Ormer Mayfair, Flemings Mayfair, 7-12 Half Moon Street, London W1
020 7499 0000/ormermayfair.com
I’ve never been to Jersey but everyone I know who visits the island comes back raving about the sun-kissed island’s produce and restaurants and in particular Michelin starred chef Shaun Rankin’s Ormer. Rankin has recently opened a sister to his Jersey outpost, a venture with the stylishly refurbished Flemings Mayfair Hotel that reflects his love for the island and its local food. You’ll find seasonal Jersey produce including fresh lobster, crab, oysters, hand dived scallops, Jersey royals and hand-picked shoreline foraged herbs on the menu. I’ve been invited along to review to see how the Jersey concept has transferred to London. Running the Ormer Mayfair kitchen is Kerth Gumbs, fresh from Dover Street Arts Club, with a CV that includes Jason Atherton and at The Wolseley, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Tom Aikens. Front of house is managed by the charming Agnieszka, previously Restaurant Manager at the two Michelin-starred restaurant, The Greenhouse, and with stints at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s and Helene Darroze at The Connaught. But a stellar team doesn’t always translate into gastronomic success…The interior is a handsome take on a Brasserie Deluxe with Art Deco touches adding a sexy flourish. It’s difficult to make a basement room work (the recently closed Piquet is a case in point where it didn’t) but this space feels really comfortable.We opened proceedings with a glass of fizz, Fiona going for a patriotic glass of prize-winning 2009 Nyetimber whilst I as a ‘Proud Bremainer’ plumped for the intense, Pinot Noir heavy Devaux Cuvée from the Devaux champagne house.I only mention bread and butter in a review when it is really good and this was. With a crisp, yeasty crust and a slick of rich Jersey butter I had to force myself to stop eating it.Our Amuse Bouche was a Jersey Lobster brioche, maybe a nod to Burger & Lobster just down the road. The bun was a little dry but the filling moist, fresh and satisfying. Tuna and scallop sashimi, Bloody Mary, avocado and cucumber sorbet, vanilla dressing (£15) was all about fresh, clean flavours with the sorbet morphing quite extraordinarily from the avocado to the cucumber. It was well matched by a glass of 2015 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough which was fragrant but still with a good level of acidity.Jersey Lobster ravioli, crab and lobster bisque, shallot salad (£18) was a standout dish; the pasta was silky and allowed the lobster flavour to shine through with added depth coming from the bisque. A glass of Tempranillo Blanco white Rioja from Abel Mendoza was a smooth, buttery accompaniment.Roast grouse was perfectly cooked and with purple cabbage, blackberries, vanilla, toasted grains (£33) was clearly a homage to Prince… as well as having great textural contrasts. The matched Willunga 100, 2013 Cabernet Shiraz, McLaren Vale was full of blackcurrant and strawberry flavours as well as a bit of spice.My Turbot with a pinenut crust, cauliflower, cockles and vegetables (£32) was probably the prettiest plate of the evening. The nutty flavours of the roast and puréed cauliflower complementing the perfectly cooked fish. I loved this dish and the cherry notes of the 2013, Pinot Noir, Gusbourne Estate that I drank with it.Sides of Tenderstem broccoli and crisp, creamy and moreish Dauphinois potatoes were beautifully prepared.Victoria plum soufflé with cinnamon ice cream (£12) was simply a triumph-it was if a cloud of plum flesh had floated over my tongue. The tropical fruit sweetness from my glass of 2011, Semillon, ‘Straw Wine’, Vergelegen, Stellenbosch (£7) was a great wine match.Shaun Rankin’s Original Treacle Tart with raspberries and mint clotted cream ice-cream (£9) was lighter in texture than expected and delivered a warm comfortable end of meal experience with a shard of freshness from the mint ice-cream. The 20 year old Moscatel ‘Cuva Vella’, Valsan 1831 Valencia (£11.50) was wonderful adding deep rich tones of coffee and figs to the flavours.Order is a serious restaurant with a real understanding of flavour and texture alongside a commitment to ingredients that shines through. For hardcore veggies there is a separate menu so there are no excuses for not letting a bit of Jersey sunshine onto your palate.