Maze – constrained by design

Maze has a very specific dining style. It focuses on smaller tasting sized dishes. It is definitely not a place to visit for a hearty lunch.

We chose from the 4 course set menu, going for 3 savory dishes and 1 dessert along with a flight of wine.  I remember enjoying the flights from an earlier visit, they work well in that they consist of one white, one red and one dessert wine. They were very good wines of the sort that would work well with most food selections, rather than being specifically matched to individual dishes.

One of the constraints we found at Maze was that the dishes were delivered in the order of the menu, which means you can find yourself starting with a meat dish and finishing with a fish dish. Another constraint is that the set menu is not very extensive, so even when it is just two people dining, you can not avoid having duplicate dishes. They are just served in a different order, as you can see from our example:-

1st diner had:

Course 1 – Pressed confit duck and foie gras, Waldorf salad

Course 2 – Braised veal shin, rocket pesto, white onion risotto

Course 3 – Loch Duart salmon, fondue of leek, vinaigrette of brown shrimps, horseradish

2nd diner had:

Course 1 – Braised veal shin, rocket pesto, white onion risotto

Course 2 – Loch Duart salmon, fondue of leek, vinaigrette of brown shrimps, horseradish

Course 3 – Szechuan-spiced Suffolk pork belly, chilli apple purée, bok choy

I have to admit that I found it a bit strange to be eating a dish that my companion was about to have as his next course. It did mean though that we could be in 100% agreement on the standout dish – the rather stunning Loch Duart salmon, with its wonderful flavour and texture combinations.

For dessert we both chose the attractively presented Hazelnut parfait, cherry sorbet and griotte cherries.

Alex Marks formally of the Foliage is head chef here now following Jason Athertons departure to open his own restaurant (Pollen Street Social) and we had hoped that perhaps Alex would bring in some of the artistic and culinary style we experienced at the Foliage. He was not in the kitchen on our visit, but it did rather seem as though the concept of Maze would perhaps be a bit too restrictive to allow that.

However despite the constraints and dainty portions, I have to say we did rather enjoy our lunch at Maze.

Marks out of 10

Food 7.1

Service 6.3

Ambience 6.5

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 8:10 pm and is filed under 1 Michelin star, London, UK. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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