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fabienpe

Maze: London

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Has anyone tried Maze in London? I noticed in the Harpers & Queen restaurant guide 2006 (for whatever that's worth) it was elected best in London and best new commer.

Fabien

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yes but no very recent reports I'm afraid

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I was there in July, so I don't have an up-to-date opinion. I didn't hear the pounding music Mr Whiting refers to (which is a blessing).

The service was good, friendly but not overly so. The risotto with pea puree and truffle was particularly delicious. So too was the porkbelly with langoustine. A goat's cheese salad with beetroot was absolutely ethereal (my description cannot do it justice, plus it was six months ago !).

Most of the dishes are tiny and delicate but definitely not tapas ( I had read somewhere they advertised this as a feature). Nevertheless, we (there were four of us) shared tastes.

It is a rather austere room. We asked for a tour of the kitchen; they were happy to oblige, and I must say I was impressed with the operation. There is a chef's table there available for around 600 pounds an evening.

We also finished with the passionfruit trifle. It was OK. The final flourish was being served with individual baked alaska's on toothpicks. We all thought it was fun!

I would recommend a visit.


Edited by Brenda (log)

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Has anyone else here been recently? I had dinner at maze the other day, and found it rather disappointing. Of the (many) dishes retained on the menu, none had improved with their minor changes/tweaks (e.g. the beetroot dish seemed overly vinegary, the frisee with truffle mayonnaise was badly over-salted, the cauliflower flavour in the scallops dish seemed diminshed). One of the newer innovations, a sort of BLT trifle, was pretty dreadful; smoked bacon infused cream (an easy but very successful trick in itself) was accompanied by tomato jelly and a striking, verdant green puree of lettuce. However, this superficially plausible combination simply did not work. The lettuce puree looked the part, but was very under-flavoured (which is a shame given the wonderful flavour potential of lettuce, braised for example), and the cold and rather unpleasant tomato jelly was not a welcome addition, being somewhat acidic but failing to reduce the overall sickly nature of the dish.

In general, the food seemed rather too rich (this may have been down to injudicious menu choices, but two of us each selected a different 4-5 tasting starter/mains, and both found the meal too rich and over-facing, so I suspect a heavy hand with the cream, butter, oil etc.). This was not helped by one dish that combined an overly-substantial (for a tasting menu) serving of roasted salmon with slow cooked pork belly and a merely token quantity of vegetables. This said, the pork belly was excellent, as was the brill in a quite appealing subsequent dish with cockles.

Petit fours deserve special mention for excellence: a wonderful, quivering, melting turkish delight with a quite exquisite flavour, the aforementioned lollipop comprising meringue blowtorched over pineapple ice-cream, and an ever-reliable artisan du chocolat couture collection ganache.

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Has anyone else here been recently? I had dinner at maze the other day, and found it rather disappointing.

Yup, I'd second much of that. BLT cocktail had overtones of smokey bacon crisps, with the tomato jelly tasting like a gluten form of those Netherlands-grown santas (ie. like water). Quite liked the scallops and the quail, but the risottos may as well have been supermarket microwave jobs.

Desserts do deserve commendation though, particularly the peanut butter sandwich thing and the mini baked alaska petit four.

Overall, the whole place seems a bit too automated, with the kitchen relying almost entirely on construction rather than cooking. I'm sure the labour costs are comparatively low, and it'll be easy for SwearyGogs Inc. to scale it into a chain. But the factory construction line approach simply doesn't lend itself to exciting, starry, inventive eating, and at the prices charged it should be a whole lot better.

I wouldn't be surprised if Atherton's simply bored of running a factory. That's definitely the impression you get from the kitchen.

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Has anyone else here been recently? I had dinner at maze the other day, and found it rather disappointing. Of the (many) dishes retained on the menu, none had improved with their minor changes/tweaks (e.g. the beetroot dish seemed overly vinegary, the frisee with truffle mayonnaise was badly over-salted, the cauliflower flavour in the scallops dish seemed diminshed). One of the newer innovations, a sort of BLT trifle, was pretty dreadful; smoked bacon infused cream (an easy but very successful trick in itself) was accompanied by tomato jelly and a striking, verdant green puree of lettuce. However, this superficially plausible combination simply did not work. The lettuce puree looked the part, but was very under-flavoured (which is a shame given the wonderful flavour potential of lettuce, braised for example), and the cold and rather unpleasant tomato jelly was not a welcome addition, being somewhat acidic but failing to reduce the overall sickly nature of the dish.

