LONDON EATERIES – Cool Industrial 28°- 50° Maddox Street comes up Smart and delectable in Mayfair
With the current wave of interest in all things Icelandic, being given the opportunity to visit a restaurant with a native Icelandic chef at the helm, creating modern European food and owner of the acclaimed Texture group, certainly made my mind and taste buds highly intrigued..
Entering 28/50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen on Maddox Street I am instantly struck by the venue’s juxtapositions: Elegant and chic warehouse style space with a stylish and solid brasserie’esque bar. Fashionably smart but equally cool and welcoming. And some very very comfortable bar stools..
Greeted by a smartly casual chap with a friendly demeanour I am accompanied to a table where my friend Z was excitingly waiting. Perhaps this excitement is a secret unique ingredient they have managed to produce as the ambience when observing the clientele around us- cool, confident, and stylish professionals are all enhanced with a special, cheeky spark in their eyes. Were we all so excited of what culinary findings we are about to discover or is it the cool and charming environment and ambience reminiscent of a legendary cosmopolitan bolt hole whose patrons bore an understated style which suddenly came alive that’s done it ?
For starters I ordered the stone bass ceviche with fennel, cucumber, sorrel and horseradish. People who know me this is my dish of choice, naturally any day and I have had exemplary ceviche, especially in my world travels round the big seas. What strikes the palate instantly is the gentle lemon & lime juices curing the ceviche, leaving a long and sweet syrupy after taste- no tanginess here which at times can take over a little too much. The fennel and sorrel gave this dish it a distinct body- sharp but still gentle. Perfect marriage I’d say. Unusually light and fresh- this ceviche very much spoke for its formidable self. Miss Z opted for the goose and mustard terrine with the obligatory cornichons and toast. She looked happy with her choice- herby, chunky, coarse and creamy at the same time. Did the job of a very tasty and filling starter- favourite.
I must admit the choice and variations of mains were refreshing to see. So many dishes making my mouth wet. But in the end I went for an Angus 28day steak with bearnaise sauce and the obligatory fries and spinach as sides. It is a true test to make this meat favourite, amongst several elegant fish dishes on the menu stand out. It did and I went for it. The meat was very good and the sides faultless- one little minus however- the steak must have sat on the side a little too long as it could have been hotter. Miss Z sat like a Cheshire cat with a filet of grilled Seabream covered in herbal juices- simple but perfection. Stunningly clean with all the goodness of freshly grilled fish.
Lacking a sweet tooth and still waiting to see the Icelandic spark in a dish, come dessert I clock Icelandic ‘Skyr’ with poached rhubarb, granola and mint on the menu. Sounds interesting to me and not too sweet I gladly tuck in to it. This, I must say was interesting. It was served in a bowl, the different parts strategically separated of course for the visual effect- very nice. But I couldn’t stop thinking that it had all the components of a bowl of breakfast. A lovely, healthy one for sure but yet a breakfast. It did make me and Miss Z giggle- in the best possible way of course.
They say to save the best for last. And I have also just said I have no sweet tooth. Well, that was before the white chocolate and cherry Crème Brulee- Speechless. Best dessert in a long time. Perfect cracking sound when dipping your teaspoon in to white chocolate heaven and perfect chunks of dark cherries. Not too sweet, not too runny, not too hot nor cold, just pure bliss.
As 28/50 is know for its unique wine selection consisting of some very original bottles, the Sommelier expertly and in a very friendly and in a non snobbish manner served up perfect wines specifically selected to each dish.
In the basement they have created a cool and elegant Cocktail bar with a long list of unique cocktails made by their Head Sommelier. Certainly a contender for a romantic (or fun!) date. Should I have had more time I’d be down straight away after dinner upstairs.
Considering the back drop of either too try-hard, affluent or facelessly corporate Mayfair restaurants & bars all around this part of London, the confident easy and personable environment they have created is refreshing but also lovingly cheeky. I can feel that I’m getting more and more intrigued about this place. This one I’ll keep an eye on, it has everything to become a friendly and cool spot for many returns.
28°- 50° Maddox Street, 17-19 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2QH
Heart London 5 Star Rating:
Estefania, Heart London Magazine