I first visited Simon Rogan’s restaurant Fera in Claridge’s (he also owns SR at The French and L’Enclume) back when it first opened and I loved everything about it. I was excited to return for lunch to see if it was just as wonderful and it really was. They’ve now introduced a set lunch menu priced at £35 for three courses but we opted for the whole kaboodle; a 10 course tasting menu priced at £95 per person. The dining room is a real stunner; big and bold without being garish. Stained glass panels in the ceiling and a withered looking tree in the centre of the room make it a unique space. The food was nothing short of outstanding. Snacks got us going; stewed rabbit with lovage; mackerel, horseradish and seaweed; Tunworth, duck and potato – not one was a dud. Swede dumplings, served in a beautiful wooden bowl, featured shed loads of Isle of Mull cheese and grated truffle; I could have eaten ten bowls of the stuff. Bread, which came with a light and fluffy butter served in a dish NOT on a pebble (take that @WeWantPlates!), had a chocolatey/Guinness flavour going on which was so moreish I had to actually stop myself from constantly asking for more. Organic carrot with insanely thin sheets of cured saddleback was a delicately balanced plate of food. The same could be said for the scallops from Gairloch, anise and red pak choi, squid and elderberry vinegar. The flavours blended so harmoniously – every component had a place and a purpose. Next up, a small chunk of monkfish, which was drenched in a frothy brown butter sauce, tasted so fresh I could have been eating it on the fishing boat that caught it. Roe deer with caramelised shallots and chicory was a thing of beauty. The contrast between the smoked beetroot and sweet cauliflower was most intriguing yet totally successful. After a meal like that, desserts of fennel, honey and beer and aerated sheep’s yoghurt with forced rhubarb (which was a bit too sharp and chewy for me) are just what you need. Nice and light with a brilliant and clever balance between sweet and savoury. Fera is easily one of my favourite restaurants in London. The service, the food, the room; the whole experience is just special. You feel like you’re in safe hands from the minute you walk in the door and it’s enough to make you never want to leave.
I dined as a guest of the restaurant