Marcus at the Berkeley has a more informal atmosphere than its predecessor but a menu that is still bursting with culinary creativity as Janelle Butterfield finds out
For most, Marcus Wareing needs no introduction, and for the rest, a quick mention of his two Michelin stars and five AA rosettes should give some idea of his station in the culinary world.
The new look ‘Marcus’ at The Berkeley has a lighter feel of late, with comfortable banquettes and a lounge-style ambience. As is to be expected from the hotel – which plays sister to The Connaught and Claridge’s – service is nothing shy of five star, with an amuse bouche and glass of champagne to start proceedings.
The menu at Marcus at the Berkeley has been kept simple, with patrons able to opt for the tasting menu – along with wine matching – or an à la carte option, with each item written as a register of ingredients. Take your pick from ‘foie gras, mango, granola’ or ‘quail, carrot, corn bread and summer savoury.’
To start with we sampled a creamy whip of burrata, seasoned with pine nuts and parma ham – and a delicate quail’s breast, alongside slivers of sweet carrot. As each course arrived, so too did our enthusiastic sommelier, who described the wine with expertise and charm, teaming courses with a carefully sourced partner.
After our mains of ‘mackerel, onions, egg’; a light dish of raw fish with egg foam, and the stew-style ‘sea bass, celery, red wine, bottarga’ – came the grand finale. If only every dessert menu simply read: ‘warm chocolate, crunch, salted caramel ice-cream’, and served up a heavenly combination of sweet and salt, hot and cold and chocolate and…chocolate, although I still found room to try my guest’s ‘toffee, peanut and milk chocolate nougat’ and the beautifully-crafted lavender and orange petite fours.
While Marcus at the Berkeley aims to be a more informal version of its predecessor, there’s no doubt that Marcus’ standards are high as ever.
The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge; SW1X 7RL; marcus-wareing.com