In general, the food seemed rather too rich (this may have been down to injudicious menu choices, but two of us each selected a different 4-5 tasting starter/mains, and both found the meal too rich and over-facing, so I suspect a heavy hand with the cream, butter, oil etc.).

Two of us had lunch there yesterday. I should mention that Jason Atherton is a friend and he selected the dishes for us.

We had:

Cornish crab mayonnaise with avocado, sweetcorn sorbet & caviar:

Served at just the right temperature, wonderful summer-y flavours. Sweetcorn sorbet was very powerful and I think there was just a hint of Chinese-by-association (crab & sweetcorn soup...)

White onion veloute with duck ragout & cep brioche:

The soup was rich but manageable in a tasting menu portion - I couldn't have coped with a full portion of this. The cep brioche was feather-light and had a very subtle flavour.

Honey & soy roasted quail with foie gras and spiced pear chutney:

Again, a rich dish, but the pear chutney cut through the fat perfectly. Both the foie gras and the quail were cooked exactly right.

BLT - bacon & onion cream, chilled lettuce veloute, tomato gelee:

I have to agree that the lettuce veloute had no flavour (spectacular colour, though), but liked the tomato jelly and loved the bacon cream (the onion was not very apparent). I think the dish is fun and almost works overall.

Braised halibut, squid & cauliflower with spiced ox tail and red wine leeks:

Lovely bit of meaty fish, cooked perfectly; the squid and the cauliflower didn't really register, but the ox tail and leeks were a highlight of the meal.

Slow cooked Cannette with Chinese plum chutney, pomme puree and sauce hydromel:

I thought that this was a bit too similar to the quail to have at the same meal. Very tender meat, but personally I can't see the point in serving duck so young.

Apple and caramel trifle with cider granite and cinnamon doughtnut:

Another highlight; the cider granite was just what was needed at this point as a palate cleanser, and the tartness of the apple helped dispel the fattiness of the duck we'd had just before.

White chocolate & coconut panna cotta with olive caramel and white chocolate granite:

Fabulous dish, and the olive added something I'm struggling to define. I'd take my chocoholic wife to Maze just for this dish.

Apricot & lychee soup with Macadamia and honey wafer:

The lychee was in the form of ice cubes, which I thought didn't work at all - not nice to crunch up in your mouth, and you'd have to wait for ages for them to melt and contribute anything to the soup (in any case, the delicacy of the lychee would be lost given the intensity of the apricot flavour).

Overall, some wonderful flavours and eye-opening combinations, but I'd have liked more fish and less meat at lunch in August.

Service was both sweet and skillful, and the sommeliers were enthusiastic and knowledgable. We had champagne, then a "flight" consisting of a Condrieu, an Alsace Gewurtztraminer from Michel Wust (I think) and a Tempranillo from Ribera del Duoro, then a Rosso di Montalcino, and finally a really nice dessert wine about which I am ashamed to say I can remember very little.

I wasn't the host, but I think that the bill for two was just over £200 including service; we were drinking good wine in good quantities over a long lunch (I was with a lawyer who was celebrating finishing a tricky deal), but I guess one could eat well and drink acceptably for a little over £120 for two including service. My impression is that Maze is a lot more expensive than it used to be, but worth it.

Hate the decor, though, and the designer should be made to sit on one of the uncomfortable banquettes until he learns the error of his ways.

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Taking a largish group to maze next tuesday, and was wondering if anyone knows how much the wine flights are, as we are treating them all, and trying to work out what the damage is. We're going to have a set tasting menu, so I thought that it might be nice to have wine flights to match, but can't find a mention of price anywhere!

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we had a visit in March this year and my unreliable memory is that it was between £25 and £40 - on the basis that it was about the cost of a bottle of wine per person ...

but if you dig around in the wine list - wine flights are listed somewhere on the PDF - try this link - think it's towards the back

click here

Having said that - since we were doing the mad 12-course tasting thing - we let one of our group make the selection and it all worked out fine

Hope you have a good time

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Taking a largish group to maze next tuesday, and was wondering if anyone knows how much the wine flights are, as we are treating them all, and trying to work out what the damage is. We're going to have a set tasting menu, so I thought that it might be nice to have wine flights to match, but can't find a mention of price anywhere!

My host on my last visit was back there this afternoon, and says that the flights were £20 and £25.

He also said that while our lunch for two in August was £200, lunch today for four was £300.

