London is full of great restaurants, there’s no denying that simple fact, although some really are in a league all of their own. ‘Chef Alyn’ Williams has long been known among the fine-foodies of London for the fabulous dishes he served during his 5 years at Marcus Wareing’s restaurant at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. Now the man is making strides as an independent chef with his very own self-titled restaurant at one of London’s premier hotels, The Westbury Hotel in Mayfair. Alyn Williams at the Westbury has been open since late 2011 and has already earned itself a Michelin star as well as 3 AA rosettes; Alyn was also awarded ‘National Chef of the Year 20012’ and while all these fancy titles and awards may sound pretentious, they are undoubtedly well deserved since the food here is, if I dare say so, far better than that of his former workplace.
The price, quite surprisingly for such a fine establishment, is rather reasonable, which only adds to the appeal and gives you all more of a reason to try it – which I highly recommend you do. The restaurant itself is comfortable and quiet, the wood panels and carpeted floors are warm and inviting while still being clean and modern. My favourite part of the restaurant though, is the ‘private dining’ area which is situated in plain sight in the centre of the restaurant, and is encased by glass walls which double as wine racks and are stacked from floor to ceiling with fine wines (the room will only seat 8 guests, 10 at a squeeze). It’s not so much the room that I am drawn to as the concept behind it – when you book the area you are required to select your wines for the evening in advance, you will then be served a customised tasting menu on the night to match your wine selections – I just love this twist on the usual wine-food pairing and the wine-encased dining room adds to the overall experience.
The food, as you might have guessed, was sublime. We were treated to a tour of the kitchen followed by our very own bespoke 16 course tasting menu, chosen by Alyn himself, which included a little of everything from the restaurants seasonal summer menu. A rather unexpected surprise and an absolute treat, for which I cannot thank him enough. This was quite simply one of the best meals of my life, and although I would love to share every detail, SIXTEEN courses would be quite a lot to write about in much detail and I simple couldn’t do it justice if I tried.
Alyn, along with his incredible team, serve up some of the finest food in London, the restaurant boasts a simple but carefully selected and very impressive wine list; and the service, well all I can say is that I’ve yet to experience better. All in all, an incredible experience, and one I will be coming back for much more of.
Favourite dishes: Risotto Balls and Tempura Oysters (canapes) – Chicken Wings and Sweetbreads with Baby Gems and Sherry Sauce – Langoustine with Watermelon – Slow Cooked egg served in a cup with Celeriac and Truffle Brioche – Wild Salmon with Sea Vegi’s and Oysters – Pork with Sweetcorn, Mushroom and Corndogs – Lamb with Chickpea and Aubergine – Strawberry Shortcake – Honeycomb and Passionfruit – THE BEST DISH IS THE WALNUT WHIP (which is why the picture above is dedicated entirely to this mind bending dessert)