Test Drives

mushroomMushroom layers from the bar menu

What can you tell us about Gazelle?

This is the latest from Tony Conigliaro, the man behind Dalston's Untitled and Bar Termini in Soho. This time he's opened a swanky new bar and restaurant in Mayfair, which aims to have the feel of a private members' club - but without the having to pay to get on the membership list. It also feels like an evolution of Dalston's Untitled, both in food and drink. 

Where is it?

On Albemarle Street, just a few doors down from Gymkhana. Your nearest tube stop is Green Park. 

What's nearby if we fancy a quick drink before or after?

To be honest, we're rather fond of the King's Head on the same street - you can get a decent pint or a good glass of wine here (and very affordable for the area). Alternatively, for cocktails head a little further up the road to Browns and the recently renovated Donavan Bar with cocktail legend Salvatore Calabrese in charge. But, frankly, if you're after cocktails then you ought to be heading straight here.

roomThe main restaurant at Gazelle

What's the layout of Gazelle?

It's a two-storey affair, covering the first and second floors of the Mayfair address. On the first floor is the main restaurant area - a very glitzy, gold affair. Then head up the spiral staircase to the next floor where you can find the bar area. There's a handy lift to shuttle you right up to the bar. 

So should we head to the bar first?

We think so. Conigliaro is best known for his cocktail creations, so it's a good idea to sample one of those. Although be warned - they can be somewhat on the small side. We had an excellent rhubarb negroni, but it was served in an undeniably small glass for £11. We know we should be thinking that quality over quantity is good (and the quality is there, for sure), but it was quite stark when placed beside another drink. That one, his new take on one of the drinks he's famous for - the Twinkle (with the vodka content upped), was better value, we thought. 

But the real highlight in the bar are the bar snacks. We only had a couple, but they were both extraordinary - unlike anything we've tried recently. Particularly the "layers of mushroom" (£3.50), which was comprised of white chocolate mushroom ganache, mushroom stock set with gelatin and sandwiched between two eryngii mushroom crisp wafers. Or there was the frozen yeast - frozen yeast butter infused with cream, sandwiched between Parmesan crisps. Both undeniably looked amazing and tasted wonderful - almost worth popping in for alone. 

mushroomsMore mushrooms - this time with pine nut and wild garlic

Heading downstairs, how is the menu different there?

The main restaurant offers a small plates menu, and everything we had could easily be shared. We think you should look at sharing 6-8 dishes between two people, including dessert. And definitely order in phases, as it's the best way to pace what's coming to the table. 

The menu here is looked after by Rob Roy Cameron, who comes to Gazelle after a successful stint at Untitled, and who previously opened Ferran and Albert Adrià's 41 Degrees in Barcelona. And the food on offer is pretty darned special - a wildly varied small plates menu, filled with dishes imbued with deep flavour. 

beef2Wagyu beef, juniper and salted plum

Are there any specific recommendations?

First off, order the bread. It's fennel and spelt bread that comes with outstanding olive oil butter (£3.50) - the taste of high-end olive oil comes through unmistakably. It was one of those times when you want to take home a tub. You'll need some of that bread to mop up the sauce too.

Of the dishes we had - we'd say the ones not to miss are:

  • Mushroom, pine nut and wild garlic (£9.50) - more mushrooms but that pine nut and wild garlic sauce is something you'll be needing the bread for
  • Squid, sandalwood, cured jowl, girolles (£9) - almost like tagliatelle if made from squid
  • Wagyu beef, juniper and salted plum (£19) - the most expensive dish on the menu, but well worth it, we think. That salted plum is a perfect match for the tender beef. 

As you can see, some of the dishes can get to the pricier side of things - but we are in the heart of Mayfair here. 

And save some room for dessert?

Yes indeed. Both the dishes we picked were winners, but the "Chocolate and passion fruit summer savoury (£8)" was a clear favourite. It's chocolate cream, passion fruit, summer savoury Italian meringue and caramelised black sesame. That caramelised sesame adding a hidden and satisfying crunch to the dessert.  

chocolateChocolate and passion fruit summer savoury

How about drinks?

You can order the same drinks from the cocktail menu upstairs, or head towards the wine list. While that list can get punchy, a little bit of searching can get you a bottle of grenache blend starting at £31. 

Overall?

If you liked both the food and the wine at Untitled but wanted it all within a swankier setting - then this fits the bill well. It follows in the footsteps of Magpie, bringing a hit of East London cool to Mayfair folk who won't travel for it. You can expect similar style cocktails, and a frankly excellent small-plates menu. And as the area isn't blessed with that many great bars, we can see the spacious top-floor bar being a very handy meeting spot too.  

Hot Dinners were invited to Gazelle. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 

 

More about Gazelle

Where is it? 48 Albermarle Street, London W1S 4DH

How to book: Email reservations@gazelle-mayfair.com

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @gazelle_mayfair/

 

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