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I've said this before, but Maze is nice and all, if completely devoid of joy. Which is why I will never be in a hurry to go back. The cooking is accomplished, the service attentive, the room tasteful. . . but it's not fun. And as I have also mentioned before, it cost twelve quid for a cider and black.

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I have been there with my half this past Sunday.

Over all a good meal but I was expecting a bit more from a F. Adria student.....

The beetroot and goat cheese salad was indeed simple but greatly executed.

Will report a bit more later when I get old of the exact menu (we had the 7 course Chef dinner selection)

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Here is the dinner set menu we had :

Chilled English pea soup with pea salad

and parmesan parfait

~

Marinated beetroot, Sairass cheese,

pine nut and Cabernet Sauvignon dressing

~

Braised shin of veal with white onion risotto

~

Organic Shetland cod, roasted Jersey royals,

chorizo spiced piperade and deep fried quail’s egg

or

Roasted Cornish red mullet, candied aubergine

basil and English asparagus vinaigrette

~

Roasted rack of lamb

with braised shoulder and ‘four onions’

or

Braised Suffolk pork belly with spiced lentils,

confit baby leek and smoked paprika salt

~

Buttermilk and lemon bavarois with saffron granité,

marinated white peaches and grappa jelly

~

Bitter chocolate and hazelnut parfait

with salted caramel jelly and milk mousse

They also served a meringue covered strawberry ice cream lollipop, chocolate fondant and Turkish delight..

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Updated with comments:

Here is the dinner set menu we had :

Chilled English pea soup with pea salad

and parmesan parfait

(it was a good dish that worked well together. The herbs did add something to it)

~

Marinated beetroot, Sairass cheese,

pine nut and Cabernet Sauvignon dressing

(this is the beetroot salad that was covered earlier. Simple but great.

~

Braised shin of veal with white onion risotto

(I guess it was sous vide meat with a very tasteful risotto, loads of parmesan)

~

Organic Shetland cod, roasted Jersey royals,

chorizo spiced piperade and deep fried quail’s egg

(this was a good dish that was ruined by the coriander in the "piperade", or some sort of roasted/soft Red Pepper comfit)

or

Roasted Cornish red mullet, candied aubergine

basil and English asparagus vinaigrette

(this was a better dishes-my partner choice- with the highlight being the candied auburgine, cooked with lemon and had a pleasant/refreshing appleish flavour)

~

Roasted rack of lamb

with braised shoulder and ‘four onions’

(as it said just roasted lamb. the 4 onion were in the form of fried rings, a "marmalade", braised shallots and something else I cannot remember..)

or

Braised Suffolk pork belly with spiced lentils,

comfit baby leek and smoked paprika salt

(again a very good dish, with wonderfully tasting lentils that were ruined by the addition of coriander.. what is wrong with Parsley?? It would have been a much better combination- fragrant without overpowering)

~

Buttermilk and lemon bavarois with saffron granité,

marinated white peaches and grappa jelly

(very refreshing. basically a vanilla pannacotta with the clever yellow coloured granita that gave the impression of being  lemon made when instead the lemon was in the bavorois)

~

Bitter chocolate and hazelnut parfait

with salted caramel jelly and milk mousse

(I loved this dessert. Salt and chocolate combination is always great and everything worked well together)

They also served a meringue covered strawberry ice cream lollipop, chocolate fondant and Turkish delight..

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having gone to maze last summer and between myself and the other chef i was with tried 3/4 of the then tasting menu, i thought the cooking was supurb and the wait staff just as good knowledgeable and helpful but they also seemed to be enjoying themselves which is nice to see in a restaurant of this calibre,

the highlight of my meal was deffinatly the truffled swede veloute with brasied duck leg, cep brioche.

we also had the :-

BLT.

Cornish crab mayo with avocado, sweetcorn sorbet and oscietra caviar.

foie gras marinated in pinot noir caramel, smoked ham hock and piccalilli.

roasted sea scallops, pea purre, quail egg & bacon

roasted rack of lamb, with braised shoulder & four onions

braised sufflock pork belly, spiced lentils, confit baby leek & smoked paprika salt

monkfish, dehydrated black olives, bouillbaisse & fennel pollen

duart salmon, squid paint, micro squid, kentish peas & maple roasted chicken skin

roasted cornish red mullet, candied aubergine, basil & english asparugus vinaigrette

Pain Au Chocolat’ chocolate ganache with café latte sorbet & milk mousse

Chocolate Moelleux, pistachio sabayon with milk & honey ice cream

Selection of British cheeses

this was one of the best meals i have ever eaten and as im going back there next monday wondered if anyone has been recently and if the is and dishes that stood out so i make sure i dont mish them

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I went the sunday before last and thought it superb, we were all blown away by the food and service. Had several of the dishes that you mention and will probably be going next week it was so good.

