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  • Nick Lander
Written by
  • Nick Lander
9 Jan 2004

Mill Street, which runs north from Conduit Street to Maddox Street, is quiet and unprepossessing. The recently opened Patterson's restaurant is on the left as you walk up, next to an equally unprepossessing barbers' shop and below the blue, rather old-fashioned neon sign for The Georgian Club.

Patterson's interior is far more striking: white walls and table linen; plenty of glass and, consequently, natural light and a reasonable amount of space between the tables leading to acoustics better than in most modern restaurants.

The food and service are equally impressive. Raymond Patterson was the chef at the Garrick Club for ten years before finding his independence here where he is ably assisted by his wife, Maria, in the evening; his daughters Hannah and Lucy at the weekend; and his elder son, Tom, who begins his working day at 6am baking bread before putting on a suit and transforming, Superman-like, into the restaurant manager.

The menu reflects Patterson's classical training and native pride in the best Scottish ingredients. Dishes in the evening include roast scallops and cauliflower puree; venison with poached pear and celeriac rosti; sea bass with mussels, cockles and clams; tournedos Rossini and Dover sole with a champagne sauce.

And although Patterson provides a more-than-satisfactory rendition of the set price lunch (an inescapable fact of restaurant life today) which included a warming lentil soup and a cleanly filleted and rebuilt whole red mullet, the surprise on the menu - well, for oyster lovers anyway - is the £12 oyster menu.

This comprises ten Rossmore pacific oysters, a plate of five different farmhouse cheeses from the renowned Patricia Michaelson's La Fromagerie and coffee. With a glass of Brocard's flinty Chablis, this is unquestionably as close as you can get to a wholly natural lunch in the centre of London.

Patterson's, 4 Mill Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2AX, 020-7499 1308. Open seven days. Lunch £16 three courses, dinner £35 three courses.