First Michelin Star Experience (Murano)

IMG_0286I apologise for the look of this post being dull, lifeless and  without any photographs. Why no photographs?  The main reason is that no one else was taking them – Who does usually take photographs at a restaurant?  Next time I would take photographs! I kick my self for not taking photos! If you would like to look at the photos please visit their website (www.muranolondon.com).

It was a cold night when we arrived at the restaurant at half 7. We were welcomed, had our coats taken off and shown to our seats. We were then asked if we fancied any pre drinks and were offered a blackcurrant Bellini  This was fantastic (definitely going to try and recreate it!)  We drank it while we were given menus to look over as well as an extensive wine list. We were also given some nibbles which were cheesy, possible mozzarella, balls and Parmesan crisps. I’m not a massive fan of cheese in general but my girlfriend enjoyed them. I selected the wine and had to gain the confidence to stop one of the waiters (I wasn’t sure on the etiquette about stopping waiters but you can do it for any worriers out there like myself!) as none of the waiters came to us. We received the wine quite quickly after ordering and it tasted fantastic (It was one of the cheaper wines – Soave at £45). A few minutes later the waiter (or possibly higher rank, in a suit) came over, answered any questions on the menu and we ordered. The format of the menu is a fantastic idea. The premise is that you order 2, 3, 4 or 5 courses and they can be any courses off of the menu. There were 4 starters, pasta dishes, vegetarian, fish dishes, meat dishes and maybe 6 desserts. You choose the number of courses you want. This is an idea which I love because you are basically crafting your own taster menu! We chose 3 courses for £65. This is what we went for (This may not be the description on the menu but I am working off memory)

Girlfriend:

Starter – Pheasant agnolotti – shallot pureé, rosemary jus
Main – Pork belly – Scottish langoustines, plum purée, smoked almonds
Dessert – Soufflé – Pistachio, hot choolate sauce

Me:

Starter  – Home made fettuccine with slow cooked beef check in a red wine sauce
Main  –  Monkfish – Potato purée, smoked bone marrow, glazed chicken wing
Dessert  – Chocolate  – Ganache, crumble, passionfruit sorbet, mint

Once we ordered,  an anti pasti dish came out, which was bread, bread sticks, this lovely bread with tomatoes and herbs on ( I don’t know the name but when I find out we will definitely be making it!)  some fantastic olive oil – the best I’ve ever tried and some salami and parma ham. This was a great start of what was going to follow.

What did follow? Jealousy! The starters came out and mine was gorgeous but I was silly with the choice! Don’t get me wrong.  This was an amazing dish. Beautiful slow cooked cheek with a deep rich red wine sauce and a lovely light pasta. It was probably the best slow cooked beef ragu dish I’ve ever had but that was all it was. Whereas my girlfriend had this lovely and yummy and interesting dish which tasted perfect. Agnolotti is like tortellini with lovely sized chunks of pheasant inside and a fantastic puree and sauce. It was so scrumptious and after one bite of hers and I was in love. I’d love to make it but wouldn’t have a clue where to begin.  On a sidenote, the service was perfect and the length between courses was spot on – A point I can get very irate about.

If you thought I was jealous of the starter, I was green with envy for the main. My main looked amazing on the menu. I thought I was on to a winner. I love monk fish and I thought smoked bone marrow and glazed chicken wing just sounded so interesting. It tasted great and the monkfish was cooked beautifully. However, it just did not compare to my girlfriends meal. All the flavours of my dish merged into one and it was one lovely flavour but that was it – oflavour. I don’t even remember trying the smoked bone marrow but it must have been in there somewhere! Her dish was incredible! The pork was falling apart, the crackling was amazing and when you had a mouthful of everything, you could taste each individual component and they worked together – they worked perfectly. It could have been one of the best bites of my life. I’d love love love to recreate and it slightly saddens me that I won’t be able to recreate it and will only have that once in my life!

Before the dessert came a course – pallet cleanser? Amuse bouche? Not sure. It was presented beautifully in a large shot glass – I would like some myself to present amuse bouches. The dessert is where my luck changed!  My girlfriend had the signature dish of Murano – Pistachio souffle with hot chocolate sauce. There is also a bit of theatre with the dish as a waiter with a knife slit a cross into the top of the soufflé and poured over chocolate sauce. However, I was not jealous for once. I loved my dessert! I think this may have been the best dessert I’ve ever had – It was fantastic. The passion fruit sorbet was stunning and a perfect marriage with the chocolate. I also throughly enjoyed the mint! I’ve never really liked mint before but this was fantastic!!! I fell in love with this dessert and I may not be able to recreate the starter or main but I will definitely be trying to make passion fruit sorbet!!! After the dessert came out we had one final treat of marshmallows and a chocolate lollipop which both tasted lovely.However, the lollipop did take away the taste of the dessert which slightly saddened me, sometimes you just want to keep the taste of a meal in your mouth because it just tastes so nice.

We did have to wait a tiny bit for the bill as the maitre d had a couple of very chatty guests, but this is just knit picking. It was a fabulous evening. Murano is a restaurant with fabulous food, superb service, awesome atmosphere and it was a  terrific first Michelin star experience that I would recommend to anyone, especially if you went for the pork belly! This is my first restaurant recommendation of the year – don’t worry some of my other recommendations will be cheaper and have more photographs!

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