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Wild Honey, London


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Another good meal here last night with friends. Really good corned beef with toast and green vegetables and I thought the Mackeral tartare with beetroot and horseradish was superb, everything combining well as a whole and the horseradish being sufficiently potent. A starter portion of the Red wine risotto was also very good with perfectly al dente rice and a lighter dish that you might think.

Market fish of the day was wild salmon which came adorned with new potatoes, Brocolli and hazlenuts. The marriage of nuts of brocolli really works for me. Wild Halibut was another well cooked piece of fish, halibut can so often be a dull fish but here it was treated well and served with a simple accompaniment of young market vegetable, olive oil and lemon thyme.

Roast peach came with a marscapone and basil ice cream which became the stand out part of the dish. Pannacotta was a good example, suitably wobbly and served with good English Strawberries.

Special mention to the service staff who seem to be coping well, especially our English waiter who managed to be charming, witty and professional at the same time.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I was there last Thursday (as was Fay Masch and Giles "more swagger than Liam f**kin' Gallagher" Coren - we all had separate tables of course) and whatever problems they were having with the creme caramel appeared to have been solved. It was easily the best I've ever had. It had a delicious rounded "dairy" flavour to it - if that makes any sense to anyone - as if it had been made with Jersey milk or something. It was perfectly cooked with the correct amount of wobble and definately didn't taste eggy. I want to eat it again right now.

The reason I ordered the c.c. really was because of the warm orange flower madeleines that came with it, but to be honest you don't really need them. They are nice as a petit four with your coffee afterwards.

I prefer the room to Arbutus, it's a bit more comfortable and has more character. the tables are quite widely spaced at the moment (can that last?) and the booths are really nice. the wood panelling is beautiful.

As to the rest of the food, I thought the pollock was the most impressive dish -looked lovely and the gnocchetti were amazingly light. I have to say however that I'm not a fan of pollock to be honest, it doesn't have a great texture and I think something like confit cod would work really well. Not very PC I guess though.

The gratin of cavolo nero with lemon and parsley with the veal was delicious. I don't think braised dishes have to be confined to winter - navarin of lamb is the perfect spring dish for example.

I want to go back soon to try the corned beef, bavette of beef, the lamb and the waffles.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mary and I had lunch yesterday at Wild Honey. We were wild about it.

I suspect that Anthony and Will have a sense of humor. The menu invites you to start your meal with a Wild Honey Cocktail. If at the end you go to relieve yourself, you will find a framed display of Victorian Wild Honeys posing provocatively on the walls. Mary tells me that the Ladies is similarly decorated. Perhaps they were left behind from racier days, when the members of the gentlemen’s club were no gentlemen.
Edited by John Whiting (log)

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Had dinner at Wild Honey last night. The space is lovely - the mix of banquette and regular tables works very well given the length of the room, Much less claustrophobic than I remember Drones... And long may the decent table spacing last.

The menu was pretty close to those described above - my girlfriend's fish soup was really really excellent - serious depth of flavour, rich without being cloying. My boudin blanc of wild rabbit, whilst delightfully delicate in texture, was a little underseasoned and I didn't get much bunny-ness flavour coming through. The crushed peas and shallots hit the spot, though.

Mains were the Elwy lamb (superbly cooked - but, again, the flavour seemed almost a little too fleeting) and three cuts of pork, which tasted fabulous, but was just very slightly on the dry side.

Only had room for the Wild Honey ice cream - really wonderful texture and taste - the honeycomb not too sweet and a fabulous counterpoint to the ice cream.

Presentation and service was very good, and I'm sure we'll be back - but I didn't leave feeling totally convinced...

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  • 2 weeks later...

So. First visit tonight. In summary: underwhelmed.

Bad start. The large tray of bread had obviously been sitting out for a couple of hours. Not a good indication when you arrive at 6.30pm.

Pick of the starters was a cauliflower soup that was on the set menu. On the a la carte, a sprinkling of white beans with pancetta and a tomato crostini was nice enough, but underwhelming for £9.50.

And so to the mains. Now, I salute Anthony's persistence with pollock. It's admirable that he's perseveres with something that's not on an endangered list. I just wish it tasted better. The latest incarnation was obvously trying really hard to distract you from the pollock: it came in a little copper pot filled with leeks, potato, sauce vierge, possibly chard and a whole bunch of other random odds and ends, including a lump of chicken that I suspect had sneaked in from another dish entirely. I didn't raise this possibility with the waiter, as the chicken was by some distance the best part.

