I struggle with restaurants around Mayfair. Perhaps it is my general distrust of places who spend more on ensuring that their linen is whiter than white than on the provenance of food. But, Avenue is a little different. Part of the D&D Group (formerly of Terrance Conran), Avenue is a large open space, clean lines and what looked like modern food, supposedly built on seasonal British ingredients. I was optimistic.
There was pork and hare terrine, with lightly pickled green beans and toasted almonds. Rich terrine, tart veg, a good combination. Others had scallops with cauliflower and chorizo and the smoked salmon with horesradish cream - both received positive murmurings.
Mains included cod with a Thai veloute and a special of homemade spaghetti with lobster. All were well reasonably well received. After a couple of weeks of curry-filled endeavors in India, I decided to go for Haddock and Chips - given the apparent focus on British classics, this should have been a walk in the park. It was not.
The chips were better than fine, crispy and fluffy, everything they should be. But the fish. Or, more accurately, the batter, was soggy, undercooked, floury. I have no idea how they could get it so wrong. It was abysmal. Without a shadow of a doubt, without trying to be melodramatic, the worst I have ever had.
A restaurant that cannot serve crispy batter worries me. Perhaps that tasty terrine was a fluke. I hope not, as Avenue could be a real breath of fresh air in the Mayfair restaurant scene. Sadly, that fish was so bad I do not think I will return to find out.