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Review of Wild Honey : Mayfair : London

Facebook - Winter salad of clementine, Italian leaves and sweet spice 
Winter sa
PHOTO: Wild Honey's Winter Salad of Clementine Italian Leaves and Sweet Spice (c) Sery Kim

Review of Wild Honey


Sery Kim

The luminous effect of a Michelin-star designation serves to both amplify and distort the expectations of the average consumer. Any of the three stars (three is the max) means the cuisine has a transcendent quality, an ability to transform "basic" courses with a pop of colorful ingredients or complex textures or even the masterfully difficult ability to take the familiar into gastronomic heights previously unconsidered -- Chef Ferran Adria's El Bulli or Chef Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana come readily to mind.

While Mayfair, London's Wild Honey is nowhere in the league as El Bulli or Ostera Francescana, as the owner of one Michelin stars, Wild Honey invited within me a heightened expectation of performance. I pinned to experience this restaurant like a teenage girl looking for her first love. Yet my experience there was a nearly inedible, unparalleled flop ... perhaps my least favorite dining experience during my first three months in London.

Facebook - Supremely thrilled to be reviewing Michelin starred Wild Honey, a cas

PHOTO: View of Wild Honey from my table (c) Sery Kim

Of course to even speak these words frightens me horribly! When a restaurant review goes awry, especially one with an exciting and provoking reputation like Wild Honey has, I never begin with a critique of the Chef. I inevitability look to myself for failures, and in Wild Honey's case I spent several hours contemplating any poverty in my palate.

"Have I become pedestrian and ordinary so as to be unable to appreciate an informed experience?"

"Have I never had a finesse in my palate so as to be able to distinguish between the sensibilities of a salt // sugar // butter heavy palate?"

On and on these painful ruminations went around in my brain until I finally decided, after eight years of reviewing restaurants in both first and second tier food markets, it wasn't me. Wild Honey, whatever normcore foodie sensibilities the restaurant inspires, was for me virtually inedible.

Facebook - Thank you Chef for these adorably delicious treats!!  Gaucamole is my

PHOTO: Wild Honey's amuse bouche (c) Sery Kim

But here's the thing. Two dishes plus the amuse bouche were brilliantly balanced. The Winter Salad of Clementine Italian leaves and sweet spice was lightly crisp with a natty blend of colors, textures and delicately sweet flavor. I would use these exact descriptors for the dessert of Wild Honey ice cream, honeycomb. This dessert was the best thing I ate at Wild Honey, the secret weapon dish. The honeycomb's gently sweet crisp fused a palpable level of fun into the Wild Honey experience. I just wish I could say the same for the two other dishes I tried.

Facebook - Best thing I had all night.jpg

PHOTO: Wild Honey ice cream with honeycomb (c) Sery Kim

The starter of Italian black truffles, soft organic polenta, aged Parmesan was disastorously overpriced and barely adequate to be passed a food. The organic polenta was certainly soft but wholly without flavor. I might as well have been eating white office paper so bereft was the polenta. Then, incredulously, the Italian black truffles were equally bland without a single defining taste.

In fact, if you were to blindfold me and presented a fast food restaurant's plain mushroom as well as Wild Honey's expensive truffles, I would have picked the fast food restaurant simply because their chemically-addled, heart-attack inducing food would be a semi-literate, edible food choice.

Harsh? Judgmental? Yes, but order Wild Honey's Italian black truffle dish for yourself and then decide.

Facebook - Another starter : polenta with black truffle

PHOTO: Wild Honey's Italian black truffles, soft organic polenta, aged Parmesan (c) Sery Kim

As for the mains, I chose the Denham Estate Venison with an artful chestnut puree and pickled cranberries. This dish arrived in a modern art worthy plating, the closest plating of meat I have found since my seminally divine dinner at Herons in Cary, North Carolina a few years ago (still the standard for a vension dish for me).

I ate two bites of the densely undercooked venison before putting my fork down in painful disappointment. My heart was breaking. I could not even bear to eat the vegetables as the entire pairing was tastless. No salt. No truffle. No sugar. Nothing. Wholly unimaginative flavor for such a visually arresting dish.

Facebook - Denham Estate venison, chestnut purée, pickled cranberries

PHOTO: Wild Honey's Denham Estate Venison with an artufl chestnut puree and pickled cranberries (c) Sery Kim

I remain deeply puzzled as to the proliferation of negative feelings I felt (and still feel) towards Wild Honey. I just could not wait to get out of there and pushed eagerly for an end to this miserable experience. Definitely (if you must) go for the Early Supper Menu, served Monday through Friday, 600 - 645 pm, as a three course 29.50 pound, price-fixed menu, but honestly why bother. I know I will never go to Wild Honey again.

Wild Honey

12 St. George St.



United Kingom


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