From the a la carte, a rigatoni arrived looking like something you'd get at a motorway service station. I felt no compulsion to try it, but the date said it was "acceptable enough", which does not seem effusive praise for a £14 plate of vegetable pasta.

To finish there was a textbook strawberries with ice cream and a brief but awkward dispute about a mistake on the bill.

Having been a fan of Arbutus in the early days, I now find myself going a lot less regularly. The pricing's steady creep upwards over the past 18 months has moved it out of "bargain" territory and into "mid-range", where there's a lot more competition. Wild Honey seems to be starting at the "mid-range" level in what is undoubtedly a trickier area of town of an evening, where the lack of passing trade and pre-theatre business means it will have to be more of a destination than a convenience. On one night's evidence, it will have to raise its game.

Edited by naebody (log)
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I enjoyed a recent visit the other night, is a carbon copy of arbutus, but that's ok.

was not as busy as expected?

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wa there last Saturday and from what I could see every table was taken.

Jabugo Ham (Joselito) with coco de paimpol beans was simple but higlighted good quality ingredients, A starter size portion of the risotto was once again perfectly cooked Al dente rice with girolles and caprini cheese. It's been commented on elsewhere but the corn beef has a problem- its too bloody big :rolleyes: Once I'd finished my own starter I hd to help finish my Mum's which didn't help when we were comp'd the smooked eel with fig puree, the first tie I had tried the eel dish and it was excellent, we also received the Terrine of foie gras with sweet and sour cherries, once again.

Higlight of the mains was a fillet of halibut with razor clams and Langoustine s with crushed ratte potatoes.

The plum tart came with the aforementioned basil and mascarpone ice cream and I forget what everybody else ordered (by that time I was too full to actually notice)

Progressing rather nicely IMO, excellent service and a great room (still) :smile:

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Lunch here today - service was much smootehr and more attentive than my last visit. The room was around half full and had a nice buzz - a very different crowd to what I would have expected though - much older than on my first visit.

Starter was a lovely tete du veau with sauce gribiche and pea shoots. A lovely delicate texture and flavour, nicely meety but without that earthy piggie flavour of the pigs head. Main course was belly of pork - two good sized pieces of rich, fatty pork belly, slowly cooked to keep it nice and moist. This was served with marinated peppers and canellini beans and a carrot puree. All in all a good very enjoyable dish.

Deserts were a bit of a let down as was the rather dry cheese that I was served, but at £15.50 for 3 courses it is good value for the area.

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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You see - that's what happens when you are trying to interview someone over lunch - you loose all concentration over what you are even eating! Thanks for the info Matthew.

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Turned up here two Saturdays ago on the spur of the moment, having eaten at Arbutus the week before. We were sat at the bar, which was perfectly comfortable and gave a nice buzz with all the bar staff whizzing around in front of us. I had the smoked eel followed by the lamb.

Eel was delicious, fatty and mouth filling, wonderful when paired with the fig jam. The raw vegetable salad offered little by way of taste, but added a welcome bit of crunch to the dish.

Lamb was tasty but uninteresting, a wee bit overcooked, and the accompaniments didn't stay long in the memory.

To finish I had the chocolate soup (it's a warm mousse) which was delicious and incredibly rich, which came with a scoop of wonderful nougat ice-cream.

My companion went with beetroot and goats cheese salad (fantastic, with excellent cheese), sea bass with shrimp and cobnuts (well cooked, but a bit 'flung together', the flavours didnt seem to gel) and honey ice-cream (perfect).

The wine list was (as far as I could tell) identical to Arbutus, which is no bad thing, and the room was really welcoming and attractive (save for the genuinely terrifying clown painting hanging directly behind our seats). Service was as good as I have experienced since my first visit to Bacchus in December (i think) and the head barman in particular was friendly and knowledgeable. The bill came to pretty much exactly £100, and on the whole was definitely worth it. My one concern after having visited both Wild Honey and Arbutus, is that the starters and desserts far outshine the main courses, in terms of imagination and execution. This may well be down to poor selections on my part, if anyone can make any recommendations I would be most grateful.

Oh and hello by the way, first post etc etc

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry, should have got around to posting this sooner. I was in Wild Honey about a month ago. Really liked the place (different from what I expected, until I looked up the address, I thought it was in the Drones that used to be in Knightsbridge). Food was really good (plenty of it too), prices brilliant and the service was excellent.

We started with the red mullet soup with green olive tapenade, nice soup, very much its own thing rather than a bouillabaisse, although Steve was unsure about whether the green olive tapenade was a better idea than say a rouille. I had the pig’s head which was fantastic, good and piggy with some really smelly crunchy bits scattered on the plate, great price too at £7.95.

