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Maze: London


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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?

Jean Georges Vongerichten lays claim to the scallop and cauliflower combo here http://jeangeorges.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html although its not a puree.

Call me an idiot, but I think its a highly appropriate pairing and I've had a few delicious versions of it over the years. What don't you like about it?

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  • 1 month later...

I'm thinking of taking my 3 and a half year old (daughter) to Maze for lunch. She's used to eating out, eats virtually everything (eg tripe in Madrid) and is well-behaved (in fact better behaved than at home). For example we recently managed a three course lunch at the Whistler restaurant at Tate Britain. We haven't taken her to any high end places though.

I note from the Time Out guide that children are welcome there so I wouldn't expect the restaurant to have any problems although I will mention it when booking.

I haven't been myself and was wondering if anyone had any tips. Time Out suggests that the menu is very flexible but the alc online doesn't look as if it has that many choices - is it just that the tapas-style dishes aren't listed? I thought I might do the set lunch for myself and get her a couple of small dishes and a pudding. What do you think?

Incidentally there's a thread here if you are interested in debating the issue of children in restaurants; I'm interested in Maze-specific advice.

Many thanks.

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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?

Call me an idiot, but I think its a highly appropriate pairing and I've had a few delicious versions of it over the years. What don't you like about it?

Much as I'd like to call you an idiot, if you are, I am too, I thing it's a combination that works very well, much preferable to the scallops/black pudding combo that seems the last gasp of so many lazy chefs.

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To go (further) off-topic: I think the cauliflower/scallop thing got started in the 1990s with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who browns the cauliflower (slices, not a puree) and livens the dish up with a sweet/acidic emulsion (it is still on his menu, among the "classics"). The first time I ran into it in London was at La Tante Claire in its Royal Hospital Road days; by then the cauliflower slices had turned into a puree. It is, of course, possible that the two approaches were devised independently.

Edited by emsny (log)
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went again to maze yesterday. the menu had some new dishes.

1st starter was a "jacket potato with tuna mayo" which was a jelly of roast potato, tuna mayo and some other foam and some olives. it was very nice, and better than the blt glass.

then we had the scallop risotto which was amazing, followed by the prawns with butternut squash puree, which was good but only 2 prawns :(

mains on the table were the poached lamb with the breast which was very good but i felt that the placement of the dish needed some changing. the lamb pieces sat on some peas and broad beans and a lamb consomme was poured in and some mint hollandaise on top and the mash in a small plate on the side and you can imagine what happens visually when you mix a thick sauce with a runny liquid. the pork head to toe was really amazing, full of flavor and probably the best dish on the table. the squab was really good, my companion was full already but devoured it in no time. the tongue and cheek beef were really good as well. in the end we all had the berries and cream which was really good as well.

i felt like my 2nd visit to maze was far better than the first, yes i would like to try that amazing soup once again, but the overall experience was much much better this time.

we paid 56 pounds each without wine and 3 bottles of evian and the service included.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Can someone please help me understand how Maze's "Tasting Menu" is not an a la carte menu?

I suppose it is, as you choose from a selection as you would in a traditional ALC.

However, the tasting menu is designed for you to choose a number of dishes for a mix and match meal. Each one is quite small, almost tapas style, so I think they recommend 5 or 6 dishes each. You will see this reflected in the prices the starters and mains are approx. £9 and £11 respectively on the tasting menu as opposed to £15 and £30 for starter and main on the traditional 3 course ALC.

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Can someone please help me understand how Maze's "Tasting Menu" is not an a la carte menu?

I suppose it is, as you choose from a selection as you would in a traditional ALC.

However, the tasting menu is designed for you to choose a number of dishes for a mix and match meal. Each one is quite small, almost tapas style, so I think they recommend 5 or 6 dishes each. You will see this reflected in the prices the starters and mains are approx. £9 and £11 respectively on the tasting menu as opposed to £15 and £30 for starter and main on the traditional 3 course ALC.

Thanks, PHilD. It's akin to the "Small Tasting Portions" menu at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

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  • 3 months later...

Went to Maze last night, got to say best meal i have had in london for a long time food wise, they were very busy great atmoshphere, service a little slow at times, good look around the kitchen, my only real complaint would be the room was very dark in the restaurant, had the British menu blt and got to say exceptional, full report to come

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  • 3 months later...

Went to Maze last night and to keep a long story short found the food very good. The whole vibe of the restaurant was very much like a nightclub which was quite bizarre, not what I expected on a Tuesday night. A very diverse crowd for what I suppose is one of London's more 'experimental' menus. Service was very much plate put down and plate taken away.

