Feb 21 2017

Ferdi

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The original Ferdi is located in Paris and has become a favourite of models and other celebrities and they have decided to expand and after 13 years open another branch – this time in London. One of the waiters who before relocating to London worked in Paris, was telling me that they also have plans to open another Ferdi in Dubai and maybe one in New York, but there will only be 1 Ferdi per country.

Ferdi in Paris opened in 2004 and was a creation of Alicia and Jacques Fontanier, who named the restaurant after their son Ferdinand. The London Ferdi is located in Mayfair, in Shepherd Market, the wonderful hidden and fun place in between all the private equity and hedge funds. The place is very small, seating only about 25 people inside and 8 outside, and the tables are so close together you can really overhear everything (good if you see a celebrity, otherwise a bit annoying). The interior is dark with red sofas and brown walls and even darker tables, reminding you of a trendy Parisian brasserie and there are stuffed animals situated all over the place.

I have been to Ferdi twice now, once for lunch and once for dinner. For lunch you can just do a walk in, they don’t accept reservations, but for dinner you have to book and you can only book via text. Getting a table for lunch was easy – there was almost no one there on a Tuesday lunchtime at 12.30, but to get a reservation for dinner, I had to text them many times, just to be texted back after a while that they did not have that date or time available, it was quite inefficient and took me a while. In the end I got a reservation 2 weeks from contacting them on a Sunday for dinner at 18.30, when the place was completely packed with no free space at all.

The food menu is called “craving menu” and is in 3 different languages – English, French and Spanish. The menu in Paris is longer and at the moment the London Ferdi menu is smaller but they have plans to expand it over time to be like the Paris one (next Friday they are getting 5 more dishes). The menu is quite eclectic and is a mix of tapas with comfort food. It is divided into 5 sections – Salads and Vegetables, Seafood, Spanish Delicatesse, Cheese and “Our Basics”.

Over my two meals I got to try quite a nice selection of their menu. The first time we went there we attacked their signature dishes – Greek nostalgia, Mac Ferdi’s Cheeseburger and Macaroni and Cheese among other things. The Greek Nostalgia sounded like a typical Greek salad, but instead of being a salad was actually a dip – it was like someone had put a Greek salad into a blender and served it with little crackers. I liked it, althought it was quite salty and had a strong taste.

From the Salads and Vegetables section I also tried Guasaca (avocado, tomato, onions and coriander), which was like a take on guacamole and was served with nachos. I liked this even less than Greek nostalgia. Usually I like all the ingredients that make this Guasaca but here, maybe it was because of the specific proportions, I did not like it. On my subsequent lunch visit I also tried the Cherry tomatoes with vanilla flavoured olive oil which were served with a black olive puree toast, the Padron Peppers and Tomaquet. The vanilla was subtle, the tomatoes nice, but the black olive puree toast had that same slightly strong but not quite right taste. In theory I should really like things like this, but here I was not a fan. Padron Peppers were very typical Padron Peppers, but I liked their presentation, stuffed together in a bowl. Tomaquet was the traditional Spanish bread topped with tomato, I liked it, did not think it was particularly memorable but it was good.

From the Seafood section during my lunch visit I ordered the Ceviche, which was made with cod and Boquerones or anchovies this time marinated in white wine and yuzu. I was disappointed with the Ceviche. The taste of it was right, but the fish and all the other vegetables and herbs were literally swimming in the marinade and you had to fish out the small pieces of fish. I like how ceviche is typically served with huge chunks of fish, not small, and a lot less sauce. I’m a huge fan of marinated anchovies and the marinade was perfect strength for me, so I loved this dish.

I have not tried anything from the Spanish Delicatessen or the Cheese Sections, but we did order 3 things from the “Our Basics” section. We had to have the Mac Ferdi’s Cheeseburger, which you could also have with bacon or egg if you paid a bit extra. We ordered it with bacon. The burger was delicious. It was the star dish out of all of these dishes. It was a great burger. I find a lot of these modern burgers to be quite thick and high and difficult to eat and on the other hand the cheap burgers like from McDonalds are too thin, but this was great. Perfect size to eat, just right to hold in your hands and put in your mouth, it fit in well, perfect proportions of meat, cheese, sauce, bun, a great burger.

We also ordered the Homemade Meatballs with mashed potatoes and Macaroni and Cheese with thinly sliced ham from the “Our Basics” section. The meatballs were pleasantly spiced but as my husband put it – you could easily get similar ones from Marcs and Spencer. The thinly sliced ham was completely strange and unnecessary to go with Macaroni and Cheese (you can order Mac and Cheese without the ham which is what most people around us were doing which is the right strategy). The ham just looked very out of place – uncooked, shop-bought ham, just placed there. The Macaroni and Cheese had a lot more cheese and macaroni than sauce. It was indulgent and when you have so much cheese and sauce, things taste good, but it was a superbly heavy dish and not one that I will go for again. I like Mac and Cheese at some restaurants, but this was not my favourite.

I liked the atmosphere at Ferdi, I liked the Parisian chicque vibe you get when you are there, and the Pisco Sour I drank when I was there was delicious (and I have heard other cocktails are very good as well). I thought the food was average, apart from the burger, which I really liked, but the other food is “craving food” like they say, but it is very overpriced for what it is. When we came here for lunch we paid £95 for 2 people and did not have that much to eat and did not have any alcohol. With 1 cocktail our dinner price tag was £104. 06.

Date: 19/ 02/ 17 and 21/ 02/ 17

Location: Mayfair

Price for 2 people: $95 and £104.06

I LIKED: The burger and the Parisian atmosphere

I DID NOT LIKE: Some of the dishes and how much they cost < a title="Read Square Meal's review of Ferdi" 

Square Meal 

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Ferdi
Shepherd Market, Mayfair W1J 7QU
London
United Kingdom
Ferdi Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3