GASTRONOMIC GALLIVANTS: Elevated Tasting Menus in London


Ormer Mayfair by Sofian…Executive chef Sofian Msetfi

The gastronomic experience began immediately upon being seated by Lorenzo, the maitre d’. He was expecting us. In the heart of London’s Mayfair, the alacrity with which he greeted and seated us was a bit unexpected. This part of town is famous for its very formal, upper- crusty, stiff upper lip, luxury style of service. So, as we stepped through the doors of Fleming’s Mayfair and descended the marble stairs to enter the dining room, it was not only refined, but refreshing to be met by him and his team.

We had heard only good things about this restaurant, and felt very confident that if we left ourselves in their hands, we would not be disappointed. From time to time I like to simply let restaurants of high caliber select what I will eat for the evening. It takes the pressure off of all of us, is my belief. Their six course tasting menu was a perfect fit for this. Let’s begin with the bread and butter service that had hand-churned butter from Normandy France. It was lightly salted and rich. The baguette and the warm Irish brown bread that was also served with it was insane. This was just the bread service! Then came an oyster, which I do not ordinarily partake in, but if leaving myself in their capable hands was what I set us up for, then it required full commitment. The oyster was light and mostly foam. Please do not ask me to tell you how on earth they turned this saltwater mollusc into such a delightful ethereal morsell light on horseradish and garnished with a dainty purple flower.

Each course surpassed its predecessor and the wine pairings ranged from Corpinnat to a trendy and elegant orange wine with an earthy nose and full round entree to the palate with a cool crisp and clean finish. Sommelier Sergie worked hand in hand with Sofian to create this menu. Warm Iberico ham jelly was followed by veal sweetbreads, then butter poached cod, BBQ rack of Limousine veal, a selection of cheeses by Paxton & Whitfield, strawberries in extra virgin olive oil, Abinao chocolate and tapioca tart with Pedro Ximenez sherry and salted milk sorbet. Expectations were exceeded that evening. Matteo, our head waiter and Rosa who was serving in concert with Alesandro, created an unforgettable end to our day.

After a night of extraordinary service and food, seeing several parties being seated, treated, and severed…I believe at Ormer, they are expecting our and everyone else’s return.


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