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Scotts

20 Mount Street, London, England, W1K 2HE, United Kingdom

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Scott’s is part of London restaurant history, having opened in Coventry Street in 1851 and served customers including Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill, relocating to its current site in 1968. It was taken over by Richard Caring in 2005 and refurbished substantially, with an oyster bar in the centre of things on the ground floor, and what used to be the downstairs bar now a private dining room.  The head chef since 2009 has been Dave McCarthy, who previously worked for nine years at J. Sheekey. 

The wine list has a broad international coverage, with labels such as Riesling Stephen Ehlen 2000 at £35 for a wine that can be found in the high street for £12, Waterford Estate Chardonnay 2012 at £63 compared to a shop price of £18, and Chateau Musar 2001 at an excessive £110 for a wine that retails at about £25. The denizens of Mayfair can also splash out on labels such as Descendientes de J. Palacios La Faraona 2007 at £850 for a bottle that really costs £360, and La Tache 1991 at £4,000 for a bottle that will set you back £2,348 in a shop.

Tuna tartare was pleasant, a quite small portion of tuna but the fish of reasonable quality, served with a vaguely Asian dressing with ponzu, sesame, pomegranates, garnished with a rice cracker (13/20). Seafood cocktail had a mix of prawns, langoustine and lobster and had a nicely made, well-seasoned Marie Rose sauce (13/20).

Deep fried haddock (£18.75) was served on a bed of mushy peas (regular rather than the marrowfat kind), and I ordered chips on the side. The fish was fine, the batter reasonable, though to be honest I have had better fish and chips, and even the tartare sauce lacked bite. Chips were decent but not top notch, so in the end this was a nexpensive yet rather ordinary take on fish and chips (12/20). Dover sole (£42) was better, served on the bone, correctly cooked and having good flavour. This was a very simple and enjoyable dish (13/20).

Apple pie (£8.50) was good, a mix of Granny Smiths and Bramley apples cooked to a good consistency, and the pastry well made (14/20). Even better was panna cotta (£9) with lots of vanilla flavour and suitably wobbly consistency, served with poached rhubarb with just enough acidity left in it, and excellent pink champagne granita, which had lovely texture (15/20).

Coffee was a brand called Vesuvio (a blend of various South American coffees) and was enjoyably rich. The bill was also rich at £76 per head with just water to drink. If you shared a bottle of modest wine then the cost per head would be at least £100, which is an awful lot of money for what is pleasant but hardly remarkable food. Service was attentive, and the restaurant clearly understands its market, since even at these prices it was packed out on a Tuesday lunch, with some tables being turned.

Further reviews: 01st Feb 2007

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