Ormer, Mayfair | Restaurant review
Jersey fine dining gets a Mayfair makeover as Shaun Rankin brings Ormer to the understated Flemings Hotel
What's the draw
There's a good chance you haven't heard of Flemings – it's a well-hidden, dinky, high-end hotel (that's why it's part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group) flooded with the kind of expensively sexy décor you (and us) probably aren't cool or rich enough to have in your own home. Ormer's sophisticated, seasonally focused and achingly pretty fine dining, then, is a great fit.
What to eat
Whether you hit the à la carte or the seven-course tasting menu (as we did), Rankin knows how to create dishes that leap off the page (the idea of jerusalem artichoke velouté with artichoke toffee and homemade brioche has us panting) and properly deliver (it's a cloud of feathery-light truffled artichoke, floating on an almost custardy base, with heavenly creamy-sweet-truffley-umami flavours that you won't forget in a hurry). Pine nut-crusted turbot with charred cauliflower and sea vegetables is both delicate and complex, and looks pretty as a picture, while the roast rabbit loin that precedes it, wrapped in pancetta and served with morels, peas and truffle gnocchi, might be better, even, than it sounds. We'd have thrown away the cutlery and attacked it with our bare hands if the surroundings weren't so posh. Dessert – blood orange sorbet, rhubarb and meringue with fragments of what look and taste like highly evolved custard creams – is great without being blockbuster.
What to drink
We reckon Manetta's Bar – right next to Ormer in the bowels of Flemings – might be one of the best-kept secrets on London's high-and bar scene. It's dark, compact and the cocktails are grown up, clever and really, really good. Drag yourself out of Manetta's and into Ormer and you'll find a wine list that's big, varied and has plenty by the glass if you fancy working your way through a few interesting numbers.
Tasting menu, £75pp, or £150pp with paired wines. 7-12 Half Moon Street, W1J 7BH; slh.com/hotels/flemings-hotel-mayfair