45 Jermyn St. exudes the kind of old school glamour you fantasise about whilst reading novels of well-heeled members of society during the 1800s, starring characters who have a tendency to turn mischievous after a heavy pour, with the sound of clinking glasses and people wearing silk and stings of pearls. Located on the corner of Fortnum & Mason, the colour palate is a clash of pistachio green and tangerine sherbet, with brushed gold and mid-century lines. It shouldn’t work in theory, but it does in every way.
We are led to our table by a charismatic gentleman who asks us what cocktails we would like to start with. Insert charm. My guest settled on The Arlington, a spirited cocktail with a sweetly smooth underbelly, flavours of basil, cucumber and lemon are topped with champagne. I asked for an alternative to my usual Negroni and was offered a Beau’s Negroni, made with gin, Cocchi di Torino, Mondino Amaro, raspberry and champagne, an impressive start.
The asparagus has a dedicated section on the menu to symbolise the start of spring. We decided on the tagliolini, morels and salted ricotta, with the sweet asparagus humming through. If you are a purist, Wye Valley asparagus and hollandaise sauce ticks every box too.
To accompany this, raw Cornish mackerel and Caviar tacos offered little parcels of immense flavour. Fresh mackerel was lightly dusted with tiny bursts of saltiness from the caviar and bite from the taco shell. Our sommelier paired these dishes with a wine from the small village of Tolscva in Hungary, usually known for its lush dessert wines. The Oremus Mandolás Furmint 2016, is a dry white with a zesty liveliness of lemon and peach.
For our mains we chose the seared salmon, shellfish tortellini, fennel and seaweed slaw and spiced monkfish, mussels, red pepper and coconut curry. The monkfish curry was the stand out dish, the slightly sticky seared fish was bathing in a sauce so moreish, we had to consider and then reconsider licking the bowl. Our sommelier came over with a Château Musar from 2009, this Lebanese white has unusual qualities, reminiscent of honeycomb without the sweetness, smooth on the palette, this was a perfect pairing.
Never ones to miss the sweet course, we ordered the pineapple carpaccio, passion fruit, chilli and coconut sorbet which was revitalising yet simple and the banana soufflé served with peanut ice cream; the sweetness from the banana struck a brilliant balance with the savoury peanut. To finish in the best way I know how, we ordered two espresso martinis, which turned out to be the best either of us had tasted.
45 Jermyn St. strikes the perfect balance between joyous established charm and young hearted playfulness. This is a vivacious character with an old soul, and an outfit that demands attention.
To book, visit: www.45jermynst.com
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