Cafe Murano – yep, pretty close to flawless

Thank you Twitter! Before you existed, in all your crazy, mixed blessing glory, I would never have known about the timings of soft launches.  But now I do! And now that I have quit my day job and spend my life procrastinating, it means I can sit, poised at the click of a mouse, trying to reserve tables at exciting new restaurants during soft launch when the food is half price.  Half the price = twice the food, hurrah!

I think this is day 1 for Cafe Murano, Angela Hartnett’s new solo venture with head chef Samantha Williams.  It is also my sister’s birthday (more or less) so we all went for lunch.  I love Angela Hartnett, and this new restaurant is a triumph – very beautiful ingredients, perfectly executed – not a single mis-step.

We ate a lot.  We always do:

Brilliant rosemary focaccia – stunning texture, served with my favourite Planeta olive oil.

Truffle arancini – crisp, light, golden outsides, melting insides:

Fabulous quality mozzarella with charred aubergine and basil

Then pasta – linguine with red mullet, garlic and chili, so simple and such clear flavours

and more pasta – gnocchi with wild mushrooms, parsley and garlic

and risotto Milanese, osso bucco

and then lamb

and monkfish

and chicken escalope….and tiramisu.  (Oh dear – internet has slowed down due to the rain, thanks again Virgin Media, for your consistently reliable service.)  Well I’ll come back and post those photos later…

Suffice to say, the whole meal was phenomenally delicious.  When it reverts to full Mayfair prices this Wednesday, it will still be good value, because the food is of a fantastically high quality.  This is the sort of cooking I love – confident, non-show-offy, and with the eater’s enjoyment in mind at all times.