I’ll say something now to start as i mean to finish this post: “Pick up the phone, & book yourself a table at the brilliant Mayfair haunt that is Kitty Fisher’s – you shall not be disappointed”.
One of London’s most exciting new restaurants, this Mayfair newcomer is a snug little venue, tucked away in Shepherd Market.
In the kitchen, is the iconic wood-fired grill tended to by chef Tomos Parry (voted Young British Foodie Chef of the Year 2014) whilst front of house is taken care of by the 3 friends who brought the restaurant to life: Tom, Oliver & Tim (the first two being there on the night i dined, and both were thoroughly charming).
Upstairs at street level, there are just a couple of tables, and 6 seats at the bar.
We were sat downstairs, which can seat 20 (at a push), and although we didn’t manage to bag the banquette seat with plush rose velvet upholstery, were perfectly happy in our little spot. The space is informal, flickering with candlelight against the wooden tones – there’s something almost sexy about it, and would make a fantastic date venue.
I must admit, it’s a nice feeling when you’ve an upcoming reservation at a spot which is becoming the talk of the town – you can’t help but feel just that little bit smug, excitedly anticipating your meal, while phone lines are ringing non-stop with prospective diners. And this is how i felt in the 2 weeks running up to my dinner at Kitty Fisher’s. On top of this, the restaurant recently had rave reviews from some of London’s finest critics (Giles Coren loves it, & so does Fay Maschler), so i had a feeling i probably wouldn’t be disappointed.
The menu is short & interesting (n.b. it’s not particularly vegetarian friendly). And pretty much everything we ate, tasted phenomenal. Bottom line is, there’s nothing too fancy or experimental about the food at Kitty Fisher’s, they just use great produce & cook it incredibly well. The flavours we experienced that night really were sublime.
We settled in for the night, selecting our wine with the helpful assistance of our waitress; an excellent Bordeaux – which at £30, was surprisingly affordable (for Mayfair).
Warm, toasted sourdough with a drizzle of olive oil was the first to arrive on the food scene. The bread alone was enough to please us. But then it was partnered with a white coloured whipped butter dusted with onion ash – this was truly something out-of-this-world. The butter was addictive, fluffy, light, smooth, creamy & melt in the mouth (evidenced by my dinner date licking every last bit off of his knife – it was THAT good). On a side note: why do hardly any restaurants grill their sourdough before serving? It’s a much more pleasing thing when toasted in my opinion.
* Kitty Fisher’s Bread & Burnt Onion Butter is hands down the nicest bread & butter i’ve had (bold statement, i know)*
Next up, Grilled Calcots (a type of Spanish spring onion), Goat’s Curd, Brown Butter & Smoked Almonds. An absolutely stunning starter – the goats curd & sauce were a heavenly combo. Who would have thought a spring onion could be dressed up so well.
The Lamb Cutlets, Anchovy, Mint & Parsley was our second starter. It’s rather difficult to put into words how sublime these lamb chops were – a real masterpiece. These were probably the best lamb chops i’ve ever had (yet another bold statement, but there you go) – tender but succulent, and accompanied by a fantastic sauce of chopped anchovy, mint & parsley. The sauce had a wonderfully intense flavour, yet didn’t overpower the natural flavour of the meat, only serving to enhance it – this is a fine example of skilled cooking.
*The quality of the meat was blindingly evident, and coupled with it having been cooked to absolute perfection and accompanied by that tasty sauce, the entire dish was spot on*.
For the main show, we shared the sirloin & the duck.
Aylesbury Duck, Tokyo Turnips & Rhubarb – this dish comes with a confit leg and a grilled breast. Now (unexplainably), i’m in the midst of a phase where i’ve gone off duck breast – so i only had a small piece to try – the confit leg was much more to my liking and i loved it. On the whole though, we concluded that this dish was perfectly cooked and a brilliant assembly of flavours & textures.
Beef Sirloin, Onion, Pickled Walnut, Pink Fir & Tunworth – you can’t go to Kitty Fisher’s & not order this dish, it’s turning into a bit of a kitchen signature. But what sets it apart? It’s that beautiful charred crust, housing a meat still pink & juicy inside, & only made even better with the presence of cute little charred onions & pink fir potatoes stuffed with Tunworth cheese. *An absolute winner of a dish*.
Last up was dessert – Chocolate Mousse, Rhubarb, Creme Fraiche & Hazelnuts. Although perfectly enjoyable, it didn’t stand out from the crowd for me. I wished for the mousse to be more intense and chocolatey, but nevertheless it was a nice combination with the rhubarb & creme fraiche, not to mention the lovely added crunch of the caramelised nuts. Ultimately, dessert was overshadowed by the earlier dishes, but i didn’t care, i was still happy as Larry with the experience.
Service at Kitty Fisher’s is brilliant – just what I wanted & expected from it. A warm welcome from the owners greeted us upon arrival, followed by some light humour as we were shown to our table, instantly making us feel at ease, almost as if we’d been invited into their home. Throughout the meal, our waitress was smiley, attentive & well clued up on the menu & wine list.
And so came the end to our wonderful meal, sad as that was. Bundled up in our coats, we swung by the kitchen and watched Tomos plate up 2 sirloins on our way out, and it made my mouth water (even though i couldn’t possibly eat another thing).
As we left Kitty Fisher’s that evening, we bore the grins of two cats that got the cream.
Dips Bites: Kitty Fisher’s is something special. It ticks so many boxes – from the ambience to our superb host Tom to the fantastic food & wine – and i struggle to fault it. Our showstopper dishes were the Bread & Butter, Lamb Cutlets & Sirloin; you mustn’t miss them. This restaurant has already made it onto my list of best meals of 2015, & i’ll be surprised if there’s another London opening as good as this for a while. Bag yourself a table, asap…it’s going to be big.
P.S. Reservations at Kitty Fisher’s are hard to come by. The booking lines are only open at certain times, & you’re likely to get the engaged tone or voicemail – persistence is key. The restaurant is pretty much fully booked, but they do keep 6 bar seats unreserved for walk-ins every day, so perhaps it’s worth trying your luck to sneak in this way.
10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, W1J 7QF
At the time of writing: Closed Sunday & Monday. Tuesday – Friday 12pm to 2.30pm (lunch) & 6.30pm to 9.30pm (dinner). Saturday is dinner only.