Noel, the younger brother of mrs maytrees for a family Christmas present, treated us to supper last night at Cafe Murano 33 St James's Street SW1. An excellent evening ensued. Being a Friday night and as I had been at work all day at Lincoln's Inn Fields I decided to walk through the brisk evening air to St James's Street to work up an appetite and work off the end of the day job week. London at that time of evening felt free and fun and the 35 minutes walk was easy.
The head chef at the Cafe Murano is Sam Williams who must rank among the best restaurant chefs in London and is clearly one of the best woman chefs. The City Magazine stated a few weeks back:
In spite of some massive steps forward, women remain in
the minority in senior positions in London’s professional
kitchens. In 2014, of the 167 restaurants awarded Michelin
stars in the United Kingdom, only 10 employed women as
head chefs and only three recipients of The World’s Top 50
Restaurants were female-led. So it’s heartening to see that
some of the capital’s top culinary talents have both an X and Y
Being prone to finding a first course very filling leaving little room for the main course, I ordered simply some olives and nuts for a Cicheti course. They came in a large dish with the large fruity green olives being particularly delicious. Some wonderful olive oil in a side dish enhanced the flavour of the oils already lightly coating the the olives and nuts. Even with mrs maytrees and others sharing, this cicheti starter was ideal leaving ample room for the main course.
All the suggested secondi courses looked tempting especially as Noel re-iterated that this was his treat and wanted no issues about menu costs.
Mrs maytrees agreed to share with me a "Whole Sea Bass for two" which the menu signified would be accompanied by braised fennel and "courgette fritti". As I am not usually partial to courgettes I was tempted to ask the waiter to exclude the latter but eventually decided to keep the courgettes and additionally ordered with mrs maytrees some cauliflower almonds and sauteed potatoes to accompany the main course.
"Absolutely delicious" was the verdict of us both and the courgettes were marvelous - like no others I have savoured previously. The whole bass was delicate and tasted simply wonderful - the best I can recollect ever enjoying. I rounded the meal off with some lovely baked pears poached in a delicious Italian liquor the name of which now escapes me!
Maytrees max and mi chose completely different menus and also expressed themselves as being far more than satisfied with the result.
I should add that Noel ordered both white and red wine to accompany everyone's meals though I do not recollect the wines' details. The white was a good accompaniment for the sea bass.
A great start to the New Year.