Wild Honey (and Michelin Stars)

Wild Honey had been on my ‘list’ for a while.  The restaurant has been around for a few years and gets pretty decent reviews, and the fact that it has a Michelin star but the prices aren’t extortionate meant that it was easy to convince friends that Wild Honey would be a good ‘fine but not stuffy dining’ option when we found that our much anticipated table for 6 at Viajante had not quite materialised.

This is my first post, and I’ll start as I mean to go on: I don’t want to micro analyse every meal; in particular, I don’t intend to photograph or to describe each and every mouthful of every restaurant I visit.  So I’ll cut to the chase and summarise.

We had an excellent evening.  We drank good value wine from an attractive and accessible wine list (we also drank a bottle of very expensive port, but my friend with a titanium black Amex paid for that).  Our waiter was fun but also professional.  And he gets extra marks for sneaking us an additional cheese for our already decent looking cheese course.  Importantly, the food was excellent.  It really was.  In fact there was basically nothing wrong with the cooking (except maybe the portions were probably a little on the mean side).

But it didn’t blow me away.  Which is odd because, actually, everything was cooked to perfection.

Maybe it was because the dishes did not seem overly complex or ambitious – poached trout on a red onion tart; roast halibut with shrimps and potatoes; English custard tart.  All delicious.  But all dishes that I could at least attempt to cook at home and, on occasion at least, end up with something close to the same standard.

I genuinely don’t want to be negative or criticise Wild Honey.  I will definitely go back.  It just got me thinking about what it really means to eat at a one Michelin star restaurant; my view at the moment is that it means the cooking is flawless.  Not awesome or amazing.  But nothing wrong either.  And when you put that together with excellent service, good wine and well kept cheese (the Lincolnshire Poacher stood out), you’re getting close to the one star experience.

The Bill

Our starters averaged around £10; mains about £19; dessert £7.  The six of us shared 6 portions of selected cheeses at £3.25 each (and got two extra portions on the house).   We drank a couple of bottles each of the Picpoul de Pinet, Le Jade, Languedoc (£21.50) and the Pinot Noir, Forest Estate, Marlborough NZ (£26) (all wines are also available in a 250ml carafe).  I don’t want to check how much the port was.

Like Arbutus, Wild Honey does some seriously good value set menus on weekday and Sunday lunches and also pre theatre in the early evening.

wildhoneyrestaurant.co.uk – 12 St. George Street, W1S 2FB – 020 7758 9160
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