Tuesday, 10 April 2012
As regular readers of the EMC3 experiences blog will have gathered by now, one of the top perks of working for EMC3 is being invited around the capital to sample the very best in restaurants, bars and venues that London has to offer.
This week was a particular highlight when our whole team was invited for a visit to two restaurants. First stop was Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill near Piccadilly Circus – here we were met by the excellent hostesses Amy & Victoria and given a tour of the restaurant. The highlight of which was the incredibly spacious self contained private dining room in the basement that can sit up to 60 people for dinner and includes it’s own bar area with piano – a great and unique space.
After the tour we were led to a laid table in the upstairs restaurant and before we barely had time to settle into our seats, platter after platter of the most succulent looking seafood and meat starters began to arrive to the table. As the girls exchanged glances of ”so much food” us boys tucked our napkins in and examined the offerings with beady-eyed delight!
The platters were generous and the food cooked to perfection – 3 types of oysters, lobster, crab, langoustines, seafood cocktails, beef tartare, ham, smoked salmon and calamari - all accompanied by a variety of freshly baked bread from the bakers downstairs (including some incredible soda bread and sourdough) and washed down with champagne... And this was just our starters!!
Our hosts and waiters did an excellent job of explaining every dish and soon after we piled into two taxis and headed round to stop number two... Corrigan’s of Mayfair
After a quick drink at the exceptionally well stocked bar, we were brought through the kitchen to the highly desirable chef’s table and introduced to our next host: Sheldon who talked us expertly through the menu.
Now earlier in the evening at Bentley’s, Amy had told us that they were offering squirrel dishes at Corrigan’s, not fazed by it not being on the menu tonight, Sheldon went and spoke to the head chef who sent his team scurrying around to bring us a taster tray of squirrel canapés – amusingly in a nut sauce!
We were lucky enough to have the very special treat of a personal visit from the top man Richard Corrigan himself who welcomed us to his restaurant and told us about some of his next upcoming projects – you’ll have to keep an eye on the EMC3 Deal of the Week emails for more details of these in due course!
The main courses arrived in extremely good time and we all sat back with mouths open and eyes open wider as we took in the spectacular presentation of the food. The slow roast duck was the most popular, then the braised short rib of beef. I opted for the scallops which were wonderful and accompanied by some tiny smoked chicken wings and celeriac. Not a single bad word was said about any of the food and Sheldon returned a short while later to 10 gleamingly empty plates.
As well fed as we were, the hospitality didn’t end there – miniature desserts followed, then teas, coffees and cheese plates then port and limoncello !
We all left Corrigan’s beaming from ear to ear at the exceptional levels of service and even higher quality of food. We had the perfect hosts and will certainly recommend both restaurants to everyone we know looking for fine dining in the West End!
Written by Phil Harris, Performers & Production, EMC3 Ltd