For the menu itself, first up was smoked eel topped with a liquorice ravioli on a bed of celery with a celery sauce. Cutting into the ravioli, a liquorice cream oozed out and the dish combined the celery crunch and acidity with sweet liquorice and delicately but deeply smoked eel. Delicious.
Next up we’re served foie gras, over which is spooned cherry granita, complimented with both pickled cherries and a chilled cherry soup accompanied by a caramelised milk tuile. This, as with all dishes during the lunch, worked best in combination with a bit of everything on the fork. The sweet cherries and sweet foie gras combined perfectly while the granita provided a cold crisp offset to balance the dish.
Then came the quail, smoked white beans and toast foam which has graced the gourmand menu for some time now. We commented on this in the last entry on MW so no tasting notes needed here but we feel that this has been a somewhat variable dish over the times we had it, not least due to the execution of the toast foam which can become more pasty if not perfectly done. An excellent idea but now time for the dish to evolve into something fresher perhaps.
The main courses we chose Rhug Estate sucking pig and Cornish spring lamb. The suckling pig came with the belly, shoulder, chop, head and a baby gem lettuce leaf with barbecue pork and ranch dressing. The crackling was its usual light and airy self and it was an excellent dish of multiple pork expressions. The lamb meanwhile came with nettle, charred leaks and a remarkable lamb cracking.
Cheeses from the trolley came next including our particular favourite, Brillat-Savarin, a triple cream Brie. We tried five cheeses each, plated with a streak of apple puree and fig cake, and a glass of port of course. Pre-dessert was a Pedro Ximenez and milk chocolate gâteau, caramelised white chocolate, prunes and walnuts, together with lime mousse with cucumber jelly. A sweet plate and a refreshing plate and so many combinations and flavours.
Once again, a truly first class meal with first class service. Indeed, our waiter William who had only been with MW for a mere four weeks was one of the finest waiters we’ve been fortunate enough to be looked after by at any restaurant. Demonstrating excellent knowledge of not only the menu but the technique to arrive there, he was prepared and able to go the extra mile for us as we grilled him on the details of the dishes. He was a real credit to the restaurant and demonstrates another hallmark of MW, that is, of staffing the restaurant with the best people. We’re sure William has a very bright future ahead of him.
It was around 5:40 when we stumbled out of the Berkeley, feeling very full and very happy (each of the course had been accompanied by the appropriate wine) and admittedly a little poorer in wealth but richer in spirit. It’s tremendous food served with passion by people who care about you the customer. For sure, we’ll keep going back, because in our view, in the world of top end dining, this really is as good as it gets.