For mains, I had the saddle of venison with savoy cabbage and roast turnips. Perfectly cooked and nice and gamey. Steve’s shin of veal with potato gnocchi was good, but I thought a bit drier than it should be. Still very enjoyable.

Just had one dessert, the wild honey ice-cream with crushed honeycomb, a simple dessert, tasted like it sounds, but it was lovely and creamy. So a really enjoyable evening, great atmosphere and I love the wine policy.

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I went last week, and liked it a lot. I too had the pigs head, and then had a thick piece of plaice in brown butter with shrimps - it was really lovely. My friend had the venison, and the duck egg and pancetta, both of which went down very well. She then had the chocolate soup, which was good & chocolatey.

I had a problem with the puddings as always, as I like fruity, light puds after such rich mains, but theirs are all creamy and/or eggy. I therefore went for two servings of the cheese - perfectly kept and served. Only two portions looked a bit thin on the (large) plate but was enough for me. I approve of their charging by piece of cheese, so you don't pay for cheese you don't eat, and there's no waste.

It has such a different feel to Arbutus - I almost felt back in the 1930s but in a good way, eating country house food.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I made my first visit here in a while last week and was glad to see things running like clockwork, a little quiet when I first arrived but this seems to be a late restaurant and everything was full just after 21:00 and plenty of tables still there when I left quite late.

Highlights were the Pheasant and foie gras boudin blanc which was gamier than previous incarnations and serve with Cavelo Nero. Roast Plaice, nut brown butter and shrimps was simple and effective, beautifully cooked plaice. Saddle of Venison was again perfectly cooked and crusted with walnut and juniper berries, served with Jerusalem artichokes and spinach beet. The juniper berry wasn't too prevalent and this was a distinctly wintry dish carried off in a relatively delicate style, i.e. it wasn't too filling which meant that we easily managed pudding despite being comped a second main course of Wild duck, glazed salsify and roast quince which really was wintry and presented beautifully.

Wild honey ice cream with crushed honeycomb for Rachel and Pain Perdu with glazed winter fruits for me. One of the nicest desserts I can remember having in a long time.

Excellent Service, lovely room, good prices and Colin seems to have settled into his stride very nicely indeed. What's not to like? :smile:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Everybody

Went to Wild honey this week for the second time, after visiting once in its early stages, which was a very good meal, i couldnt get into arbutus, which i love so thought i d visit again.

Unfortunatly i wish i hadnt!

not a very friendly welcome when the guy eventually decided to look up and talk to us, then sat at a table with no more than 6inches either side, definatly crammed in more than at the beginning, and saying that a lot of turning tables going on, very noisely around us.

Ordered some wine when Mr Wizzy asked if he could and it was nice bottle of reisling, I had smoked eel, tasty but 2 mouthfuls only, also one of three items which was more expensive on the bill than on the menu, the other half had foie gras terrine £15.95 which came out in 2 triangles from the end of the terrine, the terrine was tasty but expensive, a bit stange aswell that tables next to us got a nice slice, i forgot to say bread and butter good, the large crack out of the slate the butter was served on not so great!

Mains of bavette and venison, both over cooked, we were not even asked how we wanted them cooked, also mentioned by the very well to do ladies dining next to us,

The wine again with the main course, ordered with a waitress after asking if we could, name and bin number, bought over by a very arrogant somelier/who knows what he was? Who told us we did not need to taste as it was fantastic,he preceded to poor, it may well have been, but for nearly 3 times the price you would hope so, he was politely informed it was the wrong wine and scuttled off to replace mumbling under his breath

Cheese, 2 of the smallest pieces i ve seen, in good condition though,

dessert honey ice cream lovely, blood orange and sabayon very poor

No Coffee, not any change from £155 No goodbye or thank you from the 2 guys behind the bar, management of some kind, so to sum up after a restaurant winning a michelin star in the same week, very poor, too many people in shirts doing not a lot, basic manners forgotton and no attention to detail, it looked to me like they were just getting through the covers, i will be back to arbutus many times, never had a bad experience, but this disappointed me greatly, eating out to me is the whole experience!!

One of my first posts, i hope you do not all find it negative, i have many positive ones to add, hopefully my writing skills will improve to

Lizzy

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  • 2 months later...

I ate at Wild Honey with friends for the first time in a while on Saturday. Good to see the restaurant heaving at 20:30 with even the bar spaces filled with diners. This was possibly my best meal at Wild Honey, that’s not to say others haven’t been good but I left feeling very content indeed despite my own poor ordering (two red meat courses).

