Grace Dent ‘Each dish is something an anti-hero in a Bret Easton Ellis novel would order’
Some restaurants provoke an existential crisis. Yes, I know it’s just dinner. But dinner is my job, and some evenings remind me I could be running a cat orphanage in Udaipur, or something useful.
Rather than, say, visiting a restaurant that serves tiny tastes of “bitter herbs, parmesan, anchovy”. Plus, exactly 15 other teensy dishes such as “halibut with elderflower” or “squid with sandalwood”. Each concoction offputting, but hewn to test boundaries. Each reminiscent of something an anti-hero in a Bret Easton Ellis novel would order.
Gazelle in Mayfair is a very, very cool new restaurant and bar over two floors, where the vibe is experimental and gastronomically challenging. And also luxurious. The room is accessed by a private lift. The banquettes are red and gold velvets. It is a collision between Tony Conigliaro, one of London’s most venerated bar owners, and a Ferran Adrià-linked chef called, rather majestically, Rob Roy Cameron. Conigliaro and Cameron’s last endeavour was the pioneering, ever-puzzling, beyond-parody cocktail bar in Hackney called – or not called – Untitled. It’s a bar where a cocktail such as the “Violin” contains dark oak, pine, beeswax and the tree bark resin benzoin. Food ○○
48 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4DH, 020-7629 0236, gazellemayfair.com. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm -10pm. About £75 a head plus drinks and service.