Dinner at Hunter 486, the Arch.
Guest Review by Sarah James:
The Arch hotel is from the exterior unassuming, but transforms itself into a modern boutique hotel the moment you walk through the door. From carefully chosen wallpaper and bespoke art works, this is a long way from one of the chains. Privately owned, this 5 star hotel exudes quality and warmth. There is nothing stuffy about the place, and in fact you sense that there is quite a sense of humour at play. We loved the glass art which manages to include the entire well known local shopping destinations into the picture of the shopping woman.
It’s located near to Marble Arch, and is about a 5 minute walk from Oxford Street. Evidently Madonna lives across the road. It’s a great location to stay, but for our purpose as Londoners it also possesses an excellent restaurant giving respite from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street.
It’s well set up for business people with an office/small conference room available.
I suppose that I have an image of hotel restaurants that owes something to Fawlty Towers; I don’t expect to see anything cutting edge and they have an air of ‘hush’. Thankfully, this is nothing like that. The modern design with semi circular seating where you can enclose you and your dining companions within a curtain are both comfortable and fun. The restaurant menu is small, keeping to the principle of do a few things really well, rather than a lot and it all be mediocre.
The service is attentive, but never intrusive, and nothing was too much trouble.
We were asked to review a new seasonal menu that is going to change every 2 weeks throughout the autumn. Every 2 weeks a different type of game will be on the menu. My partner shoots, and so we regularly have rabbit, pigeon and pheasant; and we’ve got pretty good at cooking it I think – but tasting what professional chefs can do with the same ingredients is always inspirational.
Hunter 486 has a chic cocktail bar, with either seating at the bar or on comfortable chairs.
It seemed too good to pass by, so my partner chose a Earl Grey MarTeani made with egg white and lemon. I managed a sip before it all disappeared amongst approving noises!
We chose starters from the standard menu and were brought warm homemade bread, which were delicious.
My Carpaccio of beef with olive tapenade, aged Parmesan and rocket salad was very generous, and at lunch time would probably be enough on its own.
My partner went for the potted shrimp, a classic dish perfectly executed.
The game whilst we were dining was venison. Something I’ve cooked many times, and which if you get it slightly wrong can go a bit ‘livery’. I ordered mine medium rare and my partner ordered his rare. Both came on a bed of marinated red cabbage, and were served with almond crusted potatoes, parsnips, with a bitter chocolate jus. Both haunches were perfectly cooked to our liking, and I loved the little balls of potato with the crunchy exterior.
I finished with a very generous plate of cheese and biscuits, and my partner with the prettiest crumble I’ve ever seen.
The game menu for the rest of the autumn is as follows:
15th – 28th September: Boudin and seared fillet of English Hare with roasted chestnuts, pearl barley, braised chicory and a redcurrant-spiced jus.
29th September – 12th October: Traditional roast Berkshire pheasant, mace infused bread sauce, roast potatoes, buttered green cabbage and cumin, chestnut puree, glazed apples.
13th – 26th October: Roasted wild duck from Chart Farm glazed with orange, Parisienne potatoes and squash with meat glaze.
27th October –9th November: Roasted goose breast with wild boar bacon and roast salsify, potato and turnip dauphinoise.
10th – 23rd November: Traditional Roast Norfolk bronze turkey, chipolatas wrapped in bacon, roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots with gravy, bread sauce and redcurrant jelly.
The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD
For reservations, please call: 020 7724 4700 or www.thearchlondon.com