Apr 17 2014

Marani

Marani is a family run Georgian restaurant in Mayfai. It opened on the 4th March, I read a few reviews about it and as I like central Asian food booked it for lunch. Marani means a wine cellar and the restaurant promises apparently has the largest selection of Georgian wines this side of the Caucasus Mountains, although we went there for lunch and did not try any of these.

You can really feel it is a family run restaurant as I tried to book it via email and they did not respond to me and then I tried to call and book and the person taking my reservation was still at home and said she will put it in the book when she gets to work. They definitely do care about this place although at times it can be overly enthusiastic and as we were leaving the waitress kept stopping us and telling us about their Easter celebration at Marani and how they will have games and competitions and it will be a traditional Easter celebration and we have to come back.

The inside of the restaurant has a more Mayfair than Georgina feel with light green walls and leather armchairs and I liked the inside. The menu features Georgina food and I know quite a bit about Central Asian food and did not know that many dishes on the menu, which to me suggests they are truly authentic and don’t just serve what foreigners like me think is Georgina food.  The menu was created by Chef Tekuna Gachechiladze and you can chose to have a set lunch menu for £19 for 2 courses or £25 for 3 courses but I decided to order a la carte food for me and my lunch buddy and then just share everything.

As I knew more about Georgina food than my lunch buddy I was given the task of ordering. I ordered Imeruli Khachapuri, typical Georgina bread with cheese they had 4 different Khachapuri breads on the menu and I chose the most plain/typical one although you could have another one with egg which my dad likes a lot. It cost £12 but had 6 large slices and was big and tasty and filling and naturally we could not finish it, so you need to order one of these for 3 or 4 people. My lunch buddy really enjoyed it and it was one of his favourite dishes during the lunch. I also ordered a starter of Georgian Salad which had tomatoes, cucumbers with walnuts, mixed herbs, red wine vinegar and sunflower oil and my lunch buddy was saying how he has not had a salad like this before, found it very interesting and loved it. It had a very unusual taste due to the walnuts and I also very much enjoyed it.

Next we moved onto slightly bigger dishes and I ordered three things for us to share, “Chicken in a walnut sauce with Georgian spices” and we could have this either with couscous or rice and I chose couscous, “Fried Khinkali” or traditional Georgian meat dumplings which were fried and “Kupati” or pan fried mixed beef and pork sausages in Georgian spices. From all these dishes my lunch budy liked the Chicken in walnut sauce the least, he just did not like the taste and the couscous was strange, over boiled and not fluffy and not good and I actually think I should have chosen rice instead. I thought the chicken tasted ok, but not great. I liked the Kupati (sausages) and thought they were good and was a tiny bit disappointed with the Fried Khinkali. My lunch buddy liked them but I have had these sort of fried dumplings before (Russian though not Georgian) and id did not like how thick the batter was and just how they were overall, thought they could be better.

Despite being family run and keen throughout our meal the service at some points was not great, we had to wait a long time for our main courses and there were long periods when no one came to see us to check on us. I don’t think I ordered the best dishes at Marani, I think this restaurant has probably more to give as there are so many interesting sounding dishes on the menu that I did not try this time, but should. At some point I would like to come back but with someone that knows Georgian food well so they can order better than I did.

Date: 17/ 04/ 14
Location: Mayfair
Price for 2 people, no alcohol: £82.13

Marani on Urbanspoon

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Marani
54 Curzon Street W1J 8PG
London
United Kingdom
GB
Marani Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3