Gazelle in Mayfair: Exquisite and original dishes executed with elegance
Spread across two floors of an Edwardian building and nestled right in the bosom of Mayfair, Gazelle is a new restaurant created by Rob Roy Cameron, whose knack of pairing fine ingredients has earned him a stellar reputation in the culinary world.
With a name that exudes sophistication, rolling off the tongue in one elegant sweep, Gazelle’s interiors do well to match. A private lift takes you straight to the first floor upon arrival, where the doors open out into the restaurant, giving you the feeling that you’ve just stepped into your very own members’ club. Stylish light fittings, sleek decor and some provocative artwork help to give the space a real intimate and high-class feel.
If you’re partial to a champagne cocktail then you’re in the right place. Curated by award-winning drinks expert Tony Conigliaro and his Drink Factory team, the concoctions are a great way to warm up before dinner. I had the Twinkle – made up of vodka, Champagne and elderflower. Less twinkly and more brazen in nature, this one was distinct, punchy and full of life.
The food was split into plates and with the menu giving little away, my curiosity was well and truly piqued and had me wanting to order one of everything (I certainly got close.) The first thing to mention is that although they are sharing dishes, they are small. However, as I found out over the course of the evening, this isn’t to be resented. If you’re after instantaneous gut-busting food then go elsewhere, but one thing’s for sure, you’re not going to be leaving hungry.
First to arrive were the oysters which were ever-so-slightly warmed with a yeast emulsion. For me, the warming effect only amplified the rich lushness of the shellfish. Put it this way, I would return just to gorge on half a dozen of these delights.
Then there was the Cucumber with Coconut and Oscietra Caviar. It was sweet, cold and refreshing, and served as a great palate cleanser before moving onto the other dishes.
A plate of Halibut, Orange and Elderflower showed that looks really can be deceiving. Presented as a jet black, futuristic organism, I was baffled. In reality, the halibut was covered in activated charcoal – mystery solved. Underneath its dark exterior, the fish was beautifully fragranced with orange and elderflower, before melting away for a delicately subtle finish.
Another master of disguise was the Mushroom, Pine Nut and Wild Garlic, which resembled a portion of linguine – clearly inspired by the chef’s years in Barcelona where he worked with the Adrià brothers at elBulli, 41 Degrees and Hoja Santa. A delicious dish that carried all the flavour of a comforting bowl of pasta but without the loaded carb effect.
The scallops served with yeast and imperial caviar were up next. With a consistency like butter, my knife cut right through these – the silky meaty flesh wonderfully complemented with the textured yeast crumb and an injection of saltiness from the caviar.
Now for my favourite dish of the night. Ribbon noodles of squid served with sandalwood, cured jowl and girolles. The crispy saltiness from the cured jowl paired with the textured girolle and delicate squid made this an inventive plate that stood out on all fronts. Must be tried to be believed!
The Monkfish with Burnt Seeds and Pistachio arrived in full-colour HD due to the distinctive hue of the nuts. Soft, fleshy monkfish was set off ever so subtly by the pistachio sauce giving it a simple, clean flavour.
The presa (Iberico pork) with salted carrots was another colourful addition to the table. This one had a real smoky flavour with just a hint of sweetness coming through from the carrots.
Then there was the smoked wagyu beef with juniper and salted plum dust. The red velvet block tasted just how it looked – rich and bold – and felt very indulgent on the palate.
Next up was the Bitter Herbs, Parmesan and Anchovies. This consisted of deep-fried anchovy bones which were entirely edible. An agreeable dish but not my favourite from the menu.
For dessert, I had the Chocolate and Passionfruit Summer Savoury. A little bit sweet, a little bit sour, a little bit moreish. An explosive end to an incredible dinner.
While the exclusive setting and plush interiors set the scene, it’s clear that at Gazelle, the food is what you’ve really come for. Don’t let the essential presentation of the plates fool you as there is a lot more going on under the surface. Each plate truly allows the ingredients to speak for themselves. Pair this with an incredibly well-thought out menu and you’re left with exquisite and original dishes that make for the most memorable feast.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina and Gazelle
To book a table at Gazelle, 48 Albemarle Street Mayfair London W1S 4DH, call 020 7629 0236 or visit their website here.