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  • 1 month later...

Doh, just posted this on the Le Gavroche thread before spotting this one all about Maze itself. Excuse the repost and the fact the Maze content is framed by reference to Le Gavroche, but the Maze Grill review itself, although short, stands up:

Ok, I have a not-eating-at-Le-Gavroche story which is though still relevent to this thread, so bear with me:

I finished a meeting at Westminster yesterday at about 3pm and getting the tube back across town to Euston I decided to jump ship at Green Park. I'd missed lunch and getting the train back to Manchester before 6:30pm costs an extra £125 (peak time pricing malarky) meaning it woud actually be cheaper (important in these credit-crunched times) to stay on in London with a newspaper and a fine lunch and while away a few hours.

I nearly veered into The Wolesley again but I had a hankering for the cossetting of Le Gavroche. I had a feeling the kitchen about generally shut down around 3pm (though previous lunches have lasted till nearer 4pm) before reopening for dinner, but a quick phonecall to their front desk on an ear-splittingly noisy Piccadilly seemed to confirm there might be a chance - if I snuck in for a quick one/two courses and a glass of wine.

There wasn't. Big misunderstanding and much apologies from Emanuelle's number two. The kitchen was shut. I thought it sounded too good to be true.

I was hungry, so ended up in nearby Maze where I'd had a decent lunch once before. Maze itself had stopped serving but Maze Grill had it's all day menu running. Great.

Lovely room, a place setting for one at a swish banquette, and a limited but very eatable menu. I ended up going for the Caesar salad - passable though the "butter poached" chicken was too dry as it was effectively pan fried in strips instead of being sliced as a cooked breast, superlative quail's eggs though, a firm white cup with a creamily liquid yolk; and followed up with a bitter chocolate brownie with bitter chocolate ice cream - too sickly, too sweet, and devoid of any bitterness. This all went down with a glass of Bourgogne Blanc and a decent coffee with four cookies (which I couldn't eat after the sickly dessert. Oh, and a bottle of Badoit.

Total bill? £40. The crux of this story is quite how wonderful the Le Gavroche lunch deal is. There I would have got the main course and the dessert, and the water and wine, albeit a half bottle of superior stuff rather than a measly 175ml, and the coffee would have come with proper petit four.

In addition I would have had a starter, and overall been offered a much more interesting menu which offered much superior cooking. Oh, and all the bread I could eat. And at least one or two plates of canapes/amuse bouche. And maybe an extra course or two, or maybe a brandy or glass of champagne if they were feeling generous.

All this, for an extra £8...

Needless to say I wished my meeting had finished on time at 2pm as was originally planned. I got my train back to Manchester feeling full, but also hollow inside.

Cheers

Thom

--------------------

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Moorfield Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

See the website www.moorfieldmedia.co.uk and/or my profile for all the gory details.

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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  • 2 months later...

RDB totally agree with the night club thing, especially when your there for lunch. it seemed like you have arrived too early or something.

my experience was a good one, even though my friend was seriously hungover from the night before (to the point of having to vomit between courses 4 and 5!!) when we agreed at half two in the morning to catch the first train to London and call up a few restaurants trying to get a table. we decided on Maze and arrived a few minutes early to a fairly quiet restaurant and were told to order some drinks and wait until our table was ready.

i didn't know what to do, do i go to the bar and order 2 WKD blue? eventually we ordered two gin and tonics and sat patiently waiting.

the food was extremely good there's no doubt about that, the service was a different story. you find till points at places like Nandos and Pizza Hut not Maze with a Michelin star and seen by many as one of the best places to eat in London. The waiters knew nothing about the food, to them their job was to carry some random stuff on a plate or cocktail glass to some random bloke on a table over there somewhere.

We started testing one or two as to what certain garnishes were to which only one young waitresses knew the answers the rest went off in a daze and asked her.

We thought it was awful and if this was going for it's second star (which i was informed by the only waitress with a clue) then i hope the guide states clearly thats it only has it for the people in the kitchen and the sommelier.

However like i said the food was tremendous and id happily go back for seconds.

Edited by eatenmess (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Had an excellent late lunch here on saturday.

Ended up going for the a la carte menu because I'd had most of the dishes on the set menu on a previous visit. I did however have a cold which hampered my experience a little so my judgement on food was a little fuzzy.

I started with the Cornish crab salad with pickled mooli, avocado and Bloody Mary sorbet. This was all very nice, light and perfect as a starter, although it did seem like it needed something extra to add a bit of bite.

