Maze is part of the Gordon Ramsay empire, its head chef currently Tristin Farmer. The notes below are from when Jason Atherton was in charge; he has since gone his own way with Pollen Street Social.
Maze seems as successful as ever, packed out early this evening. We tried a wide range of the dishes this evening. Crab salad with pickled mooli, apple jelly and Bloody Mary sorbet had excellent crab, and the taste combination was refreshing. A pair of roasted scallops was served with a classical pairing of cauliflower puree, and a muscatel vinegar dressing to give a little acidity to balance the sweet scallops. Honey and soy roasted quail had good flavour, served with a little foie gras from Landes and a spiced pear chutney.
Roast squab and Peking duck leg was served on a wooden chopping board with marinated turnip and date sauce. Roasted organic Shetland cod tasted excellent and was attractively paired with crispy pigs trotters, tripe and ears, along with some broad beans and peas. Cornish red mullet tasted fresh, with sardine and saffron rice, Pimento pepper puree and “paella air”. A rare breed Suessex pork was served “head to toe” with parsnip and spiced lentils. There was also a Cornish crab mayonnaise with avocado, sweet corn sorbet and Oscietra caviar, another dish whose flavour combinations worked well. All these dishes hovered around the 16/20 level.
The star of the evening for me was the BLT and Croque Monsieur pairing that will be familiar to those who have watched the 2008 Great British Menu TV series (this was the winning starter). This witty dish reinvents these sandwiches, the BLT arriving in a cocktail glass, with a lettuce soup in a glass on the side, the main cocktail glass holding tomato jelly, bacon onion cream, the dish garnished with fried onion rings and bacon lardons. This was a wonderfully successful combination of refreshing flavours (18/20). The brioche croque monsieur was less interesting for me, but the BLT was inspired cooking; the great thing was the flavours were so intense and complimentary; this was not just a dish relying on originality, but actually tasting great.
The wine list at Maze is excellent, with attractive choices from all around the world, at just about tolerable mark-ups. Service was excellent, though quite why the staff find it necessary to dim the lights to the point of gloominess shortly after the evening began eludes me: this is an attractive room with pretty food, and it would be nice to be able to actually see it.