Alexander Larman heads to Beck at Brown’s, Michelin-star chef Heinz Beck’s new restaurant at Brown’s hotel, Mayfair
Chef Heinz Beck has a deserved reputation for being one of the most innovative figures in the world of food, serving Italian cuisine that eschews heavy and rich sauces in favour of letting the top-notch ingredients speak for themselves.
In his previous London restaurant, Apsley’s at the Lanesborough, this saw him deservedly win a Michelin star, just as his Roman flagship La Pergola proudly boasts no fewer than three. Now, he has returned in glory with what’s intended to be a more casual style of dining, and has set up shop in Brown’s hotel in Mayfair.
The first impression is that the room, formerly Mark Hix’s restaurant, has been lavishly revamped, courtesy of designer Olga Polizzi; the effect is that of stepping into a kind of tropical garden, complete with botanical flourishes.
The second impression is that there are a lot of staff, but not all of them are entirely adept at their jobs; a menu comes, but it takes a while to be served from it, and a request for a wine list takes even longer. To be fair, we did visit in the very early days, but one feels that things should be slicker given the high prices and deeply luxurious setting.
Beck’s signature dish of fagotelli carbonara – a miracle of Italian cuisine – was much missed and makes a welcome return
We have no complaints about the food, which is as excellent as one would expect from Beck; his signature dish of fagotelli carbonara – a miracle of Italian cuisine – was much missed and makes a welcome return, and secondi of roast veal and beef fillet are beautifully presented and taste even better.
Washed down with a fine accompaniment of a Sicilian ‘Planeta’ white, recommended by a switched-on and friendly sommelier, this has the feeling of a place that, once it beds in properly, will be just as much of a London landmark as Apsley’s ever was. Presumptuous though it sounds to say it, welcome home, Herr Beck.
Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BP; roccofortehotels.com