Thursday, 18 October 2012

Alyn Williams at The Westbury

My my, time flies when your having fun. It's now nearly two months since our visit here and as is sometimes the case other stuff gets in the way before I can sit down and do my review. Truth be told what we ate was so intricate and expansive I needed quite a bit of time to recount what we had. In the end simpler places were reviewed resulting in this review being put on hold somewhat. Well. better late than never eh ?

Michelin starred chef Alyn Williams has been wowing diners here for about a year now. The ex Marcus Wareing head chef was tipped for big things when he first opened, resulting in his very recent and much deserved Michelin star. Then only last week a Chef of the Year award too.
Alyn has been cooking at two star level for quite a number of years now, and apart from Wareing he has also worked for Gordon Ramsay cooking at the same level. Not only foodies but other highly rated chefs applaud his cooking too. So the meal was approached with much anticipation.

The restaurant is housed in the elegant five star Westbury Hotel and depending on your taste the room is either gorgeous or not so gorgeous. Its very formal with polished service led by former Marcus Wareing manager Giancarlo Princigalli.  Cherry wood dominates. Comfy armchairs are just that. The main feature of the oblong room which seats forty five guests is a quite spectacular see through glass private dining area with wine featuring as much if not more than the food.The wine salon seats up to eight guests and is focused on matching the Worlds finest wines with the very best food that Alyn Williams can produce.

Much has been made of the quite stunning value of eating in this restaurant. The tasting menus, which include a  vegetarian option are a steal at £60. Lunch is even more of a bargain being only £25 for a truly top quality three courses plus amuses and other bits included.

What followed was a tasting menu bountiful of flavour and extremely generous in content. I will mostly let the pictures do the talking from here on in.

An exquisite selection of amuse bouche.

Selection of breads and various butters

Crab /  bloody Mary / celery crisp

Another appetiser

Orkney scallop / watermelon / pine / pumpernickel.

Smoked egg / creme fraiche / celeriac / truffle soldiers

Foie gras semi fredo / sand carrot / liquorice / coriander

Onion bhajee / pickled vegetables / caramelised aubergine.

Mackerel / marsh samphire / cockles / toasted cauliflower

Cumbrian lamb / smoked aubergine / tsatsiki / spiced chickpeas.

Welsh suckling pig / buttermilk / corn / truffle from Kent.

Cornish cows curd cheesecake / passion fruit / honeycomb.

Nectarine, fresh and roasted. Ice cream

Strawberries / vanilla / angel food cake / amaretto

Fabulous chocolates.

So that's it really. No standouts as such, just course after course of quite simply  top quality food. There really is no comparison, skill and quality wise with a load of in fashion well blogged cafes, the gap is huge. This is mighty impressive stuff which deserves to reach a wider audience. Though sadly the fine dining market is in decline due to a number of  factors, not least the lack of disposable income in most peoples wallets.

Its fair to say that this temple of gastronomy is a special occasion place, except for the pricing of course. We have had meals in other so called highly rated places with zilch spent on the interior  itself. This is pure luxury.
Pinch yourself of you live locally, that lunch deal is surely one, if not the best value in town.

Go on, give it a try.

Because your worth it.

Alyn Williams at The Westbury Hotel.
37 Conduit Street. 

Alyn Williams at The Westbury on Urbanspoon Square Meal

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