Neo Bistro, Mayfair

If like us, you’re a fan of Anglo, the restaurant from Mark Jarvis in Farringdon, then you’re likely to love his new place, Neo Bistro, just off Bond Street.

With the facade of its previous incarnation as The Woodstock pub, you could easily walk past it, as we did. Twice. Inside it’s not your beat up old boozer however, it’s far more plain and simple – exposed brick, white walls and an open kitchen. Everything feels very chilled out.

Between the a la carte or tasting menu options we go for the latter (£42). It starts with bread and seaweed butter. The crust on the bread is chewy and treacly making it the perfect vehicle for the butter – which is incredible by the way. Venison chorizo has a soft, loose texture and cured pork has just the right amount of fat to make me happy.

Cornish crab with courgette is a light little number. The courgettes are raw and totally refreshing while toasted pine nuts add some texture. The duck in ‘beetroot and duck’ is cured, with the texture of raw bacon which is surprisingly satisfying, transforming the otherwise ordinary beetroot.

Turbot, again from Cornwall, comes with bitter cabbage, far too bitter to eat on its own. But with the sweet fish and salty white anchovy sauce, it’s a perfect mouthful. So well balanced. Anjou pigeon is an £8 supplement – worth it mind as it comes with green strawberries which is a combination you really must try to believe it works.

Our final savoury dish is Herdwick lamb with eel – another cracking combo. The lamb fat – regular readers of this blog (that’s you Mum) will know of my love affair with animal fat – is crispy and salty and ruddy lovely.

We finish with one simple slice of chocolate tart and malt ice cream. IT’S THE BEST CHOCOLATE TART I HAVE EVER EATEN.

This is a really solid new opening – the sort of restaurant you could believe has been open for months not days. The service is really sweet too – not garish or intimidating, instead, as relaxed as the surroundings. Neo Bistro, I like you very much.

Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant

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