Next up Braised octopus with ox tongue and black olive. This was very interesting, quite different but the flavours seemed to work. The meatiness of the ox tongue complemented the octopus nicely and it had a wonderful texture.

The next course, red mullet with rabbit bolognese and cuttlefish was superb, probably my second favourite dish.

My final savoury dish was Confit rare breed Sussex pork belly, pig's head, chinese sauce. This was the standout for me, the slice of braised pigs head was very tender and packed a massive amount of flavour and the pork belly was perfect.

To finish, Pliable chocolate ganache with dehydrated lime curd and walnut ice cream. The ganache had a strange texture, pliable is quite appropriate really, and I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. It all tasted good though which is what matters!

Anthonys on tuesday should be an interesting comparison..

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Had an excellent late lunch here on saturday.

Have booked Maze for my 50th birthday lunch a month today. Haven't been for about fifteen months. Do more recent visitors think it is on top form, or would I be better off elsewhere in the area - Texture? Le Gavroche? Pizza Hut?

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Had an excellent late lunch here on saturday.

Have booked Maze for my 50th birthday lunch a month today. Haven't been for about fifteen months. Do more recent visitors think it is on top form, or would I be better off elsewhere in the area - Texture? Le Gavroche? Pizza Hut?

A colleague went there yesterday and said he had a fantastic meal - I would imaging jason will look after you Robert! :wink:

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

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Went for lunch the other day and found it did not have that nightclub feel, much more subdued, but still with a good atmosphere.

Thought the food this time was pretty outstanding, not that the dishes were different per se, maybe I wasn't as distracted this time or maybe because Mr Atherton was in the kitchen.

I had a few dishes of the tasting, whilst the kid critic went for the set lunch. The set lunch which is three courses at £22 is quite good, and interestingly the portions are much bigger than the tasting dishes.

She had a beetroot Sairass cheese and pine nuts starter, which sounds boring, but was very tasty, and well composed.

Then a pig cheek, broad bean and mashed potato dish, which she heralded as the best thing she has ever had to eat. It was very good, rich and deep, and the mashed potato was fantastic.

Then 'Artic Roll' and strawberry Jelly, which was more Artic and less Roll, which was good, a nice dish.

I had the Chilled English pea velouté, pea and lobster salad, parmesan parfait, which although small, was really a beautiful dish. The veloute divine and the parfait melting.

Then a confit of salmon with pickled veg, and not sure what else, this was well flavoured and balanced.

Slow-cooked organic Shetland cod with baked clam, smoked prawn butter and samphire, beautiful piece of cod cooked sous vide I presume, and a lovely smokey kick of the butter. I really liked this.

I enjoy my experience here much more that the first time. The food though is not as left field as I presumed, it has the wacky titles, but it really is quite classical in many ways. It was on the day very, very tasty.

Service was also a million times better than my last experience, staff very helpful, informative and on the ball.

Spoke to Jason afterwards at the request of my daughter and he seems to really enjoy what he does, without any pretense or ego. A very laid back chap.

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  • 1 month later...

Really good lunch at Maze on Friday (with Ravelda). We went for the 4-course option, choosing 4 tapas-size dishes from about sixteen options, at £28 a head. With a couple of extra dishes sent out by Jason Atherton, four courses made a very adequate lunch, but I might go for five courses if the kitchen wasn't giving out extras.

Braised pork cheeks with chorizo and potato puree was perhaps the standout dish, but it was all excellent, and despite recent comments on this board we found that the service both cheerful and knowledgable.

Other dishes we tried included Cornish fish soup with aioli - a small pouring of very intense fish soup with cream & saffron over tiny red mullet fillets; crab on slices of golden beet, and a mini apple tart with apple granita.

After champagne we went for Leeuwin Art Series Riesling, but the sommelier suggested an Austrian riesling at the same price (£35) instead, and I think that this was a good call - it managed to work with everything we had ordered.

I don't think a second star is an unrealistic ambition with food this good. Only real niggle was some bloody awful music that they started playing at about 2.30pm - WHY do they do this?

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  • 2 months later...

Went very recently and definitley recommend at least 6 dishes.

Highlights were Onion squash soup, probably best soup had this year.

'Scotch broth' halibut with Black pudding and neeps and tatties and aged shoulder of mutton.

Been several times, this was the strongest yet.

P.S nearly forgot. Red mullet, squid and rabbit bolognaise was outstanding.

Edited by Polarbear (log)
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