My lucky number is 33. And then I discovered “34”. Which, on many levels, was one better.
The understated Mayfair restaurant has the elegant and intimate interior associated with its sister restaurant “The Ivy,” complete with leather banquettes, oak floor and modern art, contrasted with a open kitchen so unobtrusive I didn’t notice it.
As the website says, that kitchen contains an authentic Argentinian charcoal grill, or parilla, leading me to think lunch would be like a visit to La Cabrera in Buenos Aires, or the kind of steakhouse for which royalty would queue. And somewhat wasted on this white-meat-eating food combiner.
It certainly wasn’t, as the imaginative head chef has developed his menu from the traditional beef to include poultry, fish and shellfish. And the effect is fabulous.
Both my companion and I went straight to the main course. He chose a light yet intensely flavoured chargrilled yellowfin tuna, with freekeh, spiced avocado, pink grapefruit and toasted pistachio.
I opted for the moreish spiced spatchcock chicken with pine nut and vegetable slaw, and we shared some incredible vegetable side dishes, which were a pleasure on their own. Delicious burnt carrots with honey and garlic crisps, purple sprouting broccoli with chilli and almond, and green beans with confit tomatoes, olives and parmesan.
Both main dishes were essentially protein-based – if you exclude the freekeh – a delight to the palate from first to last mouthful, and generous of portion. They were accompanied, and complemented, by glasses of Ruinart champagne (well, it was the holidays). Contemporary and classic. And, on every level, just perfect.
I have always been more of a diner than a lady that lunches as I can rarely find the time or inclination. But for 34, it would have been unlucky not to.
34 Grosvenor Square
London W1K 2HD
(Entrance on South Audley Street)
Telephone: 020 3350 3434
Open 12 noon to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday
Open 11.30am to 10.30pm, Saturday and Sunday