Lanky girl is lucky enough to have a friend who is as much of a foodie as she is ( and who doesn’t mind footing the bill). Each time we meet either Mr B or myself must choose a new restaurant that we have never eaten in to test our foodie credentials. Okay so the whole thing makes me sound a little pretentious but I am never going to refuse free food. Just before Christmas it was my turn to pick a restaurant. Of course being a bit of a procrastinator I left it to the last minute to book somewhere. All the ones critics had been raving about this year (Hawksmoor, The Ledbury, Polpetto, Zucca) where fully booked. I came across Artisan on toptable.com and it’s reviews, interior and the fact that it was very close to Regent Street (last minute shopping) made me decide it would be the next place to show Mr B I knew food.
Having read that the menu was was created by a Roux scholar I had high hopes for Artisan. We arrived for lunch at around 1pm and I have to say the Westbury Hotel and the Artisan restaurant is simply stunning. Staff were courteous and we were shown to our table to the far left of the room. The restaurant was very busy which was unsuprising as it was nearly Christmas. Looking around it was filled with businessman and ladies who lunch types.
Now for the food, we decided to order a starter and main each. Mr B had roasted dorset diver scallops, garnished with butternut squash & truffle for starter and the Roasted Bresse Chicken Breast for main. His verdict? Scallops were good not amazing and the chicken was possibly the worst he has had in London for a while (and he eats out a lot). I had Ham, Egg & Chips with Jabugo ham and a poached duck egg. For main I had Fillet of Caledonia Crown Scottish Beef garnished with roasted banana shallot, baby leeks & horseradish butter. My impressions? Well both my starter and main were tasty but I wasn’t blown away by any of it, really I expected more from a Roux scholar. What I can say is that at Artisan you do get value for your money in other ways we had lots of extras: truffle popcorn, the most bread I have ever seen in a restaurant (and SUCH delicious bread!), delicate amuse bouche, sorbets, a tree of chocolate leaves at the end. So I am glad we didn’t get dessert. We had an attentive waiter throughout and they also had an extensive wine list.
So would I recommend Artisan? Yes I think if you want to treat yourself and not break the bank it is a nice place to go for a decent meal just don’t expect too much.
A meal starter and main plus two glasses of Chablis ler Cru came to £125.00.
Lanky girls’s rating
Mr B’s verdict ” I wouldn’t bother coming here again”.
So basically I lost this round of the culinary challenge but I have higher hopes for my next choice.