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tasting menu west end/mayfair [london]

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uniqueusername Jan 7, 2013 05:40 AM

I want to book somewhere delicious and special for my partner's birthday dinner in a few weeks time. Location needs to be Soho/Mayfair or very close by. Ideally I'd like somewhere with a great tasting menu at around £70/£80 a head maximum. Any suggestions/recommendations?

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    ManInTransit RE: uniqueusername Jan 7, 2013 05:46 AM

    In that price bracket I'd recommend Pollen Street Social, Alyn Williams or Texture for tasting menus.

    You could also afford to go to the Square or Marcus Wareing for the a la carte menus (with lots of extras) which might be more special.

    From that list I'd say that PSS is the most interesting creative food, the Square has the best food overall, Marcus Wareing the best all-round class for a special experience and Alyn Williams streets ahead on best value.

    Any questions let us know.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ManInTransit
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      brokentelephone RE: ManInTransit Jan 7, 2013 10:06 AM

      Agree, re: PSS. Was just there and it was really excellent. An excellent lunchtime value at 24£ for 2 courses and £27.50 for 3.

      1. re: ManInTransit
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        uniqueusername RE: ManInTransit Jan 9, 2013 09:13 AM

        Thanks. :) We have been to Pollen Street Social and loved it but it's not really special enough for what I'm after for this meal.

        The Square sounds like a good idea actually. I was a bit closed minded and struck it off the list when I saw the price of the tasting menu but a la carte is a great idea :)

        1. re: uniqueusername
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          brokentelephone RE: uniqueusername Jan 9, 2013 09:25 AM

          I went to Kitchen W8 the other night and thought it was fantastic -- the reason I mention is that it's Philip Howard's lesser restaurant so The Square must be bananas (in pajamas)!

          Totally useless post, my pleasure!

          1. re: uniqueusername
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            ManInTransit RE: uniqueusername Jan 9, 2013 09:27 AM

            I think it depends what you're looking for in that if the food is the most important thing then you should definitely go to The Square, it is incredible.

            If food is very important but you are also wanting a lovely room and service then the food at Marcus Wareing is just a touch less finessed than The Square but the service and room are significantly better. The Square as a venue is a bit of an uninspiring place to have dinner in my view while MW is fantastic.

            I think that finding a tasting menu for less than £80 that is significantly better than PSS is probably going to be quite difficult but the ALC experience at those two restaurants is going to take a long time and you can linger over champagne at the start and coffee at the end.

            The alternative of Alyn Williams is very good - the room is quite grand and the service is good and the tasting menu at £60 is an absolute steal. That might mean you could put money towards champagne, better wine etc. I think you can't go wrong with those three.

          2. re: ManInTransit
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            uniqueusername RE: ManInTransit Jan 9, 2013 09:14 AM

            oops, sorry, posted my reply in the wrong place! see below (and thanks!)

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            helen b RE: uniqueusername Jan 8, 2013 01:16 AM

            I'd second The Square, which I preferred over Marcus Wareing. The latter didn't blow me away, particularly the rather prosaic foie gras starter. If you go ALC at the Square there's enough freebies thrown in that it feels like a tasting anyway. One of you needs to have the mackerel from the Great British Menu, brilliant!

            1 Reply
            1. re: helen b
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              uniqueusername RE: helen b Jan 9, 2013 09:13 AM

              thanks, that sounds like a great idea! :)

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              uniqueusername RE: uniqueusername Jan 24, 2013 08:04 AM

              To report back:
              We did go for a la carte at The Square in the end, and were very happy with the decision. Lots of freebies as you all said which made it a lovely long and pampering experience. Service was great - attentive and knowlegable but relaxed. Food was superb, especially the crab lasagne I had to start - very indulgent and perfectly executed. Probably the only negative was that we were sandwiched between two large groups of business diners, but I guess that's what you get on a Wednesday in Mayfair, and it didn't really make too much of a difference once the food started arriving.

              Thanks for the suggestion all.

              1 Reply
              1. re: uniqueusername
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                ManInTransit RE: uniqueusername Jan 24, 2013 09:12 AM

                Glad to hear it - the crab lasagne dish is incredible I think, one of the best dishes I've eaten in London.

                The atmosphere and room are the big issue with the Square - the food is flawless but it is a bit drab and businessy.

                Really glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reporting back.

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