13-14 Cork Street
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Fri Nov 18 2011
Cork Street, Mayfair. Once the home of London’s priciest art galleries (now migrated east), it’s still a neighbourhood that creaks of idle money. In this part of Mayfair the men have paid mistresses, the women use AmEx black cards, and both children and pets travel by limousine.
Cork Street is the perfect location for Aurelia, the latest see-and-be-scene restaurant from Arjun Waney. Mr Waney has spent a small fortune, out of his very much larger fortune, renovating the old Mulligans of Mayfair site. It’s now a looking-glass for London’s rich and expensively dressed. I’ve not seen this much mink since ‘Last of the Mohicans’.
The entrance level dining area has a tiny bar and is pleasant enough, but I suggest heading to the basement dining room, where you can sit at a long counter facing the grill. This gives a fine view of the chefs at work, plus the bonus of the warmth from the two grills.
The menu is broadly ‘Mediterranean’, and serves up essentially simple dishes at prohibitive mark-ups (melon and ham salad: £19.50). Escabeche is a peasant-style dish of fish that’s poached or fried, then marinated in an acidic dressing. Our red mullet starter still contained some small bones and was near-raw in the centre, but more importantly, it just didn’t rock our boats. A little basket of deep-fried courgette strips that would make a nice bar snack in Italy, the thin straws of the courgette cooked nicely crisp, is served here for £8.50.
Both a pork chop and lamb leg were moist yet properly cooked, the pork flavoured with fennel, the lamb with a salmoriglio-style pesto; both very good. But the best dishes were the desserts: a crème brûlée with a scoop of melon ice- cream, and a semifreddo that resembled a deconstructed Strawberry Mivvi.
Arjun Waney seems to have the Midas touch, having been the financier behind Zuma and Roka – both first-class and very successful restaurants. Yet we felt a little disappointed with Aurelia, which is takes the far more conservative and risk-averse approach of far too many Mayfair restaurants; it’s more in the mould of its sister restaurant, La Petit Maison.
We visited in the first month when the service was still patchy, yet many of the customers seemed on first-name terms with the staff. With the members-only Arts Club –also owned by Arjun Waney – just around the corner, we expect Aurelia will gain the patronage of a few Arts Club wannabes who are not quite cool or well-connected enough to mingle with Gwyneth Paltrow or Grayson Perry in the exclusive club’s private dining room.
2 course set menu for £26.50
Get 2 course set menu for £26.50, 3 courses £30. Offer applies to Set Menu. From 20th May. Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.
Offer valid until Aug 14 2013
Sunday: 3 courses, drink & unlimited champagne:£45
Bloody, Virgin Mary or Bellini upon arrival plus free flowing champagne(or white/red wine) throughout Brunch £45 per person. A starter, main and dessert from the a la carte Sunday brunch menu including roast of the day. Supplements may apply. Maximum of 6 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.
Offer valid until Aug 15 2013
Aurelia 13-14 Cork Street
020 7409 1370
- Opening hours:
Open 7.30am-11.30pm Mon-Fri; 8am-11pm Sat; 8am-10pm Sun.
Tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus tube
Meal for two with drinks and service: around £140.
- 13-14 Cork Street
- 020 7409 1370
- 13-14 Cork Street
Eating and drinking facilities. Restaurant