England’s culinary scene has never been hotter. A handful of chefs in the nation’s capital are challenging the very idea of classic British cuisine. What has emerged is a celebration of English roots with a delightfully modern twist.
Leading the revolution in innovative British cuisine are a scattering of talented chefs, one being celebrity chef Marcus Wareing. His namesake restaurant, located inside the Berkeley hotel in London’s Knightsbridge district, serves up nouveau british cuisine accented by rich flavors and creative presentation. He also recently opened his second restaurant in St. Pancras: The Gilbert Scott.
Marcus has had quite a diverse career, having worked with Gordon Ramsay, as well as spending time at several great restaurants including Guy Savoy in Paris. Marcus also appeared on the BBC’s “Great British Menu” program and was one of only four British chefs who won the right to serve a course for the Queen’s 80th birthday banquet.
The dining room at Marcus Wareing is outfitted in chocolate hues, with low lighting and plenty of romantic ambiance in the evenings. For an entirely different experience, there’s also a private chef’s table in the kitchen where culinary buffs can ask questions while they watch a dozen busy hands prepare each artful meal.
Chef’s Tasting Menu
The Chef’s Tasting Menu consists of 6 courses paired with wine. Of course once you add in all the extra treats and chef samplers, you’re closer to 8 or 9 dishes in all.
The purpose of this course is to whet your appetite. We started with crunchy cheese brioche puff pastries, followed by bread accompanied by creamy Irish-churned butter and an irresistible caramelized burned brown butter that was bursting with flavor.
Next out was soup—a delicate orange carrot soup that is—served in a small white cup. Each tiny spoonful revealed hints of coriander and perhaps some celery beneath the foamy surface, generously sprinkled with bacon.
The wild asparagus risotto came spread out like a round slab of pancake batter. It was creamy and rich and came topped with a layer of asparagus, obscured beneath delicate slivers of truffles.
The third dish was Dorset crab. This was translated to shredded crab meat gathered in clumps and dribbled with drops of sauce. Raisins, leafy garnishes, and roasted almonds crowned the ensemble.
The next course was Herdwick lamb, perfectly succulent and accompanied by thin wedges of artichoke. Clustered on a bed of nettle soaked in a light sauce, the lamb was accented with the rich flavor of wild garlic.
After course 4, there’s an optional cheese course. Keeping in mind we were only about half way through the menu, we skipped it this time, but do try it if you have room!
Now on to sweets. The fifth course consisted of a tiny glass filled with buttermilk and almond, topped with a juicy pomegranate granita that was refreshing and helped to cleanse the palate for more good things to come.
The finale to the meal was a white chocolate parfait, which was sprinkled with blood oranges and crunchy oat clusters, dusted with spices, and topped with a mound of fruity granita.
Just to sweeten the meal, the chef’s menu comes with a chocolate send off: 2 rich, dark chocolates from Ecuador flavored with caramel and sea salt, and 2 water-based chocolates that were made sans milk.
Marcus Wareing is one of the few well-known chefs who is in the kitchen most days and is a gracious host who is always happy to meet his guests—just tell the staff if you’d like to say hello!
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL, United Kingdom
T: +44 207 235 1200