The welcome: Shepherd Market is the hidden village square that was the original site of the May Fair from which the area takes its name. Today it’s one of London’s best kept secrets, well worth exploring for its ye olde Victorian pubs and distinct village atmosphere. Lent a late 19th century ambiance by cobbled streets and poky alleys, the Market has been redefined by stellar new openings of late, like The Shepherd’s Market Wine House earlier this year. Now Hatchett’s joins the party with Andrew Evans as head chef, who’s previously worked with Mark Hix (The Ivy), Gordon Ramsay (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay) and Angela Hartnett (Murano).
The room: Diners enter through a parlour and top-notch classic cocktail bar, that evokes the old world style of a cigar parlour, though with some on-trend concrete updates that relax the space, before descending underground to the boldly colourful restaurant.
The food: Hatchett's treats food as visual spectacle, constructed precisely, like a stage set. The cod dish is a stunning imitation of nature: an underwater fantasy of cockles and clams is arranged in a gloopy seaweed foam, with a backdrop of lettuce tempura that undulates like mermaid hair waving in a current.
Other greats on the menu are the exquisite caramelised onion tart with roasted baby beets, courgette and goat’s cheese and the Kentish courgette flower, which is served with a salted char-grilled flat white peach dripping with intense flavour.
Save yourself for dessert, because this is where Hatchett’s really sparkles, quite literally in the case of the sugared petals atop the transparent lincolnshire gooseberries and elderflower cheesecake. It’s much too pretty to eat (but too delicious not to). The espresso granita with coffee ice cream is also particularly special, effervescing with milk froth.
Would we go again? Yes, it’s perfect for an intimate celebration; the visual spectacle will get plenty of oohs and aahs... and the food is very fine to boot.
|What||Hatchett's restaurant review, Mayfair|
|Where||Hatchett's, No.5 White Horse Street, Mayfair, W1J 7LQ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
01 Jul 16 – 31 Mar 19, 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to find out more|