Celebrity chef Marcus Wareing owns a few fancy restaurants across London, but this one, Marcus, is by far his most elaborate – a proper fine-dining spot on the ground floor of The Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge that’s perfect for a special occasion. The dining room is dark and glamorous, with huge windows covered by sheer curtains, and spacious, deep-purple leather banquette seats surrounding large, white linen-topped tables.
Meals here are a lovely, long affair, with seasonal starters, amuse-bouches, mains and desserts all arriving at a leisurely pace. The best dish, by far, was the slow-cooked egg. Perfectly balanced in texture and flavour, it was very autumnal, with thin slices of cep mushrooms, loads of truffle (shaved at the table by a graceful waiter) and a rich, caramelised celeriac sauce surrounding the egg, which was cooked for 40 minutes, and like a cross between poached and boiled. You cut into it and the yolk wobbled out on to the plate, retaining its shape just when you thought it was going to burst.
Post-egg, there were more fabulous dishes, such as tender, roasted scallops paired with 72-hour short rib (the rich flavours balanced by small, delicate cubes of apple), then a perfect sea bass fillet surrounded by tiny pieces of chorizo, and a deliciously messy chocolate mousse dessert with crumbles of brownie, pieces of puffed rice and shards of sesame crisp scattered beautifully on the plate. Minor grievances, like a faintly tough piece of duck and a slightly dated chocolate-orange dessert, were forgiven, because the service was spectacular. Our waiters sparkled with personality, joining in with the theatre of it all, which made it all the more fun. We left full, happy and delighted with the whole experience. That’s all you really want from a restaurant, isn’t it?