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Michael Moore, London [Restaurant Review]

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

Highly recommended by a friend, the Suckling Pig, we were quite eager to make a reservation at Michael Moore’s especially when there was an offer for £45 for a 7 course dinner tasting menu with wine pairing (Mon - Wed only. £75 other days.). Located on the slightly less busy parts of London in Marylebone, parking was surprisingly easy to find on this occasion and the front of the restaurant was inviting with a full glass wall facing the street to invite in more of the ever dwindling sunlight.

Michael Moore

The restaurant was fairly empty at 7pm on our arrival and remained quite empty the whole night, the sommelier saying that most of their regular diners are away in July/August and their business usually drops then. Nevertheless, the wife and me were quite happy, except that the table seemed remarkably tiny. I admit I’m near 6 foot tall and slightly larger than average size/height but I felt like I didn’t have a lot of space to manoeuvre myself about.

Michael Moore restaurant

Upon confirming our order of tasting menu with accompanying wine, some bread came along shortly. There were three choices – white, rye and cheese. The cheese version was very aromatic and quite rich in cheesey flavour, considering it looked identical to the white bread to me.

Michael Moore tasting menu

Michael Moore bread

amuse bouche turned out to be black sushi rice with salmon and wasabi cream. While beautifully presented, I felt the rice was chewier than expected and probably undercooked. I’m not 100% sure as to the flavourings used in the rice but it overpowered the salmon. The wasabi cream however was a shock to the system (in a good way); although it looked quite demure, it was nearly as strong as fresh wasabi but sweetened a little to give it more body.

Michael Moore rice

Michael Moore rice salmon

The first wine to appear was a white
Chardonnay: very light and quite dry, probably the best way to start the first of five glasses to come that night. Accompanying it was celeriac cream with truffle oil. I admit that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this, but I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality and taste. Lured by the truffle aroma, the soup was actually well seasoned, incredibly creamy and lacked any taste of celery which the PigPig detests. The little slice of parmesan crisp provided even more competition for the tastebuds and the choice of pea shoots (I think it was pea shoots, I’m not the best identifier of green stuff in dishes) was well thought of as the taste could cut through the richness of the soup.

Michael Moore soup

A glass of
Riesling from Germany came next; still quite light but noticeably with more body than the first white, again I think it matched quite well as the next dish was more intense in flavour. The whiskey gravadlax with vanilla scallops was a real treat on the eyes. For a quick explanation, gravadlax is a Scandinavian dish whereby raw salmon is cured with salt, sugar and dill giving it a taste and texture similar to smoked salmon (but without the smokiness). Although I felt the gravadlax was too salty here, the scallops were incredible; fresh, perfectly cooked, very tender. The natural sweetness of the seafood was further enhanced by a sweet salad dressing.

Michael Moore scallop

I have to admit I didn’t taste much champagne in the
champagne sorbet. It was reasonably effective as a palate cleanser even though it wasn’t sour.

Michael Moore sorbet

Continuing the spectrum, a glass of
rose was provided for the next dish. To me, the honey tilapia with fava beans was the outstanding dish of the day. The tilapia on its own was very good to eat; fresh, succulent, cooked quite simply really with just some honey glaze to sweeten the meat. However, the fava beans in ginger sauce (I didn’t really taste the ginger, but the waitress said it was ginger sauce) were so delicious I could have just eaten a whole plate of it and left the restaurant happy. The menu did say that it was wasabi cream but I can only assume that the chef changed his mind; I’m quite glad he did as I really enjoyed this dish.

Michael Moore fish

A red
Argentinian malbec accompanied the red meat for today; although very smoky on its own, it tasted better with some red meat to keep it company and when allowed to breathe a little. I had actually eaten a slice of the lamb cutlet before the waiter arrived again with a little jug of gravy; a shame as the lamb itself was seasoned very plainly, just salt and pepper, and it needed the gravy to make the meat more interesting.

