Friday, January 8, 2010

Maze, London

"How would you fancy a trip to London next week?"
Christmas has come early for me! Hubby invited me to join him in London for a week. I was excited by the prospect of being in London again, doing the touristy things, watching musicals and of course, eating! I was looking forward to eating some good food while i was there.

As soon as I stepped out of Terminal 4 Heathrow Airport, I was greeted by the cold breeze. How I have missed the cold weather here! It was refreshing and I was already looking forward to my trip here.

We chose Maze, one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, located in Grosvenor Square and a short walk from Selfridges for our first Michelin meal. Maze is a 1 Michelin-star restaurant headed by Jason Atherton. Those of you who watch Great British Menu may know him from Season 2 , in which he won the honour to cook both the starter and main course for celebrities and top chefs at The Gherkin. Jason Atherton is also the first British chef to complete a stage at Spain’s famous El Bulli restaurant and has worked under Pierre Koffman, Nico Ladenis and Gordon Ramsay as Executive Chef at Verre in Dubai.

We arrived at the restaurant only to be told that the restaurant was fully booked (lots of people doing Christmas lunches and dinners). Luckily, they could seat us at the bar. We accepted and were led into the restaurant. The restaurant is bright and sleek, very contemporary with tasteful decor. Sitting at the bar wasn't too bad. We felt pretty relaxed since the restaurant has quite an informal feel to it.

The food here is described as "French cuisine adopting Asian influences" and "innovative". We both chose the 4-course "lunch bites" menu to enjoy Maze's signature dishes in tasting-sized portions. Take your pick out of a mixture of savoury or sweet dishes. We went for 3 savoury and 1 sweet dish each. Since it is winter now, most of the savoury dishes on the menu were soup/broth based.

Warm bread with luxurious butter was served as we waited for our first course to arrive.

First course

My first course was Cornish red mullet, tapenade, croutons, aioli, fish soup. The soup arrived on a separate dish and was poured in front of us. The red mullet was firm and the mild flavour of the fish was complimented well by the flavoursome fish soup. On top of the red mullet were 2 lightly toasted croutons spread with tapenade. The slight saltiness of the tapenade, a combination of puréed olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil was appetizing.

Hubby's first course was Onion squash soup, puffed wild rice, ewe’s curd, smoked bacon, braised chicken thighs,chestnut powder. The soup was bursting with flavour, and the braised chicken thighs soft and tasty.

Second course
I am liking the food presentation here! Next to arrive is the Citrus spiced oxtail, wild turnips, horseradish and sour apple risotto. My my my, the food here really delivers on flavour, the oxtail was tender and so flavoursome. The risotto was slightly sourish from the apples.

Before the waiter poured soup onto Hubby's next course, I whipped out my camera and took a shot of the 'Scotch broth’ roasted halibut, black pudding, Argyle ham, samphire, turnip purée. The fish was firm and fleshy and is so lovely to eat with the "scotch broth" sauce. The scotch broth in this dish was not a broth as such, but rather a flavoursome sauce made with carrots, turnips, swedes and bacon.

Just before the third course was served, Jason Atherton came out to the dining area to mingle with his patrons. I was delighted when he said 'Hello' to me as he walked past the bar. While others like to spot celebrities, I get the thrill out of chef-spotting.

Third course

We both ordered the Braised shoulder of aged lamb, faggot, parsnip purée, pear jam, ox-eye daisy, cob-nuts and pomme puree. OMG I so need to rave about the pomme puree here (mashed potatoes)! The creamiest, smoothest, loveliest mash ever! It really is VERY GOOD - so good it kind of stole the thunder from the lamb. Not that the lamb wasn't good, in fact it was delicious and tender.

Last course

Now for desserts, Hubby made the better choice. He had the Devon milk and yoghurt mousse, winter berry sorbet, dried winter fruits and oats, berry syrup. He chose this because we wanted to try different desserts and he let me choose first. It worked out well for him as the mousse with winter berry sorbet was light, sweet and delicious.

I had the Devonshire rice pudding, spiced blackberry jam, clotted cream and blackberry ripple ice cream. The rice pudding was rich and tangy, but was lacking presentation wise. But I guess there's only so much you can do to make rice pudding aesthetically pleasing.

To end, petit fours in the form of fudge, dark chocolate and sugar coated jellies.

Verdict: Although the menu stated that the dishes would be in tasting sizes, I felt that they were quite generous portions. The food was innovative and bursting with flavours. We left feeling very satisfied. This was definitely one of my favorite meals in London.

For a full list of 1 Michelin-star restaurants in London, click here.

Dress code: Casual

Service: Good.

Price: £28.50 for 4 dishes.

Location: Maze, 10-13 Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 6JP (adjacent to London Marriott)

Nearest tube: Bond Street


  1. nice food in London..
    i never tried such fancy food in London.. haha.. tight on budget.. =P

  2. kenwooi: Eating in Maze was a great experience. You should try fine dining at least once while you are still in the UK.

    jfook: My tastebuds are tantalised everytime I look back at the pictures...

    More blogs of London restaurants coming soon... stay tuned!

  3. Victoria Beckham & Eva Longoria dining at Maze (Sep 2010)

  4. London is famous for its amazing food destination. I got a chance to visit London during my business trip. During my stay, I had a meal in Maze, and I can say it is one of the best restaurants in london. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was overwhelming.


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