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Restaurants, British Mayfair

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, Stem has now closed. Time Out Food editors, June 2019.

Stem is a restaurant from Mark Jarvis, the chef behind two critically acclaimed London eateries: Anglo in Farringdon and Neo Bistro, just off Oxford Street. Both serve fine-dining fare but in a relaxed environment, and Stem, housed in a small white terrace with flowers out the front, is no exception in style. On the very autumnal day we visited, the menu was the definition of seasonal: everything on our plates a pretty swirl of magenta, green and brown.

Almost all the food was perfect, but three dishes in particular were flawless. First, there was the cured squid, with slivers of plum so thin they were almost translucent, all in a delicate, seriously addictive shiitake broth (I nearly picked up the bowl to down it like the dregs of cereal). Then there was the truly delicious raw beef topped with dainty enoki mushrooms, and a perfect piece of roast plaice, flawlessly cooked and perfectly balanced, served with hispi cabbage and maybe the softest confit mushrooms in London.

Aside from a tough piece of duck, it was the dining room that stopped Stem heading into five-star territory. It had bright white down-lights shining directly on to tables and absolutely no vibe (except that of a doctor’s waiting room). Obviously a buzzkill, and a real shame, because Stem has the potential to be really great. Don’t expect bags of atmosphere: there are better options nearby. But go if you’re a food nerd who appreciates technical cooking.

By: Kelly Pigram



Address: 5 Princes Street
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross
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