When I visited: 2012, January 2016
Location: London, Mayfair
Team: Anthony Demetre (Head Chef), Will Smith (maitre d’)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Recommended (it had 1 star some time after I visited, although when I first visited it was just recommended)
What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress
Ambience: Smart casual, fun
Course of the meal: Grilled sea bass with curly kale and citrus fruit
If I could change one thing: More memorable food
I first visited Wild Honey quite a long time ago (and I didn’t make my geeky extensive notes at that time) and was left with an impression of friendly staff, good, if not memorable, food and a fun atmosphere. Since I first visited Wild Honey was elevated to the status of 1 star in the Michelin Guide, although in the 2017 Guide it has been reduced to ‘recommended’ status again.
I visited again in January 2016 with my partner Owl and some friends. There were a few things to note other than the food, some mildly negative: for instance, they charge £4 extra for any extra bread, which seems slightly petty, they made a few mistakes with serving the wrong dishes to the wrong people, and spilled quite a bit of water on plates and wine on the table. They also left long gaps between each course – I prefer to have breaks in a big meal rather than a constant onslaught of food, but they were probably a bit too slow. Some of the menu options on the set menu were also slightly confusing in terms of price (for instance, if you order cheese and a dessert, you will be charged a supplement plus the cost of the cheese which makes the bill slightly hard to understand). However, I did like the art (naked ladies) in the toilets.
The food itself was nice if not spectacular. We were given canapés (houmous and caviar blinis) and a bread basket where the wholemeal was especially tasty. The wine list is particularly expensive for a 1-star restaurant (for instance, a reasonably nice Chianti was £80).
My starter of burrata with young carrots, artichokes and seeds was tasty and my partner Owl’s white game ragu paparadelle was well-balanced. My main of grilled sea bass with curly kale and citrus fruit was probably the best course of the meal – the citrus flavours cut perfectly through the fish which was perfectly cooked. My partner Owl went with the venison with pumpkin, dates and walnuts, a solid winter dish.
The cheese selection was fairly comprehensive but those people who wanted cheese were slightly hampered by not choosing from a trolley or board but ordering the ‘types’ they liked in advance and being given a selection on a plate. The dessert of pear and almond tart with chocolate, and a quenelle of vanilla ice cream was pleasant but could have done with more of the pear flavour.
The petits fours were a welcome treat at the end – a bitter caramel ball and a cannele bordelais, a gorgeous traditional mini French cake.
Overall, I did enjoy our latest meal at Wild Honey but I felt like it doesn’t meet the 1-star standard of, for example, Murano or Texture, so felt slightly vindicated when it lots its star in the 2017 Guide, although it would be great if it could regain its star by improving the food and service.