Mount Street Restaurant

41-43 Mount Street, London, W1K 2RX, United Kingdom

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The Audley originally opened as a pub in 1730, and was later rebuilt in 1888 by architect Thomas Verity who is better known for the pavilion at Lords Cricket Ground. The Audley reopened in its current form in October 2022, owned by Iwan and Manuela Wirth, co-founders of high-end art dealership Hauser & Wirth.  

Running the kitchen is Jamie Shears, who formerly worked as executive chef of Cut in Park Lane. On the ground floor is a pub (The Audley), with a formal restaurant, seating around 65 diners called The Mount Street Restaurant upstairs. The three floors above this are all private dining rooms. The dining room is packed with serious paintings, with around two hundred pieces of art displayed throughout the building, including paintings by Henry Matisse, Lucian Freud and Andy Warhol.

The menu is quite traditional, with dishes including beef Wellington and Dover Sole. The wine list had 181 labels and ranged in price from £42 to £2,150, with a median price of £180 and an average markup to retail price of 2.9 times, which is very reasonable by Mayfair standards. Sample references were Albarino Tambora 2021 at £60 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £20, haw and Smith M3 Chardonnay 2021 at £85 compared to its retail price of £31, and Domaine Bachelet Monnot Maranges La Fussiere 2014 at £95 for a wine that will set you back £35 in the high street. For those with the means there was Lynch Bages 1996 at £650 compared to its retail price of £188, and Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 2013 at £780 for a wine whose current market value is £344.

As we sat down some bread appeared along with some very good chicken liver parfait. This being Mayfair, the parfait had a little caviar too. My starter was Orkney scallop scampi (£28), so deep fried scallop flesh resting in a warm tartare sauce. This worked very well, the scampi batter crisp, the scallop sweet and the slight sharpness of the tartare sauce nicely balancing the sweetness of the shellfish (14/20). My dining companion’s omelette Arnold Bennet was also good.

We then shared a lobster pie, which looked attractive but suffered from undercooked pastry and slightly chewy lobster. The lobster was notionally native according to the waiter, though it seems unlikely that they could find English lobster at this time of year, which is normally April to October. The pastry was sufficiently bad (almost raw) that we actually sent this dish back, and to be fair they removed it from the bill without being asked, so I won’t score it. Much better was beef Wellington (£48 each), served with a peppercorn sauce as well as some mash and green beans. This time the pastry was fine and the beef fillet was nicely cooked. There seemed to be more chicken mousse than mushroom duxelles, but this was an entirely pleasant beef Wellington, with a sauce that for me could have had more peppercorn bite (13/20). For dessert, apple and blackberry crumble souffle (£16) came with vanilla ice cream. The souffle had risen nicely and was cooked evenly, there being enough sharpness from the fruit to avoid over-richness (14/20).

The service was excellent, with a good female sommelier and a charming waitress called Betty, who turned out to be completing a master’s degree. The bill came to £259 per person, but that was with two bottles of very nice wine and a couple of other glasses. If you shared a modest bottle of wine between two then a typical cost per person might be around £130. This is not a cheap evening out, but it was interesting that on this midweek January evening, when many London restaurants are empty, this place was completely packed out. This reflects the appealing menu, good service, nice décor and mostly capable cooking.

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