Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hibiscus @ Maddox Street, London

Ranked #8 on the Good Food Guide 2012 and 2013, Hibiscus is one of my top priority in my dining list in London. Hibiscus is a brainchild of Chef Claude Bosi which he started in Ludlow way back in year 2000 and later in 2007, the restaurant was relocated to London and maintaining its 2 Michelin star. The restaurant also is named one of The World's 50 Best Restaurants by the Aqua Panna and S. Pellegrino awards in 2010 and 2011.

The facade of the restaurant was so simple that one wouldn't have thought that this place serves such fine cuisine. And lucky, the cab driver managed to locate this place with the address that I have brought along during the trip. There are so many Michelin starred restaurants in London and so don't expect all cab drivers to know them all.

 Chef Claude Bosi

The interior was also simple but elegant and I love the electric blue chairs that perked up the white interior. I was seated at a comfy couch that was half enclosed which allows some privacy. There's no air about Chef Bosi as he would walk around the tables and greet his customers. I even grabbed him for a photo opportunity (isn't that what a food blogger always do?). It was also very kind of the restaurant to prepare a nice card and signed by the chef himself on the table for my partner as we are celebrating a special ocassion together.

 Parmesan Cheese Balls & Olive Balls together with a bread basket to start our evening. I love those cheese-filled balls! That was not it as we were also given a glass of complimentary Rose since we are celebrating a special ocassion. Now, that is a true kind gesture!

His cuisine is quite gastronomical but with influences of French and traditional British cuisine. There's nothing too extravagant in his dishes as he wants to keep it close to the natural flavours of the ingredients. Hibiscus offers a very interesting seasonal menu for dinner. I took the 6-course dinner of winter menu as recommended as the portions are small and I could sample more of the Chef's specials. The degustation menu is a surprise and thus you won't know what you will be expecting. And I love these kind of surprises!

3 courses - £87.50 ++
6 courses - £95.00 ++
  8 courses - £105.00 ++
 Hibiscus "Kedgeree" served in an egg shell. 
Kedgeree is actually a traditional British breakfast from colonial India that consists of smoked fish, boiled rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder and ghee but the Hibiscus "Kedgeree" contains smoked Haddock, soft egg and a tint curry oil.

Leflaive Les Pucelles Puligny Montrachet 2001 Premier Cru
A deep gold hue, a nose of pears, apricots and jasmine flowers. On the palate, there's honey suckle, slight mint and spices coupled with citrus notes. The wine is dense, long lingering flavours and needs time for it to develop. Knowing that I love a Puligny montrachet, my partner made the right choice in picking up this from the wine list.

And a picture of me with my "Kedgeree". Pictures are all taken using the iPhone 5 and due to low light conditions, please bear with the quality of my food pics.

Salad of Devonshire Crab, Tokyo Turnip Smoked Olive Oil Cream and Ginger
I would have thought that the cream would be too overhelming and oily but it wasn't.

Ravioli of Smoked Potato & Hen's Egg Yolk, Truffle
I found this dish to be too salty for my liking and thus I told the staff about it. Otherwise it would be a very nice dish as I love the truffle and smoky flavours.

Grilled Hand Dived Isle of Skye Scallops, Pork Pie Sauce and Pink Grapefruit Gel
This delicate Scottish scallop is really nice but I was told that if I were to eat it in Scotland, fresh from the catch, it would even be better! The pork pie sauce was really interesting and who would have thought pairing it with a seafood and the grapefruit gel provides a citrusy and refreshing flavour to the scallop dish.

Adour Foie Gras Skewered on Liquorice, Pear Gel, Nashi Pear Confit, Shaved Black Liquorice
Service recovery was instant as they apologized for the salty dish and they offered this dish as compliments from the restaurant. When I think of Licorice, the sweet black candy comes into my mind. Liquorice is actually from the legume family and if you boil the plant, you can extract a sweet syrup from it. The foie gras pairs very well with sweetness, no doubt.

South Coast Monkfish, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower & Mulled Wine, Sauce Coq au Vin
The monkfish is a huge fish which looks like a cross between a flatfish and a shark and is popularly fished at the South Coast of England. It is also known as the "poor's man lobster" due to it's firm texture and the and a natural sweetness to the taste. I absolutely love those cute little brussel sprouts too!

Goosnargh Duck, Quince Aioli, Jerusalem Artichokes & Sharon Fruit
Goosnargh (pronounced as goose-ner) is a village in the City of Preston in Lancaschire, England and it's ducks and confed chickens are championed by the chefs. The producers in Goosnargh has a reputation for top quality birds fed on a chemical-free diet, so much so that there is an EU protection sought to prevent ducks produced elsewhere being tagged as coming from that village. Fantastic taste and structure, intense flavours and I simply love the crisp dry skin which felt almost like the crackling skin of the pork. Would you just look at the colour of the duck meat?!!

Melilot Panna Cotta & Hibiscus "Tarte Au Chocolate" with Indonesian Basil Ice-cream

The whole dinner was very enjoyable as the restaurant was spacious and the service was tip-top. A thumbs up to the team for the attention given to us and even the fine details I sent to them by email before the dinner was followed up. I made a reservation using Toptable and there is a penalty of £50 if I cancel the reservation within 48 hours which I gulped when I entered my credit card details while booking this place.

After the dinner, we were given a small bag each which contained a cute muffin and the tasting menu which we have just experienced. That is really professional! And guess how much was the bill?!! When I asked for the bill, my heart also jumped out from my ribcage. It's £800+ where the dinner for 2 costs around £300 and the £500 goes to the the bottle of Puligny Montrachet. And since my partner is so sweet, he took care of the bill.

29 Maddox Street
London, W1S 2PA
Tel: + 44 020 7629 2999
Hours of Operation:  
Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 6:30pm - 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 6:00pm - 10:00pm


Sean said...

ooh, looks like the difference between the cost of the three-course and the eight-course is actually not too much. looks like quite an interesting meal, with lots of locally sourced meat and veggies (except for the indonesian basil ice cream maybe) :D

suituapui said...

Hmmmm...some people have all the luck in the world - had a partner to take care of the bill. Ummm...what partner would that be? Lifetime partner? Wink! Wink! LOL!!!

Chef and Sommelier said...

Wow! What a bottle you had!

Was this some special occasion? If not, I agree with Arthur... :D

Eiling said...

Sean: Yeah the difference in price is small but because the portions are getting smaller too just so that you can try the rest of the dishes.

STP: haha... trying to dig info from me? Oh well... I must be one of the lucky ones.

Chef and Sommelier: Haha.. I know you know your wines but what you didn't mention is that did i overpay for my bottle?

Huai Bin said...

The food looks good! I like the concept of having a degustation menu, offers a bit of everything.

I see an "Evolution" style 3-eyed smiley face in the scallops pork sauce. Nice touch!

It looks like a great place to dine. There's not much difference (if you don't convert) between 3 courses and 8 courses.

Looks like a fine dinner Eiling! :)

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KY said...

would love to try that Hibiscus "Kedgeree" thingyyy

eiling lim said...

Huai Bin: Hey I thought it was only me who saw that smiley face thingy. Glad to know you saw it too! Yeah not much difference in the price for the higher number of dishes but of course the portions will be smaller too. It's a fine dinner with a fine one.

KY: It's niceeeeeee

Anonymous said...

The markup for that bottle of Pucelles is three times its retail price in Singapore.

eiling lim said...

Anon: Wow that's really a lot of markup!

missyblurkit said...

the Hibiscus "Kedgeree" sounds and looks interesting! Serving it in an egg shell too!

Is it me seeing things but it looks like there is a smiley face on the scallop picture:D

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