For the many years that I worked near London Victoria, I have walked past the famous Boisdale of Belgravia and looked into the warmly-lit, lively and cosy atmosphere within, wondering what the food was like. When I heard about the new Boisdale opening in Mayfair, this was my chance to find out.
The Boisdale of Mayfair is located on the corner of North Row and Dunraven Street, at a site formerly occupied by Fino’s Wine Bar and Restaurant. The interiors are opulent and old-school (but in a faded, glamorous kind of way) with a huge slant towards red and dark green, splashes of blue tiles, ornate chandeliers, copper utensils and warm tartan fabrics to make it snug and draw out the Scottish theme.
The dining space itself is split into two levels and features richly-carpeted floors, wood panelling on walls, classic and contemporary artwork in mis-matched frames and photographs of Sinatra and Bowie. Candles and dimly lit wall lights complete the cozy and warm look.
The interior design clearly reflects the aura of a bygone era – timeless, classic and charming without being pretentious.
We started the evening with some Haggis Scotch Quail Eggs (£1.95 each) from the British Tapas section. These were crunchy-edged, meaty, earthy on the outside; oozy and delicious on the inside. It was a real show stopper.
From the same section, I also ordered the Seared Scallop with Herb Salsa Verde (£4.95 each). This was probably the only dish in the entire evening that did not live up to my expectations. There was just one scallop on the plate, which was overcooked. There was too much of the strongly flavoured salsa verde and it completely overpowered the dish.
Husband ordered a first course of the Roast Dumfriesshire Blackface Haggis (£8.50), which came served with bashed neeps and mashed potatoes. The picture would have been more complete with a shot of whisky alongside so I would recommend ordering that. The Haggis was rich, rough, hearty and full of big flavours – a real comfort dish.
I must admit, I was slightly jealous that he ordered this dish as I hunted for my tiny scallop hidden under the samphire garnish!
But things perked up with the arrival of the mains. I had the special of the evening – Venison cooked with Celeriac Puree, Parsnip Crisps and Blackberry Jus. It was a perfect plate of food for me – juicy cuts of venison over creamy celeriac and the sharp jus cutting through with its tartness. The soaked blackberries and parsnip crisps added a good texture.
Husband had the Braised Shoulder of Wild Highland Venison (£22) that was served in a cute copper vessel, alongside red cabbage and ceps. It was kind of like a gorgeous stew – perfect, wintry weather food.
Throughout the meal, my mind kept drifting back to those wonderful scotch eggs. So instead of dessert, I ordered a second round of the scotch egg starters after my mains, much to the amusement of our waitress. You can never have too much of a good thing. I would HIGHLY recommend ordering this.
Overall, the food at Boisdale of Mayfair was sophisticated and delicious. I would like to say it was posh pub-grub but it definitely had more of a refined edge to it. The service was at times slow, but friendly and informal.
The atmosphere turned jovial with the introduction of live piano and jazz recitals (Boisdale is famous for its live music) and it ended the evening on a pleasant note.
Overall, we were really pleased with our dining experience and wouldn’t say no to a return visit.
More information can be found here.
N.B. All opinions and viewpoints expressed in this blogpost are solely my own. The photographs used have been taken by me and my partner (credited wherever applicable). I review anonymously and pay for my meals. The total cost of this meal was discounted as we attended during the restaurant’s soft launch period.