Easily the hottest new opening of 2014, Fera ("wild") at Claridge's has started stronger than any other restaurant we can remember.
A Saturday shopping trip to London gave us the perfect opportunity to try Simon Rogan's latest venture. After the meal of a lifetime last year at L'Enclume, we had very high hopes for Fera.
|Stunning Dining Room|
After a short walk through the stunning Claridge's hotel, we arrived at Fera. Immediately the striking dining room impressed us, with its art-deco styled features along with a stunning Petrified tree taking centre stage .This really helped capture the theme of Simon Rogan's cooking and for us is now one of the finest dining rooms we have visited in London.
We opted for the three course set lunch at £39. Here is what we ate:
A beautiful light and fresh start to our meal. The crisp had great texture and the blue cheese had a great strong flavour. The waiter refered to these as opening snacks, this highlighting the modern twist within the restaurant.
The sourdough was pleasant but certainly not great, perhaps the plain taste is enjoyable for others. We loved the butter though, which was creamy and packed full of flavour.
|Cod and Parsley Mousse|
The smooth texture and depth of flavour in the cod and parsley mousse was stunning. The tomatoes were probably the most flavoursome we have tried anywhere. This was certainly the stronger of the two starters being a very enjoyable, refreshing dish.
|Pork Shoulder, Beetroot|
The slow cooked pork shoulder was flavoursome although maybe slightly under seasoned. The pickled beetroot was outstanding as were the beetroot crisps which added some texture to the dish. The subtle watercress and apple flavours were also very pleasant.
|Chicken, Sweet Corn|
|Perfection on a Plate|
Who knew chicken could taste this good? This is easily the finest piece of chicken we have had in any restaurant. The cooking was as close to perfection as you will get, being juicy and seasoned perfectly. The vegetables were also cooked to a very high standard. We believe this is a very overlooked skill which many restaurants don't get right. We also enjoyed the sweet corn purée which was quirky and new to us. This was easily the best course of the day, a truly outstanding plate of food.
A visually beautiful plate of food. The Hake was cooked well and was very pleasant indeed. The fresh baby potatoes and broccoli were both outstanding. The cooking of these was something to be marvelled, along with the precision to presentation detail.
Strangely the waiter forgot to ask us if we would like a cheeseboard. This was slightly disappointing as this is usually a given in a high end restaurant. When we finally got our cheeseboard we were highly impressed with the offering. The selection of breads, crackers and chutneys were all fabulous, helping create a marvelous cheese course.
|Raspberries with Buttermilk|
After being slightly let down by the desserts at L'Enclume, we found these to be far better at Fera. The raspberries were the star of the show on this plate. The sweet slightly acidic flavours were intense and highly enjoyable. The buttermilk worked in harmony with the fruit, helping to create a stunning summer dessert.
The presentation of this dessert was stunning. The rich intense chocolate was fabulous, where the chamomile ice-cream was subtle in taste and helped cut through the rich chocolate. The apricot gel was very intense and a highly enjoyable addition to the dessert. Choosing our favourite out of the desserts was tough as both were outstanding.
Two unusual petit fours but both of these turned out to be highly enjoyable. The spiced jelly morsel was smooth and refreshing, where the beetroot meringue was light and sweet.
Fera is certainly a restaurant deserving of it's Michelin star. We have read others saying it is already operating at two star level. For us it's not quite there yet. The food was of a very high standard but a few minor mistakes brought it away from being perfect for us. That is not taking away from the fact we thoroughly enjoyed our set lunch offering at Fera. The level of skill involved in the chicken main was highly impressive and it was easily one of the best dishes we have tried from any lunch menu. Desserts were also a strong point, with both being a highly pleasing end to our lunch.
Service was good throughout, but a few minor errors away from being great.
London is a wash with many great restaurants, with countless choices, would we recommend a visit to Fera? Despite ordering from the less expensive set lunch menu, and then being highly impressed with the food, we would now happily recommend Fera to anyone. This was easily one of the finest lunches we have tried within a one star establishment in London. If you want to feel like royalty and eat like a king, give it a visit.
Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Decor - 9/10
Toilets - 9/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 41/50 - Beautiful food in stunning surroundings.