We arrived at a very empty Murano with just a few other diners in the restaurant and the decision to have no music in the background left the atmosphere feeling a little flat to begin with. Luckily there was plenty to look at as the restaurant is absolutely stunning and exudes wealth, some serious money has been spent on the decor.
Murano was once owned by Gordon Ramsay Holdings and in 2010 was bought by Angela Hartnett MBE who had worked for Gordon for a number of years.
We have never been to a restaurant that has such friendly staff. Every single member of the team had the perfect balance between relaxed chattiness and Michelin star service. It was by far the nicest selection of FOH we have ever encountered.
We opted for the set lunch menu priced at £30 for three courses.
To kick things off some parmesan crisps and little deep fried balls filled with rice and cheese were brought to the table and wolfed down in a matter of heavenly seconds.
Then a generous selection of bread arrived with some cured meats and some delicious olive oil. This was a course by itself and it was perfect.
My starter of braised lamb shoulder, bruschetta, pearl barley, watercress and celery leaves was divine. The meat was rich and the pearl barley was cooked perfectly. Simple but tasty.
My gentleman companion’s Cornish mackerel, chicory, orange vinaigrette and pine nuts looked as beautiful as our surroundings. He struggled slightly with the fishiness of the mackerel, but that was no fault of the cooking. The citrus from the orange vinaigrette worked perfectly with the oily fish.
My main of roasted pollack, sweet corn salsa, anchovies and coriander cress was a delight for my tastebuds. It was light, clean and summery. It even convinced me for a brief second that I actually like sweetcorn. The massive fillet of fish was cooked to perfection with a lovely crisp skin.
My gentleman companion’s rump of veal, asparagus, parmesan cream and hazelnuts was wonderful. The veal was tender and full of meaty loveliness. The large asparagus stalks looked like they had just been pulled from the ground giving the dish a natural and earthy appearance. The parmesan cream packed a cheese-counter-at-Sainsbury’s punch and tasted great.
A little glass of tiramisu followed and considering it was only a pre dessert I was shocked to say that it was the tastiest tiramisu I have ever had – finally I found one that had flavour and didn’t just taste of cream!
My dessert of caramel parfait, pear puree and stem ginger ice cream was another corker. It was simply presented but the flavour combinations were spot on and I would have gladly licked the plate clean if I wasn’t brought up better.
My gentleman companion’s caramelised Amalfi lemon tart was faultless in flavour. Our waitress informed us that Amalfi is a town in Italy famous for its lemons. The pastry was thin and perfectly cooked (no soggy bottom to be found here) and the lemon filling was sweet yet tangy. My only criticism would be the presentation – for a Michelin star restaurant maybe a garnish of some kind would have given both desserts some much needed flamboyance.
Our waitress informed us that Angela was cooking lunch in the kitchen that day and offered to introduce us. This sort of thing gets us rather excited. We stood in the tiny kitchen gawping at her whilst she plated up then she actually took the time to come and talk to us and was ever so friendly.
As we sat back down all thrilled and giggly some beautiful petit fours accompanied our coffee (£5). Caramel truffles and salted chocolate lollipops were the perfect end to a perfect lunch.
We struggled to find fault with this restaurant as the staff are friendly, the food is delicious and the restaurant is beauitful – what more could we possibly want?