degree in hospitalityand business managment with culinary arts about 12 years ago.

Marcus has held two Michelin stars for nine years, first getting the honour in 2009. Unfortunately they lost one star last October when the 2019 stars were announced.

Marcus is open 6 days a week for lunch and dinner and is closed on Sunday’s. They offer an à la carte menu (3-courses at £90), a 5-course lunch menu (at £55 and on Saturday’s £60), and Taste of Winter menu with 5-courses (at £115) or 8-courses (at £135).
We went for lunch last week and had the 5-course lunch menu, with wine pairing (at £55).

Wagyu Salami with Fennel & Honey

First a little taste from the Chef. Little bit of fennel and honey underneath the salami blended nicely with the Wagyu beef. Could do with a plate of this!

Amuse Bouches

Two amuse bouches to continue. Halibut fishcake with lemongrass mayo and tempura of Pollack. Both deep-freed but no greasy feeling at all. Halibut fishcake had nice balance with the potato. and the freshness of the lemongrass to go with it. The tempura tasted like puffed crisps (in the nicest way). Great bites to start off with.

Bread & Butter

Soda bread, baguette and a delicious crusty fennel flavoured bread. The spice of the fennel was a nice complement to the warmth of the bread, which seems to bring out the scent. This was paired with a very good Irish butter.

Sourdough Crumpet, Shellfish Bisque, Dill & Shallot Essence

First course was a good airy crumpet with some fresh salmon on top. The bisque was just marvellous, full of flavour.

Sourdough Crumpet, Wild Mushrooms with Mushroom Jus

As Joanne doesn’t eat raw fish, she got a crumpet with mushrooms. Also very enjoyable. I preferred mine though!

Jerusalem Artichoke Cannelloni, Tahini Emulsion, Goat’s Cheese

Crispy kale cabbage with crispy cannelloni, tahini cream based on sesame seeds and artichoke cream in the cannelloni and a bit of goat cheese on top. Smooth flavours very subtle. The dish gives a luxurious feel. Lovely!

Roasted Cod, Fennel Cream, Lovage Salsa Verde, Matelote Sauce

Dish looked stunning. Cod perfectly cooked, fennel cream nice and silky and a divine lovage salsa verde. Unfortunately the cod was way too salty. It was just not eatable, so we had to send it back. A real shame as it was a great dish.

The staff handled it perfectly. They took our dishes away without question. We could have the same dish again, but they suggested the turbot from the à la carte menu as a replacement. Which we gladly accepted.

Turbot, Dorset Snails, Razor Clam, Delica pumpkin

And we were not disappointed! What an excellent dish. The turbot was wonderful, falling apart on my fork and melting delicately in my mouth. It was paired nicely with the green, salty seaweed and creamy pumpkin and the flavour of the razor clam jus came through gently. The snails were prepared beautifully and gave an earthy flavour (almost like black pudding) which brought the right complexity to the dish. Everything spot on!

Butter Poached Guinea Fowl Breast and Leg, King Oyster Mushroom, Hispi Cabbage

The guinea fowl breast was so soft and moist and full of flavour. Together with the crackling crumb it was just divine! The confit of the leg and the cabbage were unfortunately way too salty (again). Eating it separately was not pleasant at all. When tasting everything together, it kind of balanced out a bit, but still. I didn’t want to complain again on the same issue, so we left it there. But it was disappointing, especially because everything on the dish was great. Just the seasoning that let it down.

Nutmeg and Custard Tart, Yorkshire Rhubarb, Almond Granola, Vanilla

The custard tart was so velvety and the nutmeg on top made it really delicate. Really hits the mark. The rhubarb was nice and sharp. A great signature dish!

Sweet Treats

The lunch was a wonderful showcase of seasonal flavours and ingredients with sweet, savoury, rich and delicate all coming together to create a pretty excellent meal and experience. Each dish offered something different in terms of taste and originality. It was a real shame that two dishes were way too salty, but as said it was handled well by the staff and it didn’t ruin the overall experience in any way.

There is a good amount of time between each course for you to relax, it doesn’t feel rushed at all, and the staff are all very much on the ball and well informed about the food and wines. The service was impeccable and plenty of staff to keep the restaurant running with ease.