Mission Murano

Diary Date LIWSF 2009 Highlights. Last year thanks to the desperate ratings battle between Channel 9 and Channel 7, millions of Australians got to see GR on the telly practically every week – if not twice in time-lapse shift on two channels – so I was determined on my next trip to London to see if the taste lived up to the hype – hence Mission Murano with a mate last week during LIWSF.

Opened in 2008 Murano is a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the heart of London’s Mayfair. A classically tailored interior features magnificent painted fresco and traditional blown glasswork light fittings in the Murano style setting the tone for modern cuisine with an Italian accent (reflecting the family roots of its Chef Patron Angela Hartnett) as well as all the trimmings you expect in a Gordon Ramsay establishment.

In recent years, Angela Hartnett has emerged as one of Britain’s most successful, best-loved and busiest chefs. After launching Gordon Ramsay’s Amaryllis in Scotland in 2001 and Verre by Gordon Ramsay in Dubai, she returned to England to launch Menu and The Grill Room at The Connaught in 2002. Her efforts were formally recognised in 2004 with the award of her first Michelin Star. Awarded an MBE for her service to the hospitality industry in 2007, she also opened a Florida outpost Cielo by Angela Hartnett in the Boca Raton resort in Miami, published her first book and starred in her own TV series on BBC 2 in the same twelve month period.

So much for the backstory what about the food?

Stunning, subtle, sublime or heaven on a plate just about sums it up…

Salad of scallops, celeriac purée, pickled rhubarb and Joselito ham just melted in the mouth and the signature starter: Quail agnolotti, white onion purée, braising juices, grilled foie gras was a pure symphony of colour, movement and substance for both eyes and palate. Both dishes were highlighted by the complexity of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne.

Having a bit of a sweet tooth I couldn’t resist a pudding and the pistachio souffle with with warm chocolate sauce and macaroon did not disappoint. I have to confess I was persuaded to sample a grappa with my petits fours(just one of the delightful little extras thrown in!) and that was a definite mistake but somehow I fitted it all in without feeling “heavy” so I have to
give this place 10 out of 10 – my favourite bits- the combination of a discreet ordinary exterior to the restaurant with floor to ceiling glass en route to the toilets – and the fact that GR lets the food do the talking not the front door – go Gordon!

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