Michael Moore meat dish

Michael Moore lamb sauce

Michael Moore lamb

crispy belly pork with plum sauce looked a little dry to my eyes and it proved to be the case, a shame as the Suckling Pig was raving about it for at least 37 days after he ate here. I do have to admit though that the skin was very crispy and the dish would have been a lot better if the meat was juicier and more tender.

Michael Moore pork belly

Unfortunately, it was soon time for dessert. Fortunately, the
chocolate avalanche looked absolutely amazing, even more so after the waiter poured some milk chocolate over the dark chocolate cone. It proved a little tricky to eat though as the chocolate cone was quite thick and hard to crack open, even though it had a hollow surprise of ice cream (I can’t put my finger on exactly what flavour it was). The vanilla ice cream (presumably home made) was creamy and had generous flecks of vanilla beans, always a good sign.

Michael Moore dessert

Michael Moore chocolate

The sommelier did explain more about the dessert wine, but he had quite a thick French accent so I couldn’t make it out; I suspect it was plum wine and it tasted quite nice, not overly sweet like how some dessert wines can taste like cough syrups.

petit fours in the end turned out to be a little chocolate truffle which was quite nice, but I would have liked more.

Michael Moore petit four

Admittedly, there weren’t a lot of other diners that night, but the service was very good and attentive throughout the night. Although one of the waiters was obviously new at it, he would offer to refer the question to someone else and I would get my answer in the end. Also, Michael Moore, the head chef comes around to have a chat with the diners and is generally quite a charming fellow. I pointed out he should be upgraded from Michelin recommended to starred but he disagreed and said he preferred not to be starred, as he likes the situation as it is now with less demands and pressure and ultimately a more informal dining situation.

Altogether, the bill for the tasting menu with accompanying wine cost us £40 each (it’s supposed to be £45 but the waiter still charged us £40 despite me trying to correct him).

Food - 7.0
Service - 8.0
Atmosphere - 7.0
Value - 7.5

Although reviews online were generally quite good, Michael Moore’s is fairly low-key in terms of the publicity and general media coverage. I entered the restaurant not expecting much, but being very pleasantly surprised at the overall quality. I would heartily recommend this restaurant to other diners around London who are looking for good modern European food.

Would I eat here again? Ah well apparently Michael Moore’s tasting menu is changing 10 days from when I ate (27th July) and changes every two months or so. Anyway yes I’m quite looking forward to going back again with a new menu to sample.

Michael Moore
19 Blandford St
Marylebone, W1U 8
Tel: +44(0)20 7224 1898
Official website

Michael Moore on Urbanspoon

30 oink oinks...:

Christelle said...

Wow it does look like a good restaurant all around.. reasonnable prices as well for that type of reaturant, thanks for the review! :)

lisaiscooking said...

The celeriac cream with truffle oil and gravlax with scallops both look incredible. That was a great meal for the price!

KennyT said...

That's a very good price for a 7-course tasting menu!! And the food looks good too (or is it just because your photos are beautiful?). Thanks for sharing!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a mouthwatering menu! That belly pork looks particularly tempting...



Angie's Recipes said...

What a delicious meal you had! I like the fish you ordered the most!

Angie's Recipes

Bob said...

Looks great, I've been wanting to do a tasting menu since I first heard about the concept. The problem is it's hard enough for my girlfriend to find one thing on a menu that she likes! She's wicked picky. ;)

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

What a beautiful drool-worthy menu!…. Definitively I want the chocolate avalanche :)



mycookinghut said...

Definitely worth a try for its price!! Thanks for sharing!

Sonia said...

great location and great foods.

Sonia said...

great location and great foods.

Bits of Taste said...

Hi, I would like to tell you that you have got "Award".
Come and claim it !

Beachlover's Kitchen said...

like the food presentation!! so lovely and neat!!is this restaurant own by Micheal Moore who are the writer,sorry for my ignorance:P

Grace said...

looks waaaaay too sophisticated for the likes of me, but dang it if i wouldn't try to masquerade as a civilized person for just a bite of that chocolate avalanche!

5 Star Foodie said...

Sounds like an enjoyable meal despite the minor flaws. The honey tilapia looks terrific and the dessert is very decadent!

