101 New Bond Street
London W1S 1SR
Tel. 020 7468 5868
Food type: Modern European
Nearest tube: Bond Street
With a day off work, I decided to meet up with Andy for lunch which was actually an excuse to drink some nice wine. He suggested Bonhams, which was on my list of restaurants to visit so it was an easy decision of where we would dine.
Bonhams opened this year in 2015 with very little media fanfare. Unlike other restaurants, it was opened with the main purpose of having a convenient place for the auction house to take their clients to for lunch. It explains why Bonhams was initially only open for lunch, with a Thursday ‘supper club’ a relatively new addition.
The menu is a simplistic 3 course affair, with 3 options available for each course with perhaps a daily special or two introduced by your waiter. Prices are sensible even for its Mayfair location with a 3 course meal setting you back around £45. More impressive however is their wine list featuring some of the best mark-ups in London.
Head chef Tom Kemble worked at Faviken and Hedone and his time is reflected in his minimalistic cooking style focused on sourcing excellent ingredients. Take for example an excellent starter of Tomato Gazpacho made from full flavoured Sicilian Datterini tomatoes – the gazpacho properly seasoned and enhanced with the addition of some smoked eel which gave the dish a meaty finish.
More impressive was a main course of Turbot with Smoked Linzer Potatoes. The fish was perfectly cooked to achieve the fabled ‘mother of pearl’ effect. Along with this was a light and delicate beurre blanc, married with cucumber. What made the dish interesting were the waxy, yet buttery potatoes with the just the right amount of smoke to bring the dish to life.
If there was one area for improvements it would be the desserts which were all competently executed but lacked the excitement of the previous courses. A peach & almond tart could have come from any good French patisserie with excellent pastry and ripe fruit. Similarly, a pain perdu with apricots featured brioche which was perfectly caramelised and beautifully roasted apricots.
Bonhams has to be one of the most exciting openings in 2015 and there is plenty to like with this restaurant with excellent cooking at a sensible price point and a great wine list to match. Hopefully, as the restaurant continues to build its reputation it will extend its opening to dinner service and make it more accessible to a broader audience. In the mean time, if you are looking for a place to lunch in London, then you could do worse than a visit here.