Restaurant review: Wheeler’s Rib Room and Oyster Bar
- Credit: Archant
Marco Pierre White returns to the London restaurant scene
Retired uber-chef and former holder of three Michelin stars Marco Pierre White has returned to the London scene to help resurrect the iconic Wheeler’s restaurant in the city.
Rebranded as Wheeler’s Rib Room and Oyster Bar, the place now features a brand new menu designed by the erstwhile enfant terrible of British cooking, and put into practice by head chef Stephen Smith.
Part of Threadneedle’s Hotel, the building is gorgeous – housed in a old Victorian bank with immensely high ceilings, gigantic windows and elegant furnishings; the place oozes cash from every fixture. The effect is only slightly marred by the massive and slightly cringe-worthy prints of MPW horsing around in the kitchen – looking moody, kissing a young woman, etc.
The menu is pretty approachable, featuring nothing too adventurous and a heavy emphasis on meat and fish.
“The city is lacking Oyster bars, it’s that simple,” says the great chef at the top of the menu, and I couldn’t agree more. Our half dozen rock and native crustaceans were served perfectly alongside a crisp Sancerre.
You may also want to watch:
The crab bisque was thick, rich and bursting with underwater flavour, while the fois gras and duck egg on brioche contrived to be less than the sum of its parts – a bit tasteless and stodgy.
The coq and shrimp curry was a light, korma-like affair with indulgent chunks of chicken and prawn. Tasty enough, it lacked a spicy kick that would have lent it more vigour.
- 1 Man in Highbury court charged with shooting gun in High Holborn
- 2 'Islington drivers – you don't always need to overtake cyclists'
- 3 Tony Eastlake: Man denies murder of ‘flower man of Islington’
- 4 Consultation launches on St Peter’s people-friendly streets scheme
- 5 'We will miss you': Tufnell Park's Ruby Violet ice cream parlour to close
- 6 Aristocrat's daughter, 25, died unexpectedly after developing 'severe headache'
- 7 Islington community charity launches with sunny street party
- 8 Virtual carnival, theatre and art: What's on this weekend in Islington and Hackney
- 9 Covid delays Finsbury Park murder suspect's bail hearing
- 10 'Holborn isn't the only dangerous junction for cyclists and pedestrians'
Meanwhile, from the well-populated grill section, we had the fillet with garlic butter – served in classic style with triple-cooked chips, tomatoes and sides of creamed spinach and garlic ‘shrooms.
But despite being tender as the night, the meat lacked flavour and wasn’t quite the treat it should have been.
Which is a good metaphor for the whole meal – in such amazing surroundings and a menu designed by a master, it should have been transcendent, yet the end result was ‘decent’ rather than ‘spectacular’.