Luxurious Magazine enjoys the tasting menu at Mayfair’s Michelin Star restaurant Alyn Williams at The Westbury.
Push past the bustle of Regent’s Street and slide down its tributary Conduit Street, the footfall thins and you will find the iconic 5-Star hotel, The Westbury.
Walking past a Ferrari and Bentley to get to the doormen clad in the full top hat and tails regalia, the doors swing open without needing to break a stride and I find myself stood in the soothing confines of the Westbury’s lobby. Passing through small clusters of conversing businessmen, I eventually reach my destination, the hotel’s resident Michelin Star restaurant, Alyn Williams at The Westbury.
Located in the heart of the hotel, the restaurant’s decor is unassuming yet elegant. White tablecloths, wood panelling and immaculately dressed waiters highlight the pedigree of the place and yet it is not overly ostentatious.
Nor does it need to be, the tranquil air that permeates the restaurant allows diners to concentrate their attention on the culinary delights Williams produces without distraction and while the decor does little for the imagination, the menu’s offering is one of the most stimulating you will find.
After being offered the opportunity to review the restaurant I was both intrigued and enthralled by the menu. Of course, it contains the complex and entertaining dishes you would expect of a Michelin Star restaurant – the roasted lobster with squid ink mayo, coconut and fennel being just one sumptuous example I was fortunate enough to sample. Yet Alyn Williams very refreshingly offers a vegetarian tasting menu alongside its more meaty incarnation, not something many Michelin Star restaurants can claim.
If you’re of the mindset that vegetarian dishes are just for vegetarians, a visit to Alyn Williams will help expel such unhealthy notions. For me, the revelation came in the form of a miniature fry-up esque dish of duck egg and chips with mushrooms. One single crisp, potato chip poised over a perfectly shaped egg garnished with flavoursome mushrooms, will make even the most ardent carnivore tip their cap to Williams.
Complementing the innovative nature of the vegetarian menu is the equally exciting inclusion of beer pairings for those more partial to a hop than grape. Whilst partial to both, beer pairings excited me more than any wine tasting opportunity thanks to the sheer novelty of the offering.
Whilst some may label this as a gimic they would be wrong. The inclusion of beer pairings is a carefully calculated move that beautifully complements the sheer excellence of Williams’ dishes. Served at the table as if you were sampling wine, each beer comes in a standard, 330ml bottle to be shared between two. A sommelier presents the bottle, explaining the beer’s finer qualities and the reasons for the particular pairing and you’re left feeling as though beer has always been part of the fine dining scene.