I was slightly shocked to find that, out of 7,664 London restaurants reviewed on Tripadvisor, Murano is currently at no. 1 - but when I thought back to the meal my partner and I had this weekend, it actually comes as no surprise.
The evening couldn't have had a better start, as when we hopped out of the taxi in front of Murano, head chef Angela Hartnett herself was standing outside on her mobile phone! This was in fact one of few breaks Angela took over the course of the evening - she is clearly a very hard worker - although she did make time to occasionally pop out and chat with the diners - a great personal touch and all the better to prove that at Murano (as opposed to most of Gordon Ramsay's and Jamie Oliver's restaurants) the name above the door really is in the kitchen.
The staff were very attentive and polite, with everyone welcoming us as we entered, and before each dish we were treated to a full description and even a couple of stories about the ingredients. I was surprised to see that there are only around 12-15 tables in the restaurant, which gives it a very intimate and exclusive feel. We opted for the £75pp tasting menu with a lovely French Malbec - the total bill (including service) came to around £210 which we thought was very reasonable considering the range of dishes, expert skill and sizeable portions.
I won't bore you with the entire tasting menu - the sample on the Murano website is in fact still current. The highlights were the foie gras and toasted brioche, which was delicious without being too rich; the Italian bread basket, anti-pasto and olive oil; the Casterbridge beef, which was quite possibly the best beef I've ever had; the Gressingham duck (delicious but not quite as good as the beef); the Amalfi lemon tart, which practically melted in the mouth; and the miniature ice-cream scoops were a lovely palate cleanser. Having had tasting menus in the past, we were keen to experience the range of dishes but concerned about the portions being too small - but we needn't have worried. After taking into account the appetisers, the bread basket (plus a refill) plus the little chocolate truffles after the third (!) dessert, the whole meal runs to about ten courses - and the fish course and main are both fairly sizeable. We left feeling very full and absolutely spoilt.
So, in summary, I can completely understand why Murano is currently the top-rated restaurant in London! The food is absolutely exquisite, the staff are friendly and polite, the quality, variety and size of portions make it very good value, but most importantly - and this is something that gives Murano a key selling point amongst its competitors - you can be absolutely certain that your meal has been prepared by a master.
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