HIBISCUS – OXFORD CIRCUS

The Hype20130517_153104

Two Michelin-starred, “really weird but really good” restaurant (according to Timeout), relocated to London in 2007 to much excitement, by highly renowned husband and wife team Claude and Claire Bosi. Caused some controversy late last year when an amateur blogger’s criticism led to a headline generating fall-out. So I’m a bit scared just typing this.

The Food20130517_144300

Between us we tried the entire lunch menu, and there were no complaints. I personally started with the fois gras, which came with a very cute miniature loaf of bread presented under a tiny smoking cosh, which obviously played to my gimmick-loving side (the fois gras was great, although if I had one complaint it would be that the portion was too generous – at least, compared to the miniature loaf!). My main of confit rabbit leg was incredibly tasty, and came with a clever artichoke mousse, that was made to look like a solid artichoke. I wasn’t brave enough to try the asparagus and olive based dessert although it actually looked (and apparently tasted) delicious, but my mango and lime curd was the perfect end to the meal for me.

The Drink

On this occasion we had a choice of the recommended half a bottle of red or white wine, which was perfect for a business lunch – and was very drinkable given the reasonable price of the meal (not that I was paying, thankfully…)

The Fun20130517_143105

The décor is relatively straight-laced (some would say classic) but there are light-hearted touches to dining at Hibiscus which make it more memorable than it would otherwise be in a veritable sea of white table-clothed, Mayfair-based, variably hyped lunch destinations. Firstly, the amuse bouche of ‘hibiscus and pineapple soda’ which comes in a sundae glass and you are advised to drink ‘in the style of a shot’ really relaxed everyone into the experience (and tasted a bit like a trifle, which is one of my favourite things.) The petit fours included a couple of bowls of amazing chunks (there is no more accurate word) of bubbly aero-style chocolate in white, caramel and dark chocolate, that were the highlight of the meal for a few of us!

Overall Experience20130517_144215

The combination of good location and tasty food in a clever set menu combined with the ability to include wine in the fixed price make this quite an appealing lunch deal at really lovely restaurant. The staff were also notably charming and welcoming (and accommodating of my irritating photo taking) which you don’t always expect in more formal, high end restaurants like this. The whole lot (three courses, fripperies, wine and coffee) was about £50 a head which is outrageously reasonable. Without wine and coffee is just £35.

Go there if…20130517_161903

You want a tasty, reasonably priced Michelin starred lunch experience – with ‘fancy’ food but nothing too experimental or risky, in décor or dining.

Don’t go there if…

You’re planning on writing a blog any less complimentary than this one. (This was a challenging section…)

If you’re pretending to have been there don’t forget to mention

The (delicious) soda bread at the start is dramatically introduced by the waiter as being sourced from…. South London. This was a fact which highly amused our table given that we weren’t convinced South London was a region particularly well known for breeding bread.

For more information…

See The Critical Couple, Nordic Nibbler and Pig Pig’s Corner.

For the rest of my photos from the lunch see here.

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