Apr 16 2014

Marianne

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Marianne is a restaurant in Notting Hill named after the main chef and co-owner Marianne Lumb. She comes from a butcher’s family in Leicestershire, has worked in many great restaurants in London, including the The River Café and Le Gavroche, as well as a private chef for many famous people and in 2009 she made it to the final three of MasterChef: The Professionals. She has also published a book 'Kitchen Knife Skills' and in September 2013 launched her first restaurant ‘Marianne’. I actually got to meet Marianne after our dinner as she came to say hi and she seemed lovely, super sweet.

The interesting thing about Marianne (restaurant, not the woman) is that the restaurant only has 4 tables which means Marianne cooks for all of her guests and can spend a lot of attention on your food. The biggest table there I think can only seat 6 people. I could really feel this extra quality and attention during my meal, and all the things that I ate were just cooked brilliantly. I have never been to a restaurant where everything tastes just spot on and just like how it should be, perfect.

I went to Marianne for dinner on a Wednesday evening with my friend Leila (who has become Marianne’s friend as they work next door) and my friend Yassine. We had a table booked for 7.15 and we were the first people to arrive, all the other seatings were later in the evening. The room is very small, the tables are located close to each other, but as we were enjoying our conversation so much we did not really notice what everyone else was doing. There is a small window on one side of the room where through the knives (which are attached to the window) you can see the kitchen and which I thought was a great piece of décor.

The menu was not big, it had three starters, three main courses and two desserts but it was varied with meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, three courses cost £48 and four £60. I really enjoyed our amuse bouche which was speck wrapped around a celeriac as well as truffle infused popcorn. The little speck snack was very creative and super delicious. My starter was linguine with black truffle and it literally melted in your mouth, it was amazing. A lot of restaurants don’t know how to do truffle pasta well and it just comes out not quite right and they mess up this expensive ingredient but Marianne’s one was amazing. I also tried some of the fried fois gras with beetroot that Yassine and Leila ordered and once again the dish was excellent. I have had fois gras a few times over the past few weeks and this just blew me away. So good. Leila was also saying she has never had fois gras together with beetroot and thought the combination worked very well. I am not sure if it is the ingredients Marianne used or the skill of cooking, but the dishes were delicious. 

My main course was turbot with champagne sauce served with asparagus and new potatoes. I love turbot, it is a beautiful firm fish and yet somehow I have had it in restaurants which manage to destroy it and overwhelm it with the sauce and just not make it taste good, but not Marianne. This turbot was firm, the champagne sauce had a hint of champagne and was super complimentary, and the potatoes were just the right thing to have with the turbot. Yassine ordered veal and Leila went for the pigeon which you can see in the pictures below. I tried a bit of both, and both were tender and once again cooked to perfection.

Before our dessert the lovely waitress asked if we wanted to have a cheese course and we decided to have 1 plate of cheese and then share between us. They had a selection of cheeses and the one we liked the most was champagne flavoured semi soft cheese, very interesting flavour. All of us went for the same dessert the field strawberry soufflé with strawberry sourbet. It had nice field strawberries on the top of the soufflé and the soufflé was soft and very nice.

We had an amazing meal at Marianne. We arrived at 7.15 and left more than 4h later (the good thing is that at Marianne no one throws you out after 2h like so many restaurants these days do) and had amazing food. I am not usually keen on this sort of European/ French/ Modern British food, but I loved it at Marianne. She is just a very skilful cook and it is so worth it coming here and getting her to cook for you. In very few restaurants the truly amazing chefs will cook themselves (usually some more junior chef is the one doing the work) and you can really feel it. Book a table.

Date: 16/ 04/ 14
Price for 3 people with alcohol: £290
Location: Notting Hill

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Maija rated: 

4.50

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Marianne
104 Chepstow Road W2 5QS
London
United Kingdom
GB
Marianne Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4.5