Berners Tavern is Jason Atherton’s latest restaurant (he also owns Michelin starred Pollen Street Social, Little Social and Social Eating House) and it is situated inside the rather stylish London Edition Hotel. The hotel is a joint venture between Ian Schrager (a big American hotelier) and Marriott Hotels and is set to feature an exclusive night club and two bars alongside its 173 rooms.
As we entered the restaurant through it’s own entrance we were taken aback by the beauty of the place. The dining room was utterly stunning and with very little deliberation we decided it has to be the best in London. Framed photos that looked like paintings hung on every inch of the walls and the ceiling (originally from its previous use as a Georgian townhouse) was a masterpiece. Our jaws stayed firmly dropped for the entire visit!
To start I opted for the Orkney scallop ceviche, avocado, radish, baby gem, jalapeño and lime ice (£11) which was a very pretty plate of food. Lots of ingredients but surprisingly nothing overpowered each other. The lime sorbet was a great companion for the soft juicy scallops and the thin slices of radish and lettuce added to the freshness; it was delicious.
My gentleman companion went for the crispy Romney Marsh lamb breast, butternut and pecorino fregola with a lamb marrow crumble (£9). The fregola (a type of pasta that was like giant cous cous) was served in a separate dish and was a real hearty addition. The lamb breast had been made into a fritter and was really tasty too.
For main I went for the Cumbrian English rose veal chop, lemon and hazelnut carrots and lemon purée (£19). Other than the lemon purée which was bitterly inedible this dish was divine. The veal was beautifully cooked and had a most welcome smokiness to it. The addition of a deep fried oyster encased in the crispest of breadcrumbs was a rather brilliant one – who knew veal and oyster went so well together.
My gentleman companion went with our waiter’s suggestion of the Creedy Carver duck, braised leg, caramel apples and turnips (£20.50) and didn’t regret it. The duck was perfectly medium-rare and was seriously soft and juicy with a crispy salty skin. Both mains were served alongside a jug of extra jus which was a lovely touch.
We went for two sides; duck fat chips (£4) and some purple sprouting broccoli with almond and lemon (£4) which were both great. The chips were proper chunky chips and had a gloriously crunchy and rich exterior.
We decided to share both puddings. The warm almond brioche, pear compote and ginger sorbet served in a little jar was a totally cockle-warming delight; the sort of thing I’d want to sit and eat on a freezing cold day whilst roasting my chestnuts in front of an open fire.
The chocolate filled donut with a cinnamon sugar coating and almond ice cream was indulgently delicious yet not at all sickly or stodgy. To be sitting in such a grand and beautiful room and be eating a donut was a real treat! The almond sorbet was silky smooth and tasted divine.
We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview lunch at Berners Tavern so the kitchen and front of house were still finding their feet – that said it was a very slick operation indeed. Service was efficient and friendly and the food was delicious. Oh and did I mention that beautiful dining room? You have to see it to believe it! I can’t wait to go back.
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