I’ve become a big fan of Chef Shaun Rankin over the past year after trying his restaurants Hay Hill in London and Ormer in his adopted home of Jersey. With a menu of uncomplicated, yet excellent food, Shaun is well known for using seasonable and sustainable ingredients that make the most of the exquisite produce from the island of Jersey. I visited Jersey last year, and I was also totally inspired by the beautiful island with its friendly locals, beautiful beaches and totally laid back way of life….and the food…oh the food!!
That being said, I’m glad I don’t need to get on a plane every time I want to enjoy that excellent Jersey food as Shaun Rankin’s latest restaurant is right here in London!
Ormer Mayfair is located in beautiful boutique hotel Flemings, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and one of the oldest hotels in London. With a recent refurbishment Flemings was looking super sleek and down in the basement Ormer Mayfair has the feeling of private member’s club. With wood panelled walls, green leather chairs and table lamps the feeling is classic but fresh and modern. Any meal that started with a trolley of sparkling wine is going to be a good one! And at Ormer there’s a hand picked selection of bubbly from across the world.
Feeling patriotic, my companion Eleanor and I opted for the English Sparkling Wine from Ridgeview created in the South Downs of England. I can see why the wine is award-winning and the delicious crisp bubbly is even the official supplier to Downing Street.
Though it was our first time having lunch together, Eleanor and I soon discovered we had similar taste and we selected a few dishes we’d both liked to try as a salt cod amuse bouche was placed on the table. Also having both recently visited Jersey, staying in the Atlantic hotel and eating at the original Michelin-starred Ormer we both had similar frames of reference.
The lobster ravioli is the signature dish – I’ve had it before and it really is a must try. With a perfectly made layer of fresh pasta encompassing seafood straight from Jersey in a tomato and crab bisque with a small shallot salad.
Sticking with great Spring dishes I chose asparagus with a duck egg and pecorino espumo. I was expecting more of a light foam instead of what turned out to be more like a sauce. Personally I think a really good fresh asparagus doesn’t need to be covered in sauce but I still enjoyed the combination and the egg was poached to perfection.
Salt baked sea bass comes to the table still in the salt crust and the waiter cracked it open to present on the table alongside parma ham, a tomato fondue and delicious artichokes. Baked seabass in salt really holds in all the flavour and the fish was really succulent. One of the best things on the plate however was a another morsel of that incredible fresh pasta. Something that they do really well an Ormer.
My turbot was cooked well and I really enjoyed the different textures of cauliflower and the pine nut crust. However there was a slight flavour that I couldn’t put my finger on that over powered the dish and it was also a little too salty.
Just as we were finishing our main courses, chef Kerth Gumbs popped out to say hi! Originally from the Caribbean, Kerth moved to London to work in numerous starry kitchens alongside the likes of Tom Aikens and Joel Robuchon. Most recently he’s been in Singapore where he joined Jason Atherton in setting up Esquina. Kerth is hoping to follow the course of the original Ormer by gaining his own Michelin star for Ormer Mayfair.
We asked him what his favourite dishes were on the menu but he said it totally depended on his mood but gave us a recommendation for a dessert choice.
The pieces of the dessert fit together like a pretty puzzle and I loved the geometric shapes and abstract art feel of the dessert. It’s also the perfect spring or summer dessert as the strawberry mousse is very light. The pairing with watermelon, gin, cucumber and basil make it feel like a refreshing cocktail on a plate and its the perfect way to complete the meal.
Lunch at Ormer really took me back to the fantastic flavours and produce that I experienced in Jersey last year and it’s a great addition to the London restaurant scene.
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7 – 12 Half Moon Street