I have been dying to try Fera since our absolutely amazing meal at L’Enclume but was afraid it would pale in comparison as L’Enclume was absolutely outstanding (http://www.samstewartetc.com/lenclume-review/). We had also tried Roganic before it closed (it was a two year pop-up restaurant) and didn’t love as it was more molecular and L’Enclume was more real and served the kind of dishes we woke up the next day dreaming about. I have to say I am very happy Fera delivered on all fronts! I did indeed wake up the next day dying to have some of the food again…and again……those rabbit morsels and the dumplings, so good!
The menu changes very often based on what is fresh from the farm and seasonal – the one on the website was actually different than the one at the restaurant. Since I obsessively check menus on the web (as does my friend Claire), it is always a risk as I may see something I want to order and not being there anymore.
The dining room is lovely, with a modern/art deco mix and beautiful tall windows. The kitchen is somewhat open and absolutely spotless and modern.
We went a la carte instead of the long tasting menu and still were very satisfied and had a lot of food as even though we ordered three courses, the meal ended up being close to eight courses with all the extra snacks and goodies.
What we ate:
Similar to L’Enclume, they start the meal with several very amuse bouche….
Rosemary cracker with blue cheese mousse and elderberry: gorgeous savoury thin rosemary tuille covered with a very delicate blue cheese mousse that even the non blue cheese lovers at the table (yes, how can I be friends with them?) devoured. The elderberry added a subtle sweetness.
Rabbit and lovage morsels: hard to describe but imagine shredded stewed rabbit covered in the most delicate and light crispy bits creating the most lovely bundle of goodness and deep fried and served with a fresh lovage puree. Two people at our table actually have rabbits as pets and even they ate it, and loved it. Hard to describe how light and magnificent this was! If someone served these rabbit spheres as snacks they would get rich!
Smoked cod mousse with duck bits: may sound like an odd combo but this very light mousse needed the crispy duck crumbs to make it pop. And it did!
And then the bread: wow warm stout bread served with whipped brown butter. I told myself I would just try it but obviously ate the whole thing. I may quit my job and try to make and sell whipped brown butter, absolutely genius and very surprised I’ve never seen it before – but hoping I will see it again and again.
Swede dumplings with isle of mull cheese and Wiltshire: swede is known in the US as rutabaga and these dumplings (lightest gnocchi ever) were submerged in amazingly rich isle of mull cheese and truffle sauce. It was truly perfect for the season and was comforting and delicious. Simple and sophisticated, rich and delicate. Perfection on a plate truly. I thought the ones I had at Estela recently (http://www.samstewartetc.com/estela-nyc/) were dreamy but these ones may have been even better!
Lobster with kale leaves in lobster cream, crispy pork and sunflower seeds: my friend Kay and I decided we should share different courses so we could try more. The lobster was gorgeous and just by looking at the large chunks you could spot how tender they would be. The lobster cream was rich but not heavy and teh crispy kale and brocoli, combined with the tiny crispy pork all danced magically together.
Belted Galloway beef, chervil root, chard and bone marrow sauce: I had to google what the hell belted Galloway meant and was happy to find this lovely animal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belted_Galloway known for its marbled beef. And it was marbled indeed which made it succulent and even richer sitting in the meaty marrow sauce. I was splitting this dish and the lamb with my friend and was sad when it came time to trade plates…..
Cornish lamb, potatoes and onions, garlic chives and apple vinegar: this was probably my least favourite dish as I found the lamb to be a bit too fatty but to be fair, I ate it after trying the beef so was not a fair comparison. The flavors were just not as rich and vibrant as in the beef….
Little palate cleanser with chocolate malt nitro, prune and dandelion: this was odd at first bite with the frozen crumbly texture but as you passed the cold layer, there was sweet goodness underneath with delicious prunes and a sort of ice cream I can’t describe the flavor that made it all work together. By the last bite, I was sad it was over and was really enjoying it.
Caramelized apple, celeriac, buckwheat and chestnut: I was trying not to be my predictable self and not order the chocolate one and this was delicious. The apples were very dark rich caramelized but the celeriac ice cream was a great balance and the dollops of chestnut around the place added some nuttiness.
Chocolate cream, apple marigold, shortbread and rapeseed jam: the waitress described this as very small and was not enthusiastic about it so I ordered the apple and my friend ordered this and allowed me to try. It was actually delicious. The chocolate “cream” was a very rich and thick mousse underneath a citrusy apple ice cream, all hiding under the rapeseed jam tuille.
Pears poached in perry, butterscotch and douglas fir: the pears were light and delicate and the butterscotch was subtle and served as a very airy mousse but still rich. Tasty! I have to admit I am not sure really where the douglas fir (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_fir) was hiding in the dish, and that is a good thing!
And to finish:
Elderberry marshmallows I didn’t like the marshmallow texture as it was a bit rubbery but on the other hand, the pumpkin and whiskey chocolates with melted oozing whiskey inside were divine. I considered taking one home to my Stewart Stewart (Mark Howden, this comment is for you as you said you wanted my hubby’s full name in every post) as he loves all things whiskey (he makes pancakes with whiskey sauce and puts whiskey in his yogurt) but my friends claimed it would burst in my bag and I should have a second one to be able to describe the tastes better to him. I am so obedient and of course complied……
In sum: very happy to have a Simon Rogan spot that is this good closer to us as L’Enclume is not somewhere we can just pop in whenever (I guess not really a pop in type place but closer…). I can’t wait to try their set lunches as It sounds like a fantastic deal. Starters and the snacks were insanely good, mains were very tasty and desserts were unique and interesting (but I am still a sticky toffee pudding type of girl).
We also got a tour of the kitchen and Rafael, the Brazilian sous chef I had met at the Yashin was busy cooking and so was Simon Rogan (picture below). I do love when a chef who has several restarants is actually cooking versus just being a celeb chef putting their name on the sign but never showing up…….They also have their own very fresh herbs.
Fera at Claridges http://feraatclaridges.co.uk/the-restaurant/
49 Brook St, London W1K 4HR
+4420 7107 8888