Ormer Mayfair, Flemings Hotel, 7-12 Half Moon Street, W1
WHAT: A proper fine dining restaurant in a proper old Mayfair location, Flemings Hotel, which opened its doors 167 years ago. The ground floor dining room is a lesson in restrained art deco design, with wood panelling, woodland green banquettes and glazed tiles offset by gold accents. It’s traditional with a twist, which is also a neat shorthand for the food.
WHO? Shaun Rankin, whose name will be familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in the British food scene. Having spent 20 years of his career based in Jersey, he’s best known as head chef at another iteration of Ormer on the island (now Samphire Jersey), a venture he left under something of a cloud shortly after taking the reins at Flemings.
THE LUNCH MENU: You’ll get two courses for £27.50 or three for a bargainous £31.50 (not including supplements such as lobster or scallops).
ORDER THIS: Where to start... Lobster ravioli is Rankin’s signature dish and it’s a belter, an intricately crafted cone of pasta packed with crustacean and served with a crab and tomato bisque. Another stand-out was rabbit loin with herb gnocchi and truffle, while the venison is brought to life with a striking chocolate tortellini and medjool date accompaniment. And don’t forget the turbot with a pine nut crust... Ormer warrants multiple visits.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? It’s more of a ‘pleasure’ kind of place – it would be great for a date, in fact – but if you’re on good terms with a client, the intimate feel could help cement your relationship. There’s also a swish art deco bar that’s ideal for after-work drinks.
NEED TO BOOK? Definitely, go to flemings-mayfair.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 016 5601.
THE VERDICT... Great food in the heart of Mayfair from a chef who impresses and surprises in equal measure; a shade over £30 for three courses is excellent value.