Little Corner of Mine said...

The food look great!

Wild Boar said...

Well, value is always a bit difficult to judge I think, but it did seem so to me.

Yes I think those two were my favourite!

Well strictly speaking, it wouldn't be a true 7 course since other places don't count in the amuse bouch and sorbet as courses I think. But yes I thought it looked really pretty.

Angie's Recipes:
I liked it the most too :-D

*sigh* girls...

Gera @ SweetsFoods:
It does look impressive doesn't it?

Hope you give it a try too.

PS. Your Maldives pictures look AMAZING~~

Bits of Taste:
Oh er, thanks.

Beachlover's Kitchen:
Haha if you're thinking about the guy who did the Columbine and 9/11 movies, then no. Same name but very different people.

Aww its not too hard, I come from a small town and there weren't any restaurants like this either. I just needed to remember to use the cutlery appropriately.

5 Star Foodie:
Yeah quite minor really in hindsight. It would've been awesome if it was Chilean Seabass, but ah well, can't be perfect.

Little Corner of Mine:
It tasted as good as it looked.

Natashya said...

Such gorgeous food!
I feel so sheltered here.. I have never eaten at such beautiful places.

Christine said...

The tasting menu looks attractive. If I were living in London, I'd give it a try! Good bargain.
I like some restaurants, like Michael Moore’s, not packed with dinners.

Kerstin said...

Every dish is gorgeous and looks so delicious!

ARUNA said...

very nice place and all mouth-watering dishes!!!

Selba said...

What a nice restaurant!

btw, the fingers and nails on the pic of champagne sorbet are lovely :)

Wild Boar said...

But Canada has such better outdoor scenery than London has.

Ok I suppose that isn't much comfort on a food blog.

Actually that's quite true, its nice sometimes not to be like a sardine in a tin.

Umm, thanks. Those are my fingers and nails though, and I'm a guy. Maybe I need to do more manly work!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I admit I was confused at first. I wondered what the filmmaker had to do with your site! :P

However the dishes look fantastic, especially the chocolate dessert. Was the sushi rice coloured black or naturallyso? Was it a squid ink? I'm interested as I've never seen black sushi rice before.

Lizzie said...

Bit cheeky of them to include the amuse bouche, sorbet and the petit fours on the tasting menu; in my experience these have usually been little surprises. Still, it all looks delicious, espcially the gravadlax.

homeladychef said...

Wah Lau!! I never tried this kind of food with wine pairing before!!

To me, it was so 'atas' / high-class! Can I shake my legs while eating? ;) Oppssss! Aiya, a bit embarassing for me, i think the most important thing is to be able to eat and drink with my husband, anywhere also can! Haha...

Forager said...

Looks great - and good value to boot! The scallops look so plump and juicy in your photo. In fact all of your photos look amazing & mouth wateringly good!

Forager said...

Looks great - and good value to boot! The scallops look so plump and juicy in your photo. In fact all of your photos look amazing & mouth wateringly good!

harcoutbreton said...

Sounds good, definitely gonna check this.

Signature: Looking for premium natural vanilla beans at a bargain? Drop by at myvanillashop for best value.

Janet @gourmet traveller 88 said...

My mouth is watering already. Gotta make a note to try this place : )

Wild Boar said...

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella:
I'm proud to say I have no idea. It didn't taste like squid ink. I know that black rice do exist but I don't know if there is black sushi rice either. I did ask the waitress what was used to cook the dish but I actually forgot what she said x_x

Not so much little surprises as expected as part of the whole tasting experience. But yes it was more realistically a 4 course meal. However I felt quite full after this so I didn't make a fuss.

KL got at least 1 restaurant with high class food + wine pairing, so I'm sure Singapore got even more!

I always shake my legs, to wifey's embarrassment.

MMm yes the scallops were very juicy actually. I thought they were a bit on the smallish side but I think that's being picky.

Janet @gourmet traveller 88:
I would think its well worth a visit (and he didn't pay me to say this).

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