Fera, Claridge’s, London

Fera is a restaurant that I had wanted to try for a long time but just never got round to it. I was a big fan of Gordon Ramsey when he was at Claridge’s many moons ago and I find it often happens that I don’t want to go back somewhere when a resident restaurant changes as I don’t want to be disappointed. I really shouldn’t have worried, as Simon Rogan’s restaurant is every bit as memorable. Focusing on local and seasonal produce it showcases the very best of British, and the art deco glamour of the room itself creates the perfect environment.

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I went with a group of girls from my office and we opted for the set menu at £39 a head. It will come out more expensive than that once you add water, drinks and service charge but still represents good value for a one Michelin Star restaurant in Mayfair. Do be aware that when they offer you water, unless you ask for tap water you automatically get given bottled which disappears quickly when there are 4 of you, but after the first bottle they do suggest leaving a jug of tap water if you would prefer it. The choices are difficult to make as they all sounded so good, but for me a few things stood out, like the Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Chicken Skin to start.

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This was so good I desperately wanted another one as the portion size was quite small. The crispy chicken skin, something I try at home and never get like this, was very moreish and the roasted cauliflower had a wonderful smokiness about it. The thing I was most surprised about on this plate was the lemon verbena which I had thought would be quite a strong flavour, but here it was not you just got hints of it which enhanced the other flavours on the plate beautifully.

Main course was the Caramelised Pork Belly with Carrots, Baby Gem and Tarragon (see main picture). Again my only complaint was that its a small portion size. Everyone on the plate was cooked perfectly and seasoned well. The pork belly melted and the sweetness of the carrots married well with the fat on the pork. The baby gem had been charred and had a hint of smokiness about it which was delicious. The jus which was just dabbed around the plate was rich and personally I would have liked a little pool of it to dip the last remaining piece of my bread in (dreadful I know but who cares!).

Now what do you think I had for dessert? Yep cheese.
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This was just the right amount of cheese but sadly I forgot to ask for the goat to be removed so I had to leave a bit. It came with a selection of crackers and chutney. Always the perfect ending to a meal for me and this was no exception.

One of the things that I really loved about Fera was the beautiful crockery. I’m a little obsessed by plates and bowls at the moment and nearly every restaurant I visit I inspect the crockery closely. I was informed that some of the pieces were made specially by a local potter, which was a nice touch to go with the local produce that was being served on it.

I loved Fera, I would love more of Fera on the plate but maybe that’s just me being a bit too piggy.

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