Fitzrovia, London

Wife and husband team Monica and David Galetti blend classic French cooking with South Pacific influences at their Fitzrovia restaurant

Pronounced ‘Mary’, the name Mere comes from the French word for mother, but is also named in honour of chef-patron Monica Galetti’s Samoan mother.

The Fitzrovia restaurant is the brainchild of the MasterChef: The Professionals judge and her France-born husband David, who runs front of house. Opened in 2017, Mere’s food is based on Galetti’s classic French cooking background honed during her years as senior sous chef at Le Gavroche in Mayfair, while also drawing on her Samoan heritage and her time living in New Zealand, where she moved when she was eight years old.

Charlotte Street isn’t short of restaurants but Mere’s confident and considered style stands it in good stead. Galetti has kept things tight but extremely enticing with the restaurant’s tight à la carte menu often making dish selection a difficult task (in a good way). For those who want to abdicate responsibility for such decision making there’s also a six-course tasting menu on offer which, at under £100, is extremely competitive given Galetti’s pedigree.

Despite being located in the basement, Mere’s dining room is airy and inviting thanks to large glass windows at the Charlotte Street end of the restaurant, while the upstairs bar has a more plush, cosy feel.

As a judge on a TV cooking show, Galetti spends her time telling her peers what she thinks of their food. But you’ve got to be able to practice what you preach. With Mere, Galetti shows she’s not just talking the talk.

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