At my most recent meal I had a starter of (Cornish) crab cocktail had an apple jelly and avocado cream in addition to the crab. These had excellent texture, tasted of what they were supposed to and were a sensible accompaniment to the crab – a light and refreshing starter (16/20). My main course of wild salmon was seasonal, simply prepared and offered with a deep-fried oyster and Vichysoisse. The salmon itself had lovely taste and was nicely timed and seasoned, and the soup here used as a sauce was a reasonable counterpoint to the salmon, though for me the oyster was a distraction (15/20). Peas, broad beans and a little celery on the side were pleasant (15/20).
I was impressed with a chocolate marquise with salted caramel and chocolate sorbet. This was made with high quality chocolate, and was rich and soothing (16/20). Coffee was also good. This meal seemed a more even experience than my previous one, so I have nudged up the score by a point to reflect that.
The notes below are from a meal in November 2008.
Corrigan’s Mayfair is the new venture from Richard Corrigan, who at the time of writing has announced the closing of his flagship Lindsay House but has also successfully revamped the old oyster bar Bentleys. The head chef is Chris McGowan from the Lindsay House. Located next to the Grosvenor Hotel in Park Lane, the menu here stretches to meatier fare than Bentleys, with a wide selection of game. The menu is extremely appealing, with a large number of dishes that you actually might want to eat: no hypermodern lunacy of rhinoceros foam or texture of sea slug here, but choices such as roast partridge with bread sauce and grouse pie. The low-ceilinged room is well appointed, with a large bar and a private dining room (which tonight featured a raucous party hosted by Terry Wogan) adjoining the main dining room. The room is a little noisy and rather dimly lit (hence the murky photos), but tables are decently spaced.
The wine list stretched over 24 pages and was organised by style. Choices included Kientzler Pinot Gris 2004 at £58 for a wine that costs about £19 retail, Navajas Rioja 2007 at £20 for wine you can buy in the shops for around £6, and at the upper end examples such as Vega Sicilia Unico 1995 at £340 for a wine that costs £140 or more retail. Nibbles of sable biscuits and olives stuffed with goat cheese (the latter with a nicely rich, liquid centre) arrive as you browse through the large menu. Bread was a choice of white rolls with all spice and soda bread, which was pleasant.
I began with a risotto of smoked eel with scallions (£11.50). It was a good thing to have the strong taste of the eel, as the stock used with the risotto was fairly bland, though the rice was cooked well enough (14/20). Other dishes sampled included an enjoyable linguine with bone marrow and red wine, an excellent roast foie gras with Heritage apples, and a less successful brandade with suffered from a bed of over acidic onions. Best of all was something the kitchen itself had little hand in, superb wild smoked salmon from Sally Barnes’ smokery.
Main course was an enjoyable dish of venison (£19) served partly as slices of nicely cooked meat, and partly served within pastry, a sort of deer Wellington. The venison was very good, the pastry excellent (16/20). On the side spinach with raisin and pine nuts was pleasant if a fraction overcooked, but chips were well salted and enjoyable (vegetables are mostly £3.50 extra). Other dishes tried included a very well cooked piece of excellent turbot that was probably the dish of the night, and enjoyable John Dory with Jerusalem artichokes and langoustine sauce.
For dessert a lime and cheese soufflé fortunately tasted more of lime than cheese, and was on the point of collapsing when it arrived at the table but had good taste (14/20). Other desserts samples included excellent chocolate brownies and decent quince tart. Coffee was of good quality and came with very good petit fours, including a capable macaroon and an excellent mini lemon tart (16/20).
Service was very good throughout, attentive without being intrusive, with dishes arriving at a steady and quite rapid pace. For a place with over 70 covers plus private dining the standard of cooking was reasonably even throughout, with a few highs and lows but nothing really wide of the mark. I found the menu appealing and the quality of ingredients high. Prices are not excessive for Mayfair, and I imagine that this place will do well.