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Went there about two weeks ago for lunch on a Saturday, service and food quality overall was pretty good. Though for some reason our desserts took extremely long for no apparent reason (over 20 minutes).

Being my first time in London and as well as Maze I would fair it a 8 out of 10, nothing too mind blowing.

Oh, also got the croque monsieur blt, quite surprised on their presentation. Was served in a martini glass 'decomposed' per se.

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Oh, also got the croque monsieur blt, quite surprised on their presentation. Was served in a martini glass 'decomposed' per se.

The pernicious influence of that Spanish place. Even a toasted cheese sandwich is not safe from being buggered about with.

S

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having gone to maze last summer and between myself and the other chef i was with tried 3/4 of the then tasting menu, i thought the cooking was supurb and the wait staff just as good knowledgeable and helpful but they also seemed to be enjoying themselves which is nice to see in a restaurant of this calibre,

this was one of the best meals i have ever eaten and as im going back there next monday wondered if anyone has been recently and if the is and dishes that stood out so i make sure i dont mish them

Went for lunch a few weeks ago, for the first time in over a year, and thought it was really excellent, although drank far too much to remember details. Bill was over £100 a head, even with quite a lot of comp-ed wine, so it's a once a year treat.

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Oh, also got the croque monsieur blt, quite surprised on their presentation. Was served in a martini glass 'decomposed' per se.

Was that the BLT and Croque that Jason did on the Great British Menu - if so isn't it the BLT that is in the martini glass...?

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Been a few times recently. The food is imaginative, exquisitely presented and well prepared. On the debit side however portion size is small and its overpriced for what it is.

As I see it, it's the only establishment in the GR stable which has its own distinctive voice. Or to put it another way if you were served a plate blind from Savoy, RHR, Petrus (for the moment), GR@RHR or any of the miscellanous foreign ventures you'd be hard pressed to tell where it was from. If you had a plate from Maze (even full a la carte size) you'd know straightway.

I'm also impressed how the front of house have adapted to the small plates regime. Given the number of covers its no mean logistical feat getting that many plates out of the kitchen on time in a busy evening service.

Having said that, for my money, I'd still prefer to go across the road to Texture (which I revisited recently) where the food is edgier, not quite as immaculate but much better value. Any where they have parmesan crisps to die for. But that's just personal preference - I'd take a client to Maze, but I'd take a foodie to Texture.

J

PS also NB Maze is a two services, seven days a week operation, which is convenient if you want somewhere for a sat lunch, sunday or a bank holiday...

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Went last night for the first time and frankly I was blown away by the food. Everything I ate was surprising, witty and superbly presented. Four of us ordered 5 small plates each plus dessert. With pre dinner drinks, lots of fizzy water and 3 bottles of wine it came to a hundred quid a head. Not too bad considering location and quality.

There's a botoxed, trout pout vibe about much of the clientele though. I guess that's modern London on the Volga.

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went today at maze

we were 3, and all of us had the tasting menu with small variations, and 4 extra dishes from the ala carte menu. we also had a tour in the kitchen and met jayson who was really friendly.

the vichichoise (or how its spelt) was amazing

pressed foie gras was really rich and light on the same time, the tuna had a fresh and summery taste. the scallops were amazing, and the cauliflower puree was probably overpowering them in my opinion. the blt didnt live up to my expectations, and it wasnt because it had some baby coriander leaves, but as many have said, felt that the lettuce veloute didnt do anything.

the pousin was marvellous, very juicy, but the confit leg was a too salty.

the trout was really good, then we had the braised shin of veal that was TINY with the marvellous even a bit overcooked, risotto. the lamb was really good, but again wanted MORE, especially from the confit breast.

the bitter chocolate was good as well.

it was a very pleasant meal, and i would go back again.

without wine, we paid 150something for 3 people (3 set lunch of 4 courses + 2 starters and 2 main courses)

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Nice report, toufas. You remind me of the insane fashionable pairing of scallops with cauliflower puree. What idiot ever thought this was a good idea?

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