I stayed a night at the Mandeville Hotel a few years back now and it was one of the worst nights sleep I have had and came with a £300 price tag. I did order food from the restaurant too, again awful. Back then it was just a standard hotel restaurant, serving overpriced garbage, not that all hotels are like this, especially with consumers now screaming for quality ingredients.
So to hear that a new restaurant has been launched in place of the old this was good news. The idea of this place is to serve up quintessentially British grub in a relaxed, yet upmarket setting dishing out quality food to compete with the ever expanding ‘food boom’. Jens Folkel from Bistro Du Vin is head chef while Giovanni Piattoli from Mark Hix’s Albemarle is restaurant manager.
I love the revamp and what they have done inside. It’s kind of gentlemen’s club meets brassiere, very relaxed but retaining a touch of class. What I don’t understand is why mid-week at 1pm we were the only diners, and that didn’t change for the whole hour we were there. Anywhere in Marylebone at this time is bustling with business lunches. Is it the fact that it’s attached to a hotel scaring off punters?
I can tell you now, its lack of customers has nothing to do with the food. We started with the duck Scotch egg, the meat intertwined with the black pudding was seasoned beautifully and encased in a light oat shell which was not oily in the slightest. The egg white was firm and the yoke soft and gooey. Superb! The side of roast apple sauce was, however,a little bland.
The burger is almost heading to great heights. The meat was a bit on the rare side but has a lovely taste and seasoned really well. A lovely sweet layer of relish topped off by onion, tomato, lettuce and baby cucumber. They also use the best cheese any burger could ever long to be covered in, Ogleshield. Then disaster strikes. I’m not entirely sure if they run out of a bun they usually use but I got a dry, slightly stale barely glazed bun which fell apart when I picked it up. Reform Social, head to Millers bakery, pick up some brioche beauties and you’re onto a serious winner!
The chips were superb. Huge, fluffy and incredibly crisp. The seasoning of smoked Cornish sea salt added a nice flavour. These are some of the best chips I have had in a while.
I don’t really think about ordering a fish pie when dining out, generally because I don’t want to be disappointed, they can often be full of rubbery fish and taste slightly bland. Reform Social’s Fishermans Pie on the other hand is beautiful. Two very large scallops, cooked to perfection, lay on a bed of fluffy buttery mash under which sweet and juicy Pollock lays in a creamy broth. Rich, hearty and very tasty!
I hope Reform Social does not stay quiet for too long, as I would hate for it to disappear, especially with such tasty food. If you don’t want to sit down for a meal then why not head to the bar area after work for some delish cocktails and some of the best bar snacks in London. Tip: Order the duck faggots or crispy lamb bacon with mint jelly, they are delicious.