A small entrance area gloriously lined with Quinces signalled our entrance into Quince, Silvena Rowe’s restaurant within the Mayfair Hotel. It was early on a Sunday evening and we were warmly welcomed and shown to our table within the restaurant area.
The restaurant was quiet, but it was early and this quickly changed with many tables being seated. The ambience was relaxed, friendly and I immediately felt at home, just what you want. The kitchen area is open plan so you can also see what the chefs are up to which I always like to watch.
My husband James had tweeted Silvena earlier in the week to say we were visiting and she kindly ensured we were greated warmly and offered us cocktails on arrival. I had a quince martini whilst James opted for a orient express. The orient express being a harmonious mixture of cherries, whisky and cranberry juice.
We then got down to the serious business of deciding what to have for dinner. Our waiter kindly explained the menu and for starter we opted to share a plate of Borek “cigars” and duck and foie gras. The cigars, six of, arrived at our table, and were divine. No we haven’t started smoking, the cigars are delicately rolled lamb shank and baby spinach wrapped in filo pastry. They are packed full of flavour and incredibly morish.
Our second sharing starter was spiced filo parcels filled with duck, foie gras and pistacho’s. Again these were so full of flavour, but at the same time the flavours were so subtle that you could taste and appreciate the individual ingredients.
For our main course, again we were sharing, from the clay oven we opted for pulled lamb. This was shoulder of lamb that had been cooked for 12 hours with rosemary salt. James, always the chip fiend, picked a side of fries along with red harissa aioli. I opted for the rice which was steamed and came with wild blueberries, pistachos and lemon balm. This was recommended to me by our waiter.
The lamb was brought to our table in a steel frying pan and smelt absolutely amazing. Our waiter kindly shredded the lamb and served it onto our plate. adding a bit of theatre to our dining experience. It was a good size portion and more than enough for 2 people. The rice complemented the meat perfectly.
What more can I say about our main course, you could tell it was quality meat that just melted in your mouth. It was beautifully cooked and we both thoroughly enjoyed the lamb. This dish was the highlight of our meal and the flavour seemed to keep flowing with every mouthfull. We cleaned our plates, no complaints, a wonderful course.
I left to powder my nose, only to return to James on the restaurant phone. It was Silvena phoning from Istanbul, making sure we had had a nice meal and we were being looked after. This was a really lovely touch and it made James night.
I wasn’t sure whether or not I could manage pudding, but on seeing the menu, I couldn’t help be tempted by the tiramisu. This being my favourtie pud I couldn’t resist. James opted to have bitter orange baklava with pistacho ice cream. Both were great, but I have to say I wish I had picked the balkava as well it was absolutely devine!
Instead of having coffee, staying true to our scottish roots we decided to have a cocktail to finish off our meal. We both opted for a frambauz. This was a glorious mixture of raspberries, vodka, reme de cassis with a touch of prosecco. Absolutely devine. There is a bar area in Quince where you can come and have a cocktail, I was definately recommend the frambauz.
My recommendation to you is if you are in London, go and eat at Quince. The dishes seem so simple but are full of complex clean flavours and pack a punch. Next time I’m in town, I plan to go back.