The food is simple, I know that is a restaurant cliché today, but what is written on the menu tends to be what you get on the plate. Slow cooked Elwy valley lamb breast, Heritage burgundy potatoes and Spring onions was exactly that . a slice of rolled lamb breast accompanied by highland burgundies and spring onions anda a hefty dose of garlic. For mains I couldn’t help ordering the Roast Limousin veal, soft polenta with Parmesan. A better description wouldn’t go amiss on this dish as it is a beautiful hunk of Veal Loin perfectly cooked served with good polenta richly flavoured with cheese.

Desserts are always a strong point here in my opinion and today mine excelled. POire William ‘Baba’, Garaguette strawberries, chantily cream. A delicious combinations some of the best strawberries I have had in this country, they were exceptional which unfortunately meant I had to give some of them away to my dining companions. The “baba” was light and wonderfully moist, the pear shining through without any overpowering alcohol.

Other dishes I tried a couple of spoons of were a starter of Fresh sheep’s ricotta, purple sprouting broccoli and hazelnuts accompanied by a bright green sauce in a separate jug which was described as broccoli but for the dominant flavour was of nuts and very good it was too. The others all had the same main course, milk fed Pyrenean lamb, gratin dauphinoise, garlic and Rosemary. Thin slice s of the leg and a great Dauphinoise served in a large dish for everybody to share. Overall an excellent meal and for me representing excellent value for money. :smile:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

My wife's birthday and a long awaited trip to Wild Honey to celebrate. Being strong advocates of Arbutus, we were expecting good things from its sister restaurant. We were not disappointed.

The food is very Arbutus-esque - indeed, some dishes make the leap between the restaurants pretty much intact - the pigs head makes an appearance, as does the Bouillabaisse.

I liked the room, nicely done out in dark wood, a little warmer and, dare I say, classier than Arbutus. The tables are the same though and they certainly pack in the punters; difficult to ignore conversations at neighbouring tables at times, and hence not the most romantic destination in town.

However, the main reason we went was for the food, and they certainly delivered on that front. I wanted something light to start, so went for ewe's milk ricotta with sprouting broccoli, hazlenuts and broccoli sauce. Lovely tangy cheese offsetting the broccoli nicely. My other half had a salad option, simple but fresh. I then opted for saddle of rabbit, accompanied by lacquered shoulder. Delicious, crisp-skinned shoulder and flavoursome saddle, enhanced with liver. Gnocchi, tomato and olive accompaniment a tad spartan but very tasty nonetheless. The wife went for confit of salmon, deliciously light in her words, poached in olive oil it melted in the mouth. Wild Honey ice cream to finish was excellent, plus some great cheeses from La Fromagerie. Our wine selection was also excellent, a flavoursome dry Pinot Gris from Alsace.

All in all, excellent from a culinary perspective, and good value on that front as well. Service friendly and inobtrusive. To my mind the dining room is a little cramped, and that is the only thing which puts me off the place, but I am sure we will return again for the food experience.

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  • 1 year later...

I went back to Wild Honey for the first time in a while on Saturday, I'd forgotten how nice the room is. A slightly more serious version of Arbutus but undoubtedly Antony Demetre's style of cooking (ably executed by Colin Kelly)!

Chicken wings with morels had boned chicken wings with good crispy skin, good quality morels with excellent flavour, accompanied by a Madeira sauce which provided a light sweetness. Veal ravioli with Chard caught us by surprise, the “ravioli” actually being thin slices of veal wrapped around the filling. A USDA approved Rib of beef was served with a lovely thick slice of Pommes Anna, its juice and Béarnaise sauce. I only grabbed a quick mouthful of this, I’m a fussy beef eater and tend not to order steak in restaurants but this was a lovely piece of meat, thick slices cooked medium rare. I had the Bouillabaisse which is still as good as ever and, IMO, a bargain dish at £19, a meal in itself.

We shared a few cheese, the best being a Chambertin that was just about perfect. Desserts included the cheesecake with raspberries, I’m not sure where the raspberries were from but they were very good, the star dessert though was the Mara des Bois strawberries, incredibly sweet strawberries accompanied by a milk ice cream. Fabulous.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I went about a month ago for lunch - and it was sensational. My starter was crab which was nice but not outstanding. However my saddle of hare was stunning - perfectly hung & cooked, and amazingly tender. I camcall now how it was served as the quality of the meat stood out so much. My pudding was custard tart - crisp perfect pastry, with a rich and creamy filling, topped with lots of freshly grated nutmeg. Glorious. I wasn't paying, but from what I remember about the prices it was damn fine value given the quality of the experience.

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