Quince, Mayfair

The May Fair Hotel’s revamped dining room is the first solo-helmed restaurant from Silvena Rowe, a Bulgarian-born chef who has done much to raise awareness of the cooking of the eastern
Mediterranean through two well-received cookbooks her appearances on Saturday Kitchen. On our visit three weeks after opening, Rowe was already away screen-testing for a new TV show in
America, but the team she’s trained in the open kitchen definitely cut the mustard with cheffing duties. Small plates of Turkish-with-a-twist sharing food arrive prettily presented alluringly
spiced: a whip of smoky aubergine tahini comes topped with sticky pomegranate with crisp flatbread for dipping; stubby pastry borek ‘bites’ are filled with slow-cooked lamb
spinach; baby squid is fried in a subtle coating of chilli, cumin cardamon; , from the larger plates, a stunner of a main course: squishy cubes of melting pork belly glazed with sticky
blueberries. The restaurant has its own street entrance through a vestibule heady with the scent of quince; once inside, red velvet banquettes, dark woods acres of tiling set a sultry,
tactile vibe, but one that’s still smart enough for doing business – with ambitious prices pitched accordingly.

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