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Corrigan's Mayfair

Rating: 89.
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The first time I heard of Richard Corrigan was during the first season of Great British Menu in 2006. Richard Corrigan was one of the Irish contestants and he was very successful: His smoked salmon with Irish soda bread starter was served at the Queen's 80th Birthday banquet. I wanted to find out about his food for myself and that same year I had dinner at Corrigan's Michelin starred restaurant Lindsay House in Soho. In 2008 it was announced that Lindsay House would close and that Richard Corrigan would open a new restaurant in Mayfair called Corrigan's Mayfair.

Corrigan's Mayfair is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week (no lunch on Saturday). For lunch and dinner there is an a la carte menu and a seasonal vegetarian menu. There's also a seasonal 'Market menu', 3 courses including a 250ml carafe of wine for £27. The restaurant also has a bar called Dickie's bar, which has been serving a 'Lost and Forgotten' bar menu since early April. It offers a selection of smaller dishes: 3 courses for £25, 5 courses for £35, 7 courses for £45 and 9 courses for £55. On Sundays the restaurant offers a Sunday lunch menu, 3 courses for £27. My husband and I had lunch at Corrigan's Mayfair on Thursday 5 april 2012 and we ordered dishes from both the a la carte menu and the 'Lost & Forgotten' menu. Whilst we were deciding what to order, we were served some delicious crispy deep-fried olives with a spicy cream cheese filling.

Dickie's bar

Both first courses were from the Lost & Forgotten menu, Coddled eggs with smoked eel and Squirrel with fruit and nuts.
The coddled eggs were lovely. Two perfectly poached eggs served with wonderful melt-in-the-mouth pieces of smoked eel and a light dressing. 
The other starter was the Ballotine of squirrel (which had been soaked in brine for 12 hours to soften the meat) which was served with toasted hazelnuts, raisins and liver. Delicious rich flavours and the balance between the jelly and meat in the ballotine was perfect. Fantastic intense liver mousse, which was smooth and flavoursome. Both uncomplicated but elegant dishes.

As a second course we both had the crispy pig's ears salad. Pig's ears, shallot and brawn terrine served with a mayonnaise based mustard vinaigrette, some dandelion leaves, sliced shallot and crispy pieces of pig's ear (and some extra on the side). An indulgent yet light dish, good rich pork flavours, lovely bitters from the dandelion and an excellent choice of dressing. A dish with great texures and I loved the presentation.

On to the main courses. My main course was from the a la carte menu, Roast fillet of gurnard with Romesco sauce, black olive paste, deep-fried anchovy and slow-cooked octopus. An excellent piece of gurnard that was perfectly cooked and had a a lovely crispy skin. The well-made Romesco sauce had bags of flavour and was a perfect match for an oily fish like gurnard. Lovely bitters from the black olive paste. The octopus was nice and soft. A very well-judged dish with balanced flavours and textures.

Hubby's main course was from the Lost & Forgotten menu, Hardwick shoulder of mutton, buttermilk, shetland red cabbage coleslaw. Wonderful soft and succulent, flavoursome mutton served with a rich jus. Great texture and flavour from the red cabbage coleslaw.

Both desserts were ordered form the Lost & Forgotten menu, Beremeal cookie ice cream and Lemon and goat's curd tart with sorrel ice cream.
The Beremeal cookie ice cream was nice and creamy and had a pieces of cookie dough in it; it was served on top of a jelly with some cookie crumbs sprinkled over it. The chocolate chip cookies were nice but were somewhat dry.

Absolutely wonderful lemon and goat's curd tart, fantastic thin caramelised  layer on top, perfect touch of tartness, lovely goat's curd finish.
The sorrel ice cream was lovely and refreshing. A wonderful and elegant dessert with well-balanced sweet and savoury flavours.

This was my second visit to Corrigan's Mayfair (first visit in 2009). Unless I'm very much mistaken, Richard Corrigan's food anno 2012 is much more refined than it was 3 years ago. Richard Corrigan is a chef with a profound love for and understanding of food who treats his ingredients with great respect and skill. He sources the best produce available to create well thought-out dishes with bold but precise flavours and attention to presentation and textures and especially the new Lost & Forgotten menu has very creative and attractive dishes on it. Nowadays there's much talk about 'letting the ingredients speak for themselves' and 'local and seasonal', but whereas local food is rather complicated for a Mayfair restaurant, Corrigan's delivers convincingly on both other counts. The staff (bar manager Nicholas  and sommelier Severine took excellent care of us) are very attentive and knowledgeable and create a relaxed atmosphere. To my mind, the restaurant is currently offering one of the best QPR's in Mayfair.

Corrigan's Mayfair on Urbanspoon

Posted 15-04-2012


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