Berner’s Tavern is one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve ever seen. I know I’m gushing, but it’s worth the hype.
The magnificent room is decorated in an insane number of gold framed paintings that reach up to a dramatic ceiling and magnificent chandelier. To the side, a grandiose bar shines in the eyes of its customers, tempting them to ‘just one more drink’.
We were there for a late lunch and had all the time in the world. So, we made each course of Jason Atherton’s award winning food count, starting with freshly baked bread and a glass of Ruinart Brut (£12).
Egg, Ham & Peas (£8.50) was the only starter for me. The deep fried egg sat on a bed of mushy, minted peas, overflowing with golden yolk. Next to it, crispy Cumbrian ham acted as soldiers, adding salt and texture to the egg. I couldn’t fault it and – despite L’s tempting Potato & Parsley soup with black pudding & Dorset snails – would choose it every time.
Roast Cornish Sea Bass came next (£24.50). All the mains were on the small side, which suited me, but might leave a man wanting. The fish was quickly drowned by the waiter, who poured too much mustard sauce on top. Perhaps he was hoping to revive the poor creature, but for me, it was overkill.
I envied L’s Atlantic Halibut with Squid Ink Risotto (£24) and H’s South Coast Cod (£19), but we all agreed that the starters showed up the mains. That said, the Duck Fat Chips (£4) couldn’t have been better.
Chocolate Filled Doughnut (£7) and Chocolate Rice Pudding (£7) weren’t the most attractive, but each mouthful filled my heart (and stomach) with joy. The Caramel Apple & Calvados Eclair was quite the opposite – incredibly pretty, the pastry felt dry and I’d have preferred a creme patisserie filling.
The infectious atmosphere and glorious surroundings forced us to the bar for a cocktail. We didn’t want to leave, and why would we? The food was almost perfect, the staff friendly and the drinks expertly made. So for all of that and more, I’m giving Berner’s Tavern a LLE Rating of 8/10.
Berner’s Tavern, 10 Berner’s Street, London W1T 3NP