The woe was palpable when Mayfair’s longstanding Wild Honey shuttered last winter. But chef Anthony Demetre quickly regrouped. Now located in the Sofitel St James hotel, WH version 2.0 has eschewed its previously clubby confines for something airier: lofty ceilings with spindly chandeliers, room-length leather banquettes in teal and tan, and a kidney-stained marble bar. It’s an attractive spot.
As with the first iteration, the food is good but flawed. A promisingly bizarre sounding cacio e pepe rigatoni with fried chicken wings was grindingly salty, while the rolled rabbit saddle with bunny cottage pie – a rehashed hit from WH1 – suffered more slapdash seasoning. Still, the ‘slow-cooked piece of beef’ was decent – it had the plentiful taste and texture of a thick hunk of onglet – while the signature honeycomb ice cream that followed was blinding.
I recall WH1 once being described as ‘affordable fine dining’. No longer: three courses plus a snack for two, a lower-end malbec and a couple of snifters was £200, which isn’t remotely cheap. Still, Demetre is a chef’s chef, the room’s dreamy and in the pantheon of pricy modern Euro spots in central you could eat far worse.