Is there anything more Scottish than Burns night? Bagpipers, haggis, and readings of Robert Burn’s famous poems usually make up a traditional supper. Luckily, for London-based Scots, there are many options for where to spend January 25th. Skylight Rooftop Bar, Docklands tobaccodocklondon.com/skylight/ London’s rooftop ice skating rink and bar is organising an alternate Burns night
44 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 2HP
020 7596 3200
Situated in grand hotel The Biltmore, Jason Atherton’s latest venture is a wonderful edition to Grosvenor Square. From the modern sophistication of the dining room to the menu that celebrates local ingredients, this is the place for your principal’s next lunchtime meeting in the West End.
A bit of background:
The Betterment is the newest restaurant from ex-Maze chef Jason Atherton. Atherton’s first restaurant post-Ramsay was Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social, and his latest venture captures the same essence of celebrating British produce in new and exciting ways. Atherton has moved fellow Michelin-starred, ex-Ramsey chef Paul Walsh from City Social to head up the kitchen, where they’ve collaborated on a carefully designed menu to appeal to a wide range of palates.
There’s no doubt that Atherton has his sights on a Michelin star for the Betterment, and with good reason.
On our lunchtime visit, the attentive staff offered leather-bound menus that showcased a set menu and a la carte options, alongside an extensive cocktail and wine selection.
Atherton and Walsh’s focus on locally-sourced ingredients is illustrated by the comprehensive list of main ingredients within the menu, alongside the exact location they’re sourced from (all in the UK of course). This celebration of British cuisine showcases everything from Scottish langoustines and venison, to kale from Ormskirk.
The first pleasant surprise was the delicious warm, malted bread loaf with salted butter. The second was the attention to detail by the wait staff, exhibited in little touches such as sweeping away crumbs after we’d devoured it, or recollecting the orders of each party and suggesting a wine pairing: all these served to make us feel at home.
We had opted for a couple of meaty main dishes alongside plant-based sides. First up: the ox cheek tortellini. This tender, green pasta was filled to almost-bursting with an incredibly rich, melt-in-your-mouth filling. The dish was completed to perfection with a foam that served to have the dish glisten on the plate.
The highland venison arrived as two tender pieces, accompanied by crispy red cabbage and sweet quince, and a venison jus poured table-side. The combination of the crisp textures, juicy, medium-rare meat with the sauce reminiscent of Christmas dinner. Not overly-gamey and cooked to perfection.
Our side dishes – the confit Basque peppers and the onion flower – were the perfect accompaniment. While the peppers were sweet, soft and juicy, the stand out was the onion. It’s a stunning centrepiece, unfolding from the centre of the plate like a crisp flower. Served alongside a silky mayonnaise, the natural sweetness of the onion perfectly enhanced the crispiness of the fanned layers.
The dining room can accommodate a range of dining preferences, from a two-person lunch to a larger party in one of two private spaces, called the Aquarium and the Chairman’s room. The main dining room, with its green and gold colour scheme, succulents and coloured glasses, offers a playful twist on traditional elegance. It’s also cleverly sectioned to enhance a more intimate dining experience, perfect for a relaxed lunch meeting.
The semi-open kitchen showcases an exciting atmosphere without the noise, while little touches such as stools for bags and an impressive wine cart offered up to all tables, are impressive.
Whether they’re visiting London and looking for the best of British dining experience, or they’re a local entrepreneur seeking something different to delight the senses, The Betterment will enchant.
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