Kitty Fisher was one of the hottest restaurants last year; I kept getting it confused with Sexy Fish, which is more known for celebrity-spotting (and exorbitant prices) than exceptional food. I knew he had one of them on his list - more likely to be the one with raving reviews for their dishes. Good guess.
The restaurant was absolutely tiny, four tables on the ground floor with four counter seats, then a very cosy basement with just 2 rows of tables. No wonder they take credit card details with reservations. We were greeted warmly by one of the hosts before the introduction to their signature beef for 2 to share for a whooping £80. Though some say it's a damn fine piece of meat, more recommended their a la carte items, and said it's better value.
The cocktail list looked great, he had something bittersweet and strong but nicely balanced; I was drawn to the beautiful Chateaux La Graula, which he agreed was a beautifully full red.
Whipped Cod's Roe, Bread & Fennel Butter
The airy cod roe cream were packed with savoury fragrance, though much more refined than the typical taramasalata dip, piped onto toasted sourdough soldiers lightly brushed with fennel butter. The small discs of radish reined in the fishy intensity to keep a refreshing balance.
Lamb Cutlets, Anchovy, Mint & Parsley
The lamb cutlets were simply out of this world. Maitre'd explained to us that the chops were flash grilled on the wood grill for 15seconds before resting, and it was a repeated process until the meat was cooked to the perfect medium rare.
Burrata, Beetroot, Radicchio & Pomegranate
The creamy, stretchy cheese was carefully flavoured with a controlled drizzle of sweetness and sprinkles of sesame, crushed nuts and pomegranate. The radaccio leaves were incredibly sweet on their own, savoury sauce He has always felt burrata is a lazy dish, but this changed his mind.
Barbary Duck, Chicory, Blood Orange & Rhubarb
The duck was somewhat less remarkable. Perhaps we have been too spoilt so far, our appreciation for the scarlet pink hue of the meat dwindled, taking the perfect execution of duck breast for granted. It's hard to fall in love with a duck l'orange though, the citrus syrup is all too familiar although I was thankful it didn't arrive swimming in a pool of glowing goo. It was as good as duck l'orange could get, just fell short of surprises and perhaps a touch of modernisation to a weary classic.
Cornish Hake, Apple, Monk's Beard, Coco Bianco, Mussels & Bottarga
The hunk of silky hake fillet topped with its fragile crispy skin was more exciting, paired with a subtly sweet milky sauce that amplified the delicate flavours from the fish. But it was the plump and creamy mussels that stole the show, bursting with shellfish essence. The crunchy monk's beard was also fun to eat, like noodles clinging onto the rich broth and pumping out more ocean goodness with every chew.
Buttermilk Rice Pudding, Pistachio & Blood Orange
The pudding department wasn't as strong as the savoury stuff. Maybe British sweets are simply less sophisticated. Our rice pudding with blood orange exactly what it says in the tin, though immensely comforting, I'm sure I could churn out a richer and creamier rice pudding.
Cambridge Burnt Cream
This is a novel British translation of creme brûlée. Yep - it is exactly that. Though not overly exciting, it ends the meal in a sweet note.
Kitty Fisher was excellent, with an exciting menu supported by a strong kitchen. It had an understated elegance about it, the quintessential British air that is now rare, especially bang in the middle of Mayfair where it's brimming with over-the-top opulence. The hosts, friendly, witty with a pocket full of humour, added to the charm of this little gem. We had a great evening.
10 Shepherd Market
Tel: 0203 302 1661
You may also like: Medlar*, Launceston Place, Clipstone