Saturday 8 December 2012

Wheelers: Surprisingly Good

Combine the following factors:  a Mayfair address (and associated rent) and an absent celebrity chef.  Generally not a good combo.  Wheelers  is a Marco Pierre White restaurant a stone's throw from St James's Palace.   Things were not looking good.  The reviews I checked supported my scepticism:  Hardens said"if there are any attractions to eating here, our visit failed to discern them". I was concerned.  We were meant to be impressing the client, not scaring them away!

The menu is dominated by fish - a nod to a historic restaurant on the same site (albeit not run by Marco Pierre White).  There is a reasonable lunch menu priced at two courses for 18, three for 22.  The a la carte is significantly more - we mixed and matched.

I started with potted duck with peppercorn - moist duck with a hit of pepper.  The accompanying  sourdough was good.  Others had the prawn cocktail and the beetroot and goats cheese salad - both were less engaging..

For main I had the wing of Skate and snails.  Classic combination, perfectly cooked, reasonably priced at 17 quid.  On the side we had excellent triple-cooked chips and some (heavy) cauliflower cheese - the flour in the white sauce had not been cooked out, a basic mistake I would not have expected.

The Dover Sole was the other dish of choice - again a well executed dish, although expensive at 30 pounds.

So was my fear misplaced?  Absolutely.  Hardens and Zagat should reconsider their scathing reviews from a few years ago.  There is nothing new about what Wheelers are doing, but what they are doing, they are doing well.  Don't expect fireworks and do bring your expense account - you will leave smiling.

Wheeler's on Urbanspoon

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