56 Curzon Street, London, England, W1J 8PA, United Kingdom

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Following a change of ownership Mirabelle is now closed. In October 2011 the Financial times reported that the building was to be redeveloped as a set of high-end flats. What follows are notes from my last meal in June 2002, which are only of historical interest only now.

This was once the most assured of Marco Pierre White's restaurants. The designer has done wonders with the basement setting, creating an atmosphere that buzzes but did not deafen. The menu was extensive and very appealing, and the kitchen is extremely consistent in its delivery.  Fish and seafood dishes were excellent here, but the kitchen hardly put a foot wrong with any dish. Risotto and pasta were well handled, and desserts were very good e.g. a good lemon tart. Recently a few signs of inconsistency have crept in, which is a little worrying.  Rare for a Marco restaurant, the service was civil. For private functions, there was a private dining room that could be hired which is decorated with exquisite Chinese wallpaper. 

My notes on one meal follow. My wife’s starter was a crab salad, the crab in a cylinder shape on top of a “Russe” salad i.e. cold peas, potatoes and carrots with a thin later of mayonnaise over the top, garnished with three half quails’ eggs, a little caviar and some tiny sprigs of fine chives. The crab was delicate and the salad had very good quality ingredients (16/20). My starter was less successful: a few scallops were cooked in a leek and champagne veloute inside a very large scallop shell sealed with a little pastry.  The problem was that the scallops inside the shell had become waterlogged and soggy. The champagne veloute is very bland once cooked inside the shell, and the leeks add little, so the overall effect of the sauce is not particularly effective. It is fair enough not to try and put in a strong flavour that would overpower the scallops, but then you need to cook the scallops properly if they are to be the focus of the dish. This was a new dish here and one that they need to fix or avoid, in my view (12/20).  Main courses were back on track: haddock was carefully timed and served with a grain mustard sauce, on a bed of sliced Jersey potatoes. On top of the fish was a single poached egg (16/20). My wife's Dover sole was served on the bone and was cooked just right, offered with home made tartare sauce and a good pomme puree garnished with a tower of broccoli and a half-lemon in muslin (16/20). 

My lemon tart was worryingly off-par, as this used to be a regular dish here for me. The pastry was fine but the filling did not have enough acidity, too much sweetness coming through (13/20). My wife’s dessert was fine: summer fruits in a translucent champagne gelee, surrounded by a few individual strawberries and raspberries, and slivers of citrus fruits and blueberries.  This was surrounded by a practically invisible film of passion fruit coulis (16/20). Coffee was good (16/20), breads cooked a little too hard and with not enough salt for my liking (14/20). Service was merely adequate, with a long gap before ordering and then the dishes arriving in a rush. Still, service was always Marco’s weak point. Overall, I feel a slip in standards from when I was eating here regularly. Some dishes were identical, but the Mirabelle used to be a model of consistency, and the problem with lemon tart is especially worrying given that this is one of their old standards. The menu was still long and there was the usual long list of expensive wines. The excellent Alion was £59.50 here compared to £48 a La Trompette, for example. 



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