Raffles London at The OWO is by far the most exciting open in London for 2023 and the one to watch for 2024. With nine restaurants and three bars (not all open just yet), Raffles London at The OWO is already a centre of gastronomic excellence with Mauro Colagreco leading the way, under the expert eye of Director of Food and Beverage Mark Hastings.
Mauro Colagreco at Raffles London at The OWO is doing great things. The Chef’s signature restaurant is an ode to British terroir with a focus on locally produced, seasonal ingredients. Here, Mauro continues his work as the only UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity, with the restaurant designed to offer incredible gastronomy through the lens of sustainability.
The menu is a love letter to the British country garden, revealing more than 70 fruits and vegetables found in the UK. Dishes throughout the menu lead with the vegetables with the other elements built around the star ingredient.
Although this concept has been created in other restaurants, Mauro does it the best. Why? Each plate is a story with extreme detail, depth of flavour and is accompanied by a bespoke illustrated card showcasing the lead ingredient. Chef Colagreco has also hand-selected his suppliers, drawing on local farmers and producers operating sustainably to produce exceptional flavour. Locality is not just talked about but really embraced. A lettuce starter uses local red oak lettuce grown for Mauro in Elephant and Castle, smoked fish and a creamy vermouth sauce.
Each dish on the menu highlights a seasonal garden speciality, such as fennel with mackerel sashimi, white currant, crème fraîche and cucumber aguachile; Jerusalem artichoke, with hazelnut and cornish monkfish; and lettuce with vermouth and cockle sauce. Desserts follow the same design and include: berries with yoghurt shiso ice cream and shiso leaf and plum, served in a crispy ravioli shell, black lemon ice cream and yoghurt fontainebleau. Dishes will change seasonally showcasing the best of what is available.
The all-British cheese trolley is an experience. There are over 15 cheeses with more being added all the time, all served with candied squash and seeded crackers. A dedicated cheese sommelier can talk you through the options and guide you through the experience.
In addition, guests can enjoy an Exploration Route Wine Pairing inspired by historic British explorers — showcasing wines from lesser-known regions. Alternatively, the Leisure Route Wine Pairing connects guests with some of the most prestigious wines in the world. There is also a set lunch menu, including an amuse-bouche, pain partage, 3 courses and mignardise, served every day.
Mauro’s Table is an intimate Chef’s table dining space for up to 20 guests. The restaurant serves a creative tasting menu which again, showcases the Chef’s commitment to using pure seasonal ingredients, sourced sustainably.
The Knotted Garden tasting menu pays tribute to the Elizabethan love of this curious and charming kitchen gardening style, and guests are taken on a journey meandering through herbs, vegetables and fruits. Guests are greeted with an ‘Ice Breaker’ to start – an infused glass of water, that links the guests and the gardens from the very start of their experience.
Curtained off from the elegantly designed kitchen, guests can enjoy the odd glance into the workings of the restaurant as staff pass through. The room itself is dressed seasonally, with abundant displays of garden produce on show. Bespoke cutlery and tableware, and hand-blown, intricately coloured glassware delivers a refined experience for guests of Mauro’s Table.
Just across the hallway, Saison is the Mauro Colagreco take on a fresh, elegant take on the traditional all-day brasserie. This relaxed restaurant is situated within a courtyard-like setting, filled with natural light from a restored glass arcade. Saison is reminiscent of a Parisian Park and serves Mediterranean dishes as well as regular specials in season, including white Alba truffles. David Lepage leads and manages the kitchen within Saison, showcasing his immense talent. The Saison wine list is inspired by the English passion for the Riviera and its wines, many from estates that follow sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices.
Highlights for dinner include a London Burrata, quail with smoked chestnuts and a stunning halibut with artichoke mousseline with caper olive and a citrus beurre blanc. The halibut was one of the dish highlights of the year. The halibut was incredibly well cooked and that citrus beurre blanc added a rich creamy texture to an incredible plate of food. A simply described chocolate mousse with hazelnut ice cream and praline is definitely one of the best in London. The mousse is creamy, airy and there are gorgeous nutty tones running throughout.
If you are looking for a world class breakfast, this is the place to be. Expect organic Welsh eggs, lovely home made baked beans, a British pork sausage curated by Mauro and a stunning buckwheat pancake.
To discover more, visit: Raffles.com
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All imagery courtesy of Raffles London at The OWO and John Athimaritis.