British food is so often undervalued, and so rarely looked for by British people, that it took a request to find a good British Food restaurant in London for me to visit Mews of Mayfair.
Mews of Mayfair is located just off Regent Street, 2 minutes from Oxford Circus, in converted Mews houses dating from the 18th Century, and has a reputation for combining smart upmarket style with the best of British food and service. As you walk up the narrow Street to get to the main doorway, you can almost feel the history that this area is steeped in. There are tables outside for you to site and drink or dine at, perfect for summer. A stylishly dressed receptionist waits on the door to offer you a table or to take you in.
Entering The Mews takes you into the Cocktail Bar, a very English looking seated area that just oozes style, history and class. The well stocked bar is at the back of the room, but doesn’t impose like many bars do, the main focus being the seating area, and as such you the customer.
Moving upstairs from the Cocktail Bar, we entered the dining room, a well laid out and airy area. Served some home made bread rols and locally made butter, we looked through the menu, and chose a bottle of the house red for the meal. The wine menu has over 50 bottles of wine between £20 and £50, before moving further up in price, so there is no pressure to buy an expensive bottle. The house red, a Pleno Tempranillo Navarra 2011, was smooth and easily drinkable, and worked with both red meat as well as shellfish.
I ordered the Cornish Crab Mayonnaise for starter, which arrived with vast quantities of crab. Slightly too cold for my liking, the flavour of the crab really only came out as it warmed up. Savouring it a bit longer in the mouth really did reward the taster.
My Date order the Hand Dived Scallops from Rye. They arrived with shavings of Cauliflower, a Cauliflower purée wild mushrooms and raisins. The raisins acted more as a flavoursome garnish, adding and interesting, yet pleasant, taste to the scallops. They must have been good as she did not share any with me.
For my main, i decided on having a good traditional British RibEye Steak. Knowing that RibEye should be marbled with the fat and the meat, I asked for it to be more well done than medium, so that the meat can be better cooked rather than hiding amongst the fat. The meat was served to me on a wooden tray, keeping the heat in the dish.
And the meat was cooked to perfection. Asking for is medium to well done allows for it to be cooked enough to reduce any of the fat yet keep the meat still pink. I couldn’t resist showing a picture of how the steak cut. Simply perfect for the meat eater.
My Date order the Calves Liver and Mash with dressed Bacon. It was cleanly served, with juices poured over one side leaving the mash to show its creamy colour. To the taste, the liver just melted in the mouth. No need for a knife to cut it, simply the edge of the fork. The flavour was full, with just a bit of lightness from the delicateness of the meat.
Although the dishes themselves are large, I opted for a couple of sides; wilted spinach and hand cut chips. The spinach was full of the English crispness and taste you would expect, and the chips were like you wished your Mother could make.
After finishing the mains, and a suitable interlude of light banter, the dessert menu arrived. Nothing hurried, we were at leisure to choose. My Date was happily full from the Liver, but I felt like a dessert so chose the Cambridge Burnt Cream. This is apparently the British equivalent of a Créme Brulée, so it had to be tried.
It arrived in a shallow bowl, along with a shortbread wafer. To most, it would taste like a Créme Brulée, but it had a much softer taste, more cream than custard, and a much thicker overall glaze. There was still a lot of the Vanilla pod seeds in the dish, as you would expect, which added to the aroma of the dish, as well as its overall taste.
Our lunch was unhurried, and we saw some tables come and go, but the room is spacious and never felt busy. the décor is varied with dried flowers, maps and other oddities, but all in keeping with being historic and stylishly British.
Mews of Mayfair is definitely a place to go if you like dining out or just want a good British meal source from seasonal British produce. Totally unhurried eating, whether it is for lunch or evening dinner before or after the theatre, it is hard to find a better place so close to Oxford Circus.
Mews of Mayfair
10 to 11 Lancashire Court