The ‘new’ Petrus by the chef everyone most loves to hate – Gordon Ramsay (the old Petrus is now Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, it’s a long story and I wouldn’t get involved). Following a lukewarm critics’ response in 2010, it was awarded a Michelin star in 2011, and has recently been increasingly mentioned to me as “somewhere you definitely need to go”. So I did.
We kicked off with some ‘complimentary’* amuse bouche, the highlights of which were the herby cod croquettes served in a cute chip cone, and a miniature fois gras sandwich. That was the moment that I knew it was going to be good. We opted for the chef’s menu – a tasting menu of 5 courses, and they didn’t even bat an eyelid when I asked if I could replace the fish course due to not eating fish, whilst wielding a half eaten cod croquette in one hand (another long story…).
I won’t dissect the whole extravaganza, but with a combination of dishes ranging from really good to excellent, it is the best meal I’ve ever eaten. My date and I had one of each of the mains (a pork fillet with suckling pork belly and a fillet of beef with braised shin) and switched halfway through – both were very tasty. We were unfortunately too full for the cheese trolley (sob, and yes, I am ashamed of myself) – but thank god, as the mango sorbet dessert with ginger sponge that we had instead was a highlight of the night and according to my date who is a self-declared sorbet connoisseur “the best thing he’s ever eaten”.
A pre-dessert miniature lemon and marscapone ice cream cone was yummy (although starting to become a bit much for my lesser-sweet toothed date) and I absolutely loved the chocolate sphere and honeycomb dessert – although I had the same thing at Claridges at Christmas I think.
Start to finish delicious. If I had to make one criticism, it is that to my mind it would make more sense for the choice to be sorbet vs. chocolate pudding (most people are one or the other people) with the cheese as a compulsory course.
We started with cocktails – a martini and the house cocktail of the day which were solidly good drinks. A complimentary* glass of Krug champagne appeared when we moved to our table which was a nice touch. We had opted for the wine pairing with our menu, so were guided through five delicious wines by a lovely female sommelier who gave us so much attention we could have been on our own personal wine tasting course. They had even re-matched my personal wines to match the pigeon I had instead of the scallops.
When my date requested a scotch, he was greeted by an entire trolley of different whiskeys to finish – I imagine it’s the grown Scotsman equivalent of a child in a sweet shop.
This is a really exciting experience, made so by the multitude of little touches scattered throughout the evening. Firstly, once you’ve made your tasting menu choices (or in my case, substitutions) you get a personalised re-printed menu with your specific food and wine matches for reference throughout the evening (and to take home at the end). To finish, there’s a frozen ice lolly dramatically appearing in a miniature cauldron of dry ice and a silver alice-in-wonderland-esque draw of petrus’ own version of the after eight in lots of different flavours.
Without question, this was the best date I’ve ever had and Petrus is my new favourite London restaurant. The service was absolutely perfect – our waiter even offered to take a cheesy photo of us, realising how over-excited we were and that we didn’t want to ask because it seemed incongruous with the setting – no pretentious staff here. While I don’t know how much it was, I should mention that I have suspicions that my date may have sold a vital organ to pay for it – as a friend said “it’s basically the cost of a holiday” but we both agreed it was worth it. I would especially recommend the wine pairing as I know we had a lot of really delicious wine and I’m sure it would have been more costly if we’d drunk the same amount by the bottle.
You want somewhere truly special for an occasion or to blow your dates socks off
DON’T GO THERE IF…
You’re ordering and have forgotten your reading glasses – there’s a bottle of the namesake Petrus on the wine list for a heart-stopping £19,500
IF YOU’RE PRETENDING TO HAVE BEEN THERE DON’T FORGET TO MENTION
They provide a miniature chair for your handbag. Amazing.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
*in as much as anything is truly complimetary in this price bracket…