I booked Marianne’s two months ahead of our dinner and was really looking forward to it. The restaurant is tiny, only 14 seats and reservations are hard to come by (our waiter told me they get 50 requests/day). They also do only one seating at dinner to make sure their customers are not rushed and have the best possible experience. The restaurant is very small which makes it even more precious and special. They have two menu options – a 3 or 4 course menu (£55 or £65) or a full prix fix for £85. Since our dinner was at 8:15pm on a Friday and we didn’t feel like eating until midnight, we went with the three courses option.
There are three options for starters and mains so we were able to almost cover the entire menu…….
The restaurant is so small that our one waiter (plus his great Brazilian aid) handle the entire restaurant. Our waiter, Alexis was absolutely amazing – he had started three weeks before but is extremely passionate about wine, the menu and the cheeses and knows it inside out.
Marianne also comes out of the kitchen at the end of the meal and talks to all the customers individually which is such a lovely touch. She is extremely personable and passionate and it comes through in her food as well as attention to detail on everything from the décor, to the service and overall experience.
What we ate:
The meal started with a perfect amouse of steamed asparagus with a lovely hollandaise.
Summer truffle linguine: this was the one course I had zero doubt about and was a must must order. And it certainly didn’t disappoint – surprisingly light and spring appropriate versus most truffle pasta dishes that can be too heavy or creamy. The pasta is fresh and delicious and the sauce was mildly creamy (in a good way), letting the truffles fully shine through.
Scallops with carrots, mushrooms and lardo: this dish was sophisticated and simple at the same time. The scallops were perfectly seared and the mushrooms al-dente to perfection. The sliver of lardo added some lovely fattiness. My only complaint is that it was too small and felt more like a dish that should have been part of the longer tasting menu. Or maybe it felt small as it was delicious and we wanted more of it….
Steamed turbot with Scottish langoustines, asparagus, jersey royals & champagne sauce: this dish was beautiful and very delicate. My husband ordered the veal that was complex and rich and next to the veal, the turbot almost tasted a bit too bland.
Fillet of Limousin (region in France) veal with artichokes, broad beans, wild sea radish & spring morel jus: absolutely gorgeous and delicious dish. The lamb was cooked sous-vide first so it was tender and gorgeous. A must order! The morel jus added earthiness and the artichoke was pureed which added creaminess. Yum!!!!!
Selection of cheese: I tried to convince Stewart to order the soufflé dessert so we could try both desserts on the menu (I was having the chocolate one of course) but he insisted on cheese and I am so glad he did. It is rare to find a cheese platter that blows us away as much as this one did. Usually there are one or two cheeses we are not too impressed by but in this case, the four presented were outstanding and we struggled to decide what our favourite was. Marianne gets her cheese from La Fromagerie (www.lafromagerie.co.uk), which is my favourite cheese shop in London.
- Langres (French cow’s milk from the Champagne region)
- Zelu Koloria (blue from the Basque region)
- Rouelle (goat in ash)
- Beaufort (Cow’s milk – hard cheese from the French alps)
Pave of Valrhona chocolate with salted caramel ice cream & hazelnuts: her pave was similar to a thicker richer mousse made with what you could taste as amazing quality chocolate. The salted caramel and hazelnuts were a perfect pairing with it. Next time we have to try their souffle as it is their signature dessert. We seemed to be the only table that didn’t order it…..next time!
And to finish off, we got gorgeous fresh from the oven madeleine and a very delicate pate de fruit made with lychees.
In Sum: intimate lovely gem in Notting Hill with delicious food and impeccable service. Even the check is hand-written, such a nice touch….
Marianne Restaurant http://mariannerestaurant.com/
104a Chepstow Road London W2 5QS
+44 020 3 675 7750