Richard Corrigan (seen here in his younger days at The Lindsay House, Soho) has just opened Corrigan's Mayfair and, fortunately, the food is a lot less confusing than the location.
For those with a long memory, the restaurant is in the site formerly occupied by Chez Nico, of Nico Ladenis fame, in the Grosvenor House Hotel. But rather than share an entrance with the hotel, it now has its main entrance on Upper Grosvenor Street, the turning on your left off Park Lane as you approach the hotel from Marble Arch.
The restaurant, with one private room with a large glass window looking into the kitchen and another larger one down the corridor, looks as swell as one would expect from an investment of £2.4 million with, Corrigan tells me, a couple of hundred thousand pounds still to go. It is plush, but not overly so, comfortable and the acoustics are good.
Most importantly, the menu reads very well. Corrigan concentrates on the fish, game and vegetable dishes that have long been his trademark and the menu descriptors are refreshingly brief, most no more than three words (although annoyingly the pound sign has been omitted throughout for stylistic reasons and, even more annoyingly, there is a £1.50 cover charge).
The full menu is served at the bar and sitting there one very damp Monday lunchtime we [not me – JR] enjoyed a Cornish crab jelly with Melba toast (£8.50); oxtail consommé with oxtail ravioli and diced pumpkin (a steal at £6); poached haddock with lobster and creamed parsnips (£18.50); and steamed fillets of sole with ceps and cep cream (£18). My bill for two came to £69 including one coffee, service, no desserts and no wine.
I will be back, I hope, with my wine adviser, if she can fit me in, as I have not yet had the opportunity to look at the wine list. But there are a number of dishes I look forward to: a soft boiled duck egg with brown shrimps; an octopus carpaccio with clementines and almonds; a large plaice on the bone with an almond crumb and clams; grouse pie and chips; a saddle of hare with pumpkin and sprout tops; and, from the dessert section, a quince tart with Sauternes ice cream, and a lime and cheese soufflé.
Corrigan's Mayfair; 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, London W1,
020-7499 9943; www.corrigansmayfair.com