Crescent Restaurant, Marble Arch
review of the winner of our
Dine Online Accolade 1998/9 for
the Best Value Haute Cuisine
Prices and opening times
updated April 2002,
Events update April 2003
Wines & Dinner
Wednesday 21st May
evening of fine wines from
Round Hill Vineyards presented
by Morgan Zaninovich, one
of the family of owners.
per person including 3 course
Wednesday 25th June 2003
Champagne Delback was the supplier of wines to the French Court of Napoleon
III as well as many of the great Victorian royal palaces.
Grand Cru wines and dinner to match for £49.00
details of all these events call
020 7402 4288
In the ever changing world of London
restaurants, chefs come and go very
quickly. Sometimes this leads to
a period of flux from which some
restaurants never seem to recover.
Fortunately this is not the case
at The Crescent, which is situated
in a very pretty and quiet Georgian
crescent just behind Marble Arch.
Every time we've visited we've enjoyed
the cooking greatly, and almost impossibly,
it seems to get better every time.
We've also had heaps of emails from
readers saying how much they've enjoyed
But things in the kitchen have
moved on again yet again, and earlier
in the year (1999) Stephen Whitney joined
The Crescent Restaurant as head
chef. He previously worked as Executive
Chef for Anton Mosimann at Mosimann's,
at The Savoy and for Nico Ladenis
at 90 Park Lane. In May 1999, Dine
Online went along to sample Stephen's
cooking; not only can we report
that standards have remained high,
if anything our meal was the most
memorable we've had at the Crescent
so far. We've been back since
and standards have continued to
Stephen Whitney's fixed price
menu features an imaginative choice
of dishes including seasonal specialities.
During the summer months (2002)
it costs a bargain £25.00 for three
courses and this includes a bottle
of wine shared between two diners.
Whitney's philosophy is that taste
is far more important than over
complicated presentation and ingredients
should be simple and freshly cooked.
In the event we found his dishes
were actually quite complex, containing
some interesting ingredients but
without being over elaborate.
We tried his signature starter,
the Calamari and Shellfish Laksa
with Rice Soup Noodles. For
a starter this is a substantial
dish which also includes clams
and tofu, finished off with a Blue
Clan Tiger Prawn that's the size
of a small lobster! The Marinated
swordfish with soft shell oyster
and sauce vierge is a another
luxurious and somewhat exotic fishy
concoction. Another very successful
starter was made from artichoke
hearts stuffed with a mixture of
crabmeat and guacamole, topped
with a crispy potato and cumin
tart. A sauce of chilli salsa with
grapefruit segments completed the
The Chilled Boudin of guineafowl was a faultless construction of the kind
I'd never attempt at home! The cross sections of boudin were served on a sort
of carpaccio of finely sliced confit beetroot with some very creamy Vichyssoise
around the perimeter of the plate.
With twelve different
and individual sounding main dishes
from, you can imagine we were in
a bit if a quandary. I had a delicious
roast squab pigeon that was so
tender and juicy without being
too raw inside. It came on a base
of carrots and leeks with a very
pretty pastry pie containing perfectly
cooked pommes gratinées laced liberally
with black truffles - on a £25
three course set menu!
The Poached breast of chicken
with shellfish featured a
breast of chicken beaten out
flat, rolled and stuffed with
scallops mussels and clams. The
roulade is then gently poached
in a light stock and served with
elegant turned potatoes infused
with saffron in a bouillabaisse
nage. It looked and tasted wonderful.
guest enjoyed her roasted cod wrapped
in pancetta with wild mushrooms
topped with a poached egg and surrounded
by a fresh and vivid tomato coulis.
The potato and truffle pie that
went with my roast pigeon was so
perfectly executed that I suspected
that there is a rather talented
pastrycook in the brigade. He is
John Kerr and his brother Douglas
is the sous chef. Puddings were
rather spectacular - I had an impressive
pear soufflé which came puffed
up and overflowing from a rather
antique looking copper sauce pan.
The citrus brulée was fresh and
sharp, but the chocolate millefeuille
was rather too thick, and I'm never
very convinced by the combination
of lemon and chocolate. The selection
of cheeses was first rate. We sidled
off to the sitting room to enjoy
our coffee and petits fours.
Crescent Restaurant used to be
rather a well kept secret, tucked
away from the more obvious passing
trade. But its reputation has begun
to gather momentum amongst London's
foodie set and the restaurant is
often busy nowadays. But the service
remains very personal and relaxed
with admirable attention to detail.
I'm not sure whether the temptation
offered by the free bottle of wine
is necessarily a good one, as it's
too easy to overlook some of the
rather better wines on the list.
I'd be tempted to trade up.
It's so nice to able to continue
to warmly recommend a restaurant
year after year. But please Chef
Stephen Whitney, stay just a little
he's still very much in action
in May 2002!
Clifford Mould May 1999 updated
The Crescent Restaurant, Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1
Tel: 020 7723 4440
Open for lunch Monday to Friday,
12.30 - 2.30pm. Dinner from 6.30
to 10.30pm Monday to Saturday
Special Sunday supper menu £15-£20
Click here to read our review
of the Montcalm
Nikko Hotel, which is next
door to the Crescent Restaurant.