Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Wild Honey

12 St George Street
London W1S 2FB
020 7493 4549

I had lunch here just before Christmas and somehow never got around to posting about it in the race to the Christmas deadline. Like its forerunner Arbutus which I have also been to for dinner, it has received much praise. Anthony Demetre and his business partner Will Smith started Arbutus in 2006 and Wild Honey followed in 2007. The main difference between the two is ambience, decor rather than food and wine. Arbutus is Soho cramped, the tables very close together whereas Wild Honey is more spacious, private, with panelled wood and separated booths. The aim of both is high quality for good value. They deliver resoundingly. I had the £18.95 three course lunch menu at Wild Honey. The main course was slow cooked beef with mash; it was simple, beautifully tender with a rich tasty stock. It is this main course that lingers in the memory two weeks later. What I remember about Arbutus several months later is the pomme dauphinoise beautifully cooked in a little mini casserole. In addition to the food the outstanding thing about both restaurants is that wine can be ordered in 250ml carafes at one third of the bottle price thus enabling sampling and changing through the meal. We had a simple Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc and an Argentine Malbec which went perfectly with the beef. I find it difficult to define but if there is any crticism of both restaurants it would be that there is an elusive lack of soul, of fun. They both take themselves a little bit too seriously. They are very good but they don't make you feel warm about them. Wild Honey particularly would be an excellent place to discuss the poor returns of a hedge fund with a client, less a place for a romantic date. In Arbutus you would feel a bit overlooked for either activity. The high price at Wild Honey was entirely down to the long conversation and armagnac and bushmills whiskey which accompanied it. It was the day before Christmas Eve.

Wild Honey on Urbanspoon


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