Please note, Hibiscus is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink Editors, October 2016.
Chef Claude Bosi opened a gastropub in Fulham in 2012 to go with his other one in Wimbledon, but he clearly hasn’t taken his eye off this flagship restaurant. There’s no à la carte (unless you really want it), so choose three, six or eight courses – and marvel, as the extraordinarily composed dishes arrive on your table with military timing.
On a ‘Taste of Spring’ menu, almost everything included a potentially unusual combination of fruit/savoury flavours – a single spear of grilled asparagus with confit orange and black truffle purée as a starter; scallop sharpened with pink grapefruit gel; gariguette strawberries topped with celeriac foam. Some of the pairings tend towards the experimental; it takes a few mouthfuls to convince yourself that morels with kaffir lime, coffee and tarragon actually works. But it does – as does everything else in this often vividly exciting restaurant.
Even the unobtrusively adept service is far from buttoned-up. The impressive wine list is big on biodynamic and natural expressions, but there’s a house wine at £6 a glass, meaning lunch (with its reasonably priced offerings) needn’t be as expensive a prospect as dinner inevitably is.
|Venue name:||Hibiscus - CLOSED|
29 Maddox Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2.30pm Wed-Sat. Dinner served 6.30-10.30pm Tue-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus|
|Price:||Set lunch £35 for 3 courses (£49.50 incl wine). Set dinner £135 (tasting menu only, £230 incl wine)|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
2.4 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:3
- 1 star:3
A mixed experience. My girlfriend and I had gone for a birthday lunch, which they knew about. We had the set menu. Food veered from genuinely interesting (amuse bouche and palate fresheners) to fine, but no more (main courses). Despite neither of us drinking wine (or wanting to) it seems they no longer do a set lunch without wine (they certainly used to until recently). We were charged the set lunch price with the wine. So we paid for the wine but didn’t get it. Or any kind of discount. My gentle protest (not wanting to spoil the lunch occasion) was met with indifference. Service was prim for my tastes; bordering on arrogant. They kindly gave us a shared dessert cake slice as a birthday treat, but did not charge for this. Not good enough really. I’ll not be rushing back.
OMG, after sampling the Bosi pub in Wimbledon at the weekend, I found myself in Mayfair today and just had the most amazing lunchtime experience I can remember in the UK, Only in Paris have I experienced such incredible food matched with charming, unstuffy service. This HAs to be the best in town.
We ate here yesterday for a birthday lunch and are regular "fine diners". The previous weekend we'd eaten in 2 3 star Michelin restaurants. We chose the set lunch. Service was very slow because of 6 tables of tourists arriving together. The atmosphere was noisy, pub like - with most diners wearing hoodies and jeans.
I had snail ravioli that was uncooked. I was offered an alternative starter. This was very bland but was eaten. The mains included ox cheek and skate - and all 4 of the party could not eat our choices because it was too salty. When asked why we had left our food - we explained calmly. The Maitre D' returned from the kitchen with our bill and the comment the chef was refusing to serve desert.
We choose our restaurants carefully and rarely write poor reviews - this is an exception! We were shocked and horrified. I suggest that staff and the chef need to retrain in customer care. Yes we had a disappointing meal - but the means of handling the situation was appalling - Basil Fawltyesque.
Not surprisingly we would never recommend
I love going out and I have been to a few Michelin starred restaurants in London. I always love to go out and have a great time. There is always the excitement and I had a lot of fantastic moments.
The Hibiscus webpage looks great, but the venue itself is very small and has a pub like atmosphere. It was very busy and loud. The high noise level did not appeal to me and the tables are very close to each other. So don’t expect too much privacy.
The service was Ok for a pub, but a disgrace for a restaurant with a Michelin star. I wondered how they received a two Michelin star rating. With the performance that I experienced these two stars will be history.
The service can be best described as just being able to cope with delivering food. There was no harmony and grace. The atmosphere is very hectic and the waiters seem to be under a lot of pressure and there is not much time to look after clients. I felt sorry for the waiters, but it is lack of management to provide enough capacity to make guest feel welcome and relaxed.
The food was inventive and creative, but some of the recipes seem to be in a relative early stage of development and they are not ready to be served to a paying customer. The cheese cake with asparagus sounds creative, but I still prefer a normal cheesecake. This and other recipes didn’t do it for me.
There are a lot of amazing restaurants in Mayfair, but the Hisbiscus is a one off experience. The Sketch and Alain Ducasse are in a completely different league and they care about excellent food and their guests. I am sorry, but I can’ recommend this restaurant. It failed to deliver in every department.
