When I started Ramblings of a Food Addict, it was always my intention to enter the world of fine-dining. Although, the start of my food journey has taken a more casual route veering towards the more trendy, affordable eateries across London, this year my journey becomes even more exciting.
You may have noticed that I’ve added a ‘Michelin’ category with my first Michelin restaurant being towards the latter part of 2014 at Wild Honey. It was time to aim higher and experience my first 2 star restaurant at Hibiscus.
Dining with fellow food bloggers, Mehreen, Gary and Angie, for restaurants the experience can be daunting. With large DSLRs and an extensive gap between eating and trying to get the perfect shot, there is always the risk of food getting cold.
Regardless, Hibiscus took it in their stride and throughout the evening the service was consistently friendly, chatty whilst still being attentive – rather than receiving condescending ‘looks’ that you tend to find (more often than not) when mentioning the term, ‘blogger’.
Hibiscus offers three set menus with three courses at £90pp, six courses at £100pp and eight courses at £120pp. We chose the latter which seemed the best value.
The amuse bouche swiftly arrived with tiny little bites but the stand out flavour was from the gougères oozing strong cheese with the soft sweet pastry.
My first taster of foie gras was quite a pleasant one, with the flavour not being overly strong masked by the cream.
The mushroom, coconut curry powder arrived in an appealing egg carton, served in duck egg shells. Not being a lover of coconut, the subtle hint married with the heavy usage of curry powder was not my favourite.
First course from the set menu was the king crab with smoked haddock and apple which arrived beautifully presented. The apple gel was a lovely accompaniment to both the crab and haddock without being overly sweet.
Cevennes onion consommé was served at the table and had a sharp pickled taste. It certainly wasn’t a dish I would order myself and was my least favourite of the evening.
Appearing in a seashell with truffle and crackers, the scallops were beautifully tender. The crackers had a potent, strong fish taste but seemed a little odd next to the scallops and could have been omitted.
My favourite dish of the evening was the Cornish cod ‘Grenobloise’; beautifully soft, tender and with a delicate soft buttery flavouring. The simplicity of the dish was exquisite and I would die happy if I could eat cod cooked like this everyday.
Dipping into the foie gras, I’m still yet to fathom whether I like the taste. Regardless of the controversy, something about the rich, fatty flavour doesn’t sit right with me.
Venison served with pumpkin and veneur sauce had a strong hint of chocolate throughout the dish which wasn’t unpleasant but the dish overall fell a little short.
Saint Nectaire with sharon fruit and chestnuts was refreshing after the heavier meat dish and was paired beautifully with the nutty cheese.
Pre-dessert of panna cotta was sweet and pleasant but the main dessert of the evening was chocolate millefeuilles with basil ice cream which was a little too subtle to be noted but the chocolate was a nice end to the meal.
Dining at my first two star restaurant, it’s easily noted how much skill, thought and preparation goes into each dish. Disappointingly, the menu didn’t blow me away however the dishes that did stand-out centered around the fish courses. Regardless of my underwhelming experience, the evening was matched with attentive service, brilliant company and of course, delicious lashings of wine and champagne making the evening most certainly (un)memorable.
– Hibiscus, Mayfair