Monday 8 August 2011

Murano, Mayfair

You leave home and it's hot and sunny. Half an hour later, you find yourself sopping wet in a singlet top and sandals with no brolly. The English summer claims another victim. But not quite... Because when the doorway into which you duck to escape the sudden inconvenient downpour on a Saturday afternoon happens to belong to Angela Hartnett's Murano, it's only natural that you keep walking all the way in. The £30 lunch menu and spare table at the side of the room seemed beacons of fate.

The room is elegant, if a little hotel foyer-like, but the energetic chatter from the floor cuts through the boring formality that might otherwise set in. Posited in the moneyed up heart of Mayfair, you get the feeling that most of the crowd live in a trendy little mews somewhere not far off Park Lane.

It's seriously hard to choose from the Italian menu where everything sounds appetising, although quite a few dishes didn't live up to expectations - my fresh tagliatelle with Ligurian sausage and tomato tasted watery and monotone, and my porcetta carpaccio, though pretty, didn't move the earth for me.

TPG's entree serving of risotto with brown onion, parmesan and truffle oil was better, nay perfect, and he immediately positioned it above my favourite truffle risotto at Gauthier Soho. Tender steak bavette with sweet corn salsa was lovely, if not a patch on the flavoursome steaks of Goodman and Hawksmoor.

Dessert was where our meal really hit its straps with a dreamy custard tart and a cold chocolate fondant worth writing home about - the latter accompanied by an addictive sour cream ice cream, thick, oozy salted caramel sauce and heavenly little crispy chocolate bits lining the plate.

The wine list is expensive, but we had a lovely glass each for £6.50 and £8.50 respectively - this is not somewhere you need be afraid of the "cheapies" on the list. You also get lots of lovely amuses and freebies along the way - although none so perfect as the little bowl of cherries at the end.

A good value way to try a Michelin star restaurant, but not one I'll be hurrying back to for repeat visits.

Murano, 20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London W1J 5PP (Tel: 020 7495 1127)

Murano on Urbanspoon


  1. I agree completely. I went for lunch at Murano last year and found the food pleasant but nothing that would inspire a return visit. I didn't write the post for a few reasons but I'm glad you did :)

  2. I went here for lunch a la carte and it came to TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY pounds! I almost fainted at the bill. With places like Zucca (which I think did a better pasta) and Trullo around, I think I'll be going there instead.


  3. I've not yet been to Murano but £30 a head sounds like a lot better deal than £260! Shame it didn't quite live up to expectations, although that dessert sounds wonderful...but no photo?! :-(

  4. Great review as ever Ms Diva, albeit one that only adds to my sense of conflict about Murano; the menu has always sounded lovely, and I *adore* Angela Hartnett, but I've never yet heard anyone rave about it and as Lizzie points out, unless you're on a lunch deal the prices are just crazy. One to add to the list headed "Don't rush to on your own money, but accept an invitation from a wealthy benefactor."

  5. Sounds like the tasting menu is the best way to go here - the pics do look lovely though but not for £260!

  6. I'm thinking of booking Murano for my partner's birthday in a few weeks time. I've heard that they give you extras in between courses, is this still true for the set lunch at £30?

    Love the blog!

  7. Hi Rebecca - Yes, it's true that you still get lots of free courses on the £30 lunch meal, which does make it feel like you're on the more expensive lunch option! As freebie extras, we had a platter of prosciutto and salami (with lovely bread basket and excellent olive oil), some little fried risotto balls (delicious), a pre-dessert and then after dessert a bowl of cherries and some fab little salted caramel chocolate balls. Other posh lunch deals you might want to consider are Galvin at Windows for the amazing views over London (and great food) and Le Gavroche - both of which I think still offer some wine as part of the price.

  8. The Little Loaf - yes, a lack of dessert photos as I was caught out with only my phone so the photos were fairly crap.

  9. Rebecca - I can't believe I forgot to mention The Ledbury for lunch. It's my favourite of all! Hopefully they are back on their feet after the riots. I have blogged about all 3 of these places on my blog if you want to check out more info.

  10. I was considering Galvin at Windows too, I've wanted to go there for a while. I've actually booked Murano now but I'll definitely have to visit the others in due course! Many thanks for your reply!
    Rebecca x


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