French chef Darroze puts an unconventional spin on fine dining at this luxury Mayfair hotel
It’s been more than 10 years since French chef Hélène Darroze took over this spot at the five-star Connaught hotel in London’s Mayfair, during which time the restaurant has won two Michelin stars and seen Darroze win the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award in 2015.
With its white tablecloths, wood panelling and Damien Hirst artwork gracing the wall, this is a grand dining room fit for a well-heeled neighbourhood, but the warm service and unconventional menu means the restaurant avoids feeling overly stuffy.
Darroze serves up modern French cuisine, created from carefully selected produce. There’s an element of surprise to the menu, which sees diners presented with a board of 16 marbles engraved with one of the ingredients of the day such as ‘scallop’, ‘black truffle’, or ‘asparagus’. For à la carte, guests are invited to choose either five (£110 without wine pairing) or seven (£147 without wine) products, with the resulting dishes left up to the kitchen.
For lunch there’s a £60 three-course weekday lunch menu, which includes two glasses of wine and tea or coffee. Sample dishes include pollock with white asparagus, pea and wild garlic; duck with potato, Xerez vinegar and mustard; and chocolate with passionfruit and coffee.
At the pricier end are four Sommelier’s Table experiences, which take place in The Connaught’s 15,000-bottle Limestone wine cellar. These range from a paired £150 seasonal lunch to a six-course lunch or dinner Krug Feast for a maximum of eight guests for £8,500.