There seems to be something of a corporate elegance to Mayfair restaurants. Murano reminded us of Hibiscus, with it muted palette. But there’s comfy seats and a front of house team at the top of their game. And an interesting menu setup which puts a spin on the classic Italian multi-course offering. It’s divided into five sections of savoury items plus dessert and you’re invited to order from any, or all, and have them served in the order you choose. We found that a really fun way of doing things.
But, before we got stuck in, there was an array of nibbles to be dealt with. Excellent bread and Parmesan grissini, of course. Truffle arancini were, in themselves, a real “wow”. A blob of chicken liver parfait on a cocktail stick was as good it gets. And then a few thin slices of tasty coppa, together with perfectly ripe melon.
We skipped ordering from what I suppose might be regarded as a starter section and ordered our first two courses from the next two sections – pasta and vegetables. There was parsley cavatelli – an object lesson in how to cook pasta “al dente”. It came with king prawns, carrot and the warmth of ginger, all in a beurre blanc. Absolutely fantastic. Equally as good were tortellini, stuffed with rabbit leg and sitting on a little spinach. Thin curls of raw courgette decorated one of the next plates, there’s a scattering of warm pea fritters, a dab here and there of goats cheese and pea cream and a scattering of fresh peas. Really delicious and bang-on for seasonality. Across the table, there’s a panzanella salad, using some of that lovely bread and a soft burrata.
There was, I suppose, a more traditional feel to the fish course. One of us went for John Dory, served with softened heritage tomatoes, and artichoke puree and a couple of bits of new potato. Monkfish was served with heritage cauliflower, one piece almost black, with the bitterness of grilled radicchio softened by raisins and salted by the inclusion of a little guanciale.
Rack of lamb was perfectly cooked, if a little overly fatty. There’s sweetbreads and grilled courgette and some dabs of ricotta helping to form a sauce. Belly pork had perfectly crisp skin and, here, the fattiness was welcomed. There’s a warm tomato salsa and a puree of black olives (a proper puree, not a tapenade) and some braised leaves of Little Gem. Good endings to the savoury courses.
Pre-dessert was a pomegranate sorbet, topped with yoghurt. It divided us – but then one of us isn’t a great fan of yoghurt.
For dessert itself, we looked no further than the Amalfi lemon tart which is, we understand, a signature dish of the restaurant. You can understand why. There’s thin, crisp pastry and an intense lemon filling. Nothing else adorns the plate. Nothing else is needed. This is fantastic – very probably the best citrus dessert we’ve eaten.
We have coffee, of course. It comes with petit fours – an intense (yep, it’s that word again) passion fruit jelly and a tiny lemon cream canolo.
It’s been a fab evening even though booze cranked up the final bill quite considerably.