DINING OWL AWARD: 5th – best petits fours
When I visited: 2013
Location: London, Knightsbridge
Team: Marcus Wareing (Chef Patron), Mark Froydelund (Head Chef), Daniel Greenock (maitre d’), Michael Deschamps (Head Sommelier)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: 1 star (used to have 2 stars)
What to wear: Men – smart trousers and shirt; women – smart dress
Ambience: Posh, full on
Course of the meal: Salmon, langoustine, buttermilk, lime
If I could change one thing: More charm
I visited this restaurant a couple of years ago, before, in an “informality” makeover, it changed its name to simply “Marcus”. I wasn’t surprised that the people pulling the strings felt like they should do this, as to be honest, this restaurant more than any other I’ve been to presents amazing food but suffered from a serious lack of charm or USP.
I felt when I visited that it definitely deserved its 2 Michelin stars but that it really wanted 3, and that if it only had a charismatic maitre d’ then it might achieve these heights. It stopped short of becoming a favourite restaurant for me because I felt like in a way it exemplified what people think of when they think of Michelins, which I am trying to dispel: it had a slightly snobby atmosphere. Case in point: one of the waiting staff asked us quite patronisingly (when we praised something effusively) if we’d been to any Michelin restaurants before (at that point we had already been to a whole string so we just reeled them off..).
Having said all that, the food really is of a great quality. I especially remember one of the salmon starters being remarkable, and there is a really great variety of cheeses and petits fours towards the end of the meal. I will definitely try to visit now that it is just “Marcus” and report back on how it has progressed.