Past Selfridges and just enough off Oxford Street to avoid the tourist traps, sits Suze In Mayfair, a lovely little Bohemian looking restaurant and wine bar, which I have never noticed before. I noticed it the other night as I wanted a quick bit and glass of wine, but I was in a hurry. Rushing between a pre-opening viewing of The View From The Shard to presenting at an Internet Blogging event in the evening, I really only wanted nibbles.
What caught my attention was the sign by the door saying “come in just for a glass of wine if you want.” Perfect, I was in like Flynn.
The inside was warm and friendly, lots of open wood panelling, lots of small tables and chairs, a large bar area you can sit at, and friendly welcoming staff. I grabbed a small table by the bar and looked through the wine list. Very broad, varied, lots of new wines to try and very affordable. I chose a bottle of Michel Torino Argentina Malbec 2012. It matched what I was looking for – light, fresh, doesn’t require a full meal with it.
However the sight of food being served to other tables, made me order a sample of the Suze Tasting Plates.
There are four tasting plates, but you can order them as one, which is what I did. They are:
New Zealand venson tataki with dashi lime and ginger dressing.
New Zealand smoked eel mouse on pumpernickel with horseradish cream
New Zealand manuka smoked salmon on crostini with wasabi creme fraiche and lumpfish caviar
Salt and Pepper Squid, chilli and spring onion, red chilli sauce
The biggest surprise of the four was the smoked eel, which was absolutely superb. Full of flavour, the smoked meat of the eel worked with the horseradish to amplify the taste, and the pumpernickel bread added a dark rye depth to the creamy finish.
Lastly a plate of lovely hand cut chips to finish the wine with.
There were cheery staff always around, and they catered for my needs perfectly. Attentive and discreet, there was never a need to try and attract their attention, which was refreshing as I was in a bit of a rush to keep appointments.
Suze In Mayfair is owned by Tom and Susan Glynn who, since leaving New Zealand, have notched up 33 years in hospitality and catering in London.
In that time they have had considerable influence in promoting New Zealand food and wine in the UK, and have witnessed the emergence of the New Zealand wine industry and its exports to the UK. All they staff seemed to be New Zealanders when I ate there, and they all seemed to know about wine, which might explain the very well stocked wine list.
Suze In Mayfair is definitely a place to return to when I can spend more time and be unrushed. There are wines on the menu I need to try.
Suze in Mayfair
41 North Audley Street
020 7491 3237