Bistro Mirey

98 Lillie Road, London, SW6 7SR, United Kingdom

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Bistro Mirey opened in October 2016, a venture of friends Gerald Mirey and Ko Ito. Gerard is from Normandy and has recently worked at The Garrison and The Narrow; Mr Ko is from Sapporo in Hokkaido and has run various supper clubs. The restaurant is in a parade of shops in Fulham. It has a simple but pleasant dining room, with banquette seating and fairly plain décor. The menu is in French bistro territory but with Japanese influences.

The wine list was fairly limited, with eighteen French wines ranging in price from £22 to £80, with a median price of £29.50 and an average markup a shade under three times retail price. Sample labels were Boutinot Pasquiers Sauvignon Blanc 2016 at £26 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £7, Chateau Crabitey 2010 at £42 compared to its retail price of £18, and Laurent Perrier NV Brut at £80 for a bottle that will set you back £38 in a shop. There was also corkage available at a very fair £10 as an alternative.

Beef tartare had beef that was not chopped up too finely, and came with some edamame beans, which added an extra texture. The seasoning was a touch one-dimensional and for me was a little tentative, but the overall effect was certainly very pleasant (easily 13/20). It was a great deal better than a prettily presented tartare of avocado with wakame (a sea vegetable) and dulse (savoury tasting seaweed) topped with tempura of wasabi leaves. The avocado was fine but the seaweed didn’t add much flavour, while the tempura was really soggy and would definitely not pass muster in Tokyo (barely 11/20).

My main course of teriyaki smoked pork burger lacked much flavour, least of all any detectable teriyaki sauce, which should bring quite a strong flavour given its components of soy, mirin and sugar. The resulting pattie was just grey, dry and flavourless, though a mayonnaise on the side was pleasant (barely 11/20). Fries appeared to be bought-in and were rather pale but acceptable. Salmon with miso and ginger marinade was disappointing, the fish utterly lacking flavour, the miso and ginger flavour missing in action, which is odd given how distinct these flavours naturally are. Similarly the cauliflower with it was cooked all right but entirely lacked any discernible advertised Parmesan flavour (10/20). On the side, kale was supposed to be buttered, but this was barely detectable, as was any seasoning. It was cooked acceptably, but lacked much in the way of flavour (11/20).

For dessert, yuzu crème brulee was an interesting idea but the execution did not live up to the concept. The top of the brulee was scorched unevenly and distinctly burnt in places.. The citrus of the yuzu was a good idea to balance the cream, but there was not enough of it to really have the intended effect (10/20). Cheese was a trio of Brie, St Nectaire and Emmenthal. The Brie was borderline chalky rather than soft and creamy, though the St Nectaire was reasonable. The Emmenthal was just rubbery, and all three cheeses were fridge-cold.

Both Mr Ko and our waiter, from Lyon, were very pleasant and friendly. The bill was £41 each, which involved us bringing our own wine. If you had three courses with a side dish and coffee and shared a modest bottle of wine from the list then the cost per head would be around £55. I really wanted to like Bistro Mirey, an independent restaurant in a slightly tricky location, Sadly, apart from the beef tartare, the food was just not very good. The service was really nice, but a restaurant also has to be able to cook well.

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