In some ways winning MasterChef: The Professionals 2020 could not have come at a worse time for Alex Webb.

The country was in lockdown and the hospitality industry was struggling to survive.

But not even the pandemic could slow the Essex-born chef down, and in autumn last year he launched a pop-up restaurant at the luxury InterContinental London Park Lane hotel.

That was so successful that a permanent restaurant – Alex Webb on Park Lane – opened in October.

And I for one am thankful for that, as this was comfortably the best restaurant I have been to this year, and probably for some time longer than that. 

The restaurant perfectly straddles a fine line between theatrical luxury and a relaxed atmosphere, which is in no way stuffy or overbearing.


The space is especially cool and modern, with dimmed lighting and plush furniture, and chilled house music playing in the background.

Delightful fresh flowers are placed throughout room, including massive blue hydrangeas. Even the ceramic plates are things of beauty.  

Meanwhile the waiting staff are very attentive and knowledgeable about the food, and happy to make recommendations.

Diners can either opt for the three-course menu (£65 a head) or go for the seven-course tasting menu (£110 each). We tried the three-course menu, accompanied by wine pairings for each course (£35 per person). 

The Resident: The exquisite appetiserThe exquisite appetiser (Image: Simon Murfitt, Newsquest)

Prior to our starters, however, we were treated to a glass of sparkling wine and an exquisite appetiser which comprised a squid ink prawn cracker, with crab and caviar – a two-mouthful taste sensation which set the tone for the meal. This came with toasted bread and whipped chicken butter.

Webb says in his menu notes that he wants to share his passion for British produce, and throughout the meal it was evident that only the best seasonal produce has been selected.

There are plenty of seafood options running throughout the menu, all incredibly fresh and accompanied on the plate with mouth-watering combinations.

The Resident: Baby squid with chorizo, kind prawn, squid ink and red pepperBaby squid with chorizo, kind prawn, squid ink and red pepper (Image: Simon Murfitt, Newsquest)

To start my partner went for baby squid with chorizo, kind prawn, squid ink and red pepper. The crumbed tentacles of the squid combined with the non-crumbed body perfectly, with an added kick from the chorizo red pepper and king prawn jus.

Meanwhile I chose the beetroot and lime cured salmon, fennel and orange salad, fennel puree, caviar and onion oil. The puree and salad complemented the salmon for a wonderfully light dish.

For the main course I had steamed brill, which came apart in delicate chunks and was surrounded by tender wild mushrooms, scallops and peas, with a chive mousse and buttery sauce.

The Resident: Steamed brill, wild mushrooms, scallops & chive mousse, English peas, chicken & brill butter sauceSteamed brill, wild mushrooms, scallops & chive mousse, English peas, chicken & brill butter sauce (Image: Simon Murfitt, Newsquest)

My partner went for chicken breast, which had a zesty chicken skin crumb and burnt cauliflower puree couscous and a chicken jus. Light, refreshing and full of flavour.

The salmon and the brill were both plates that Webb created during his time on MasterChef and it is possible to have an entirely MasterChef meal, although I just missed out on this with my dessert choice.

I went for caramel tart with orange gel, kumquat and clotted cream ice cream. The tart’s pastry was delightfully thin and the subtle flavours of the caramel and ice cream work brilliantly together.

The Resident: Poached English rhubarb, vanilla custard soft serve, rhubarb gelPoached English rhubarb, vanilla custard soft serve, rhubarb gel (Image: Simon Murfitt, Newsquest)

Whereas my dessert was quite understated, my partner’s was surprisingly childish – poached rhubarb with vanilla custard soft serve and a rhubarb gel, which made it look like an ice cream sundae with strawberry sauce. The fact it was topped with a bouffant of candy floss just added to its playful charm.

Each course was accompanied by a high-quality wine – all whites due to my fish selections – and the dessert wine was so indulgently sweet and rich it was like having a second pudding.

We left with the content feeling you can only achieve by eating great food, while also looking forward to coming back to try the seven-course menu at some point in the not-too-distant future.