I love creative food, and having been fortunate enough to have experienced tasting menus such as Viajante's (which blew my mind) I was very excited by the prospects of what Hibiscus had to offer.
As this dinner was a special occasion and a gift to us, my partner and I took the 8 course tasting menu with wine flight, and enjoyed a glass of champagne each to start. The service and wine were impeccable and the intruding fruit fly didn’t bother us too much.
However, from the cashew nuts roasted in balsamic vinegar to the burrata with apple sorrel and raspberries, I wished I could have separated the components and enjoyed them in isolation, cleansing my palette in between. Each ingredient seemed to spoil it's accompanying ingredient, making neither of them a taste sensation. The ingredients throughout were modest; not a truffle, spoonful of caviar, piece of lobster, or an oyster in sight. Few exotic ingredients, mainly just good household ingredients, very well and imaginatively prepared, but in questionable combinations. The food was fine for a bit of fun, but when your bill comes to over £250 per head, one reflects on it a bit more seriously.
Whilst other Michelin restaurants have made us feel like monarchs, Hibiscus' menu made us feel like mugs.
A friend of mine and I recently went to London for one of our annual gourmet treks. Craving for a great night at the Hibiscus restaurant and Mr. Claude Bosi’s eight-course tasting menu, we experienced an unforgettable evening encircled by greatest disappointment. While processing the online reservation months in advance, we haven’t been informed about the fact that there was a different menu for the Valentine’s day. Not even a single communication channel (e.g., webpage, email, call, etc.) provided information about the only six-course Valentine’s menu offered at this particular day (with a price almost double as high as the usual eight-course tasting menu). After being told about this limited menu selection and also the fact that the menu has to be finished within 1.5 to 2 hours (which was also never been communicated during the reservation process opposed to other restaurants in this class), we kindly wanted to provide the manager with constructive feedback to improve his operation in the future. To our surprise, the restaurant manager (Mr. Laurent Gilles) hasn’t at all shown an open ear and suddenly overreacted by forcing us to leave the restaurant and thus exposing us in the middle of the dining room. At this moment, we were perplex and couldn’t believe what happened. The restaurant manager’s attitude seemed to be obsessed with underlying, inadequate characteristics such as presenting insecurity and an inaptitude to handle constructive customer feedback (which are, by no doubt, essential skills to successfully running an operation such as Hibiscus). This experience does not comply with the expected standards published by various guides (e.g., Michelin Guide, Relais & Châteaux, The World's 50 Best Restaurants, etc.). Fully aware of the fact that, for instance, Michelin stars are primarily based on the quality of cooking, we question how such a meal can be enjoyed in a uncomfortable, not customer-oriented environment managed by a restaurant manager with limited client skills and an even threatening behaviour. We deeply regret that we haven’t had the chance to taste the reportedly excellent 8 course-tasting menu and, even more important, hope this feedback will open the rating agencies’ eyes to help maintaining the high reputations and high, constantly qualitative standards when it comes to future ratings. Luckily, our evening ended with a absolutely fantastic tasting menu at The Greenhouse Restaurant!
Agree with Valerie: Excellent service but food no more than okay - think bland or odd combinations that mostly on this experience don't work. Very poor value for money for those people on a special night out.
I went here for the 8 course tasting menu and was extremely disappointing. Most of my dishes were okay, but not a single dish was excellent. Two dishes was flat out bad. My fois gras had a vein in it and didn't melt in my mouth. The steak was similarly tough. My ravioli was bland and included undercooked beans. My first desert was uneatable. A mint and pea mousse in a chocolate shell. I love creative food, but peas and chocolate are a terrible combination. The second desert was eatable but average at best. The service was excellent but our table was surrounded by flies. Everyone in my party was killing fruit flies during the dinner. I caught at least 3. I really don't expect flies to be a problem in a Michelin starred restaurant. For the money, I would say this is the worst meal I've ever had.
I took my husband for a birthday dinner on a Friday night when they offer a tasting menu from whatever is fresh from the markets that day. We chose to have paired wines as well as 6 courses. Right from the start, the country dining room air, the friendly service, we were impressed with this establishment. But the stand out is the sublime food most excellently paired with the wines. We have eaten in numerous Michelin starred restaurants, but Hibiscus is now one of the favourites. A wonderful dish of raw shrimps & lychees, warm ravioli of kohlrabi & pigs trotters with Galician sea urchins was so sublime we were oohing and aahing as the tastes exploded on the palate. Expensive, but absolutely worth the treat.
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