Masterchef restaurant and bar 2014, a pop up restaurant showcasing a menu created and cooked by former finalists from the popular cookery show.
Masterchef restaurant and bar 2014, our reason for travelling to London. We planned our weekend in London this much anticipated visit to thepopup restaurant on Saturday night. This event was designed to bring together MasterChef champions from the last 10 years, with bespoke menus created by the chefs showcasing their dishes.
We are a table of 3 foodies who paid £65 per person for a 6 course tasting menu. Having read the reviews on MasterChef’s own Facebook and twitter feeds, many of which were less than complimentary, we went with an open mind. Furthermore being a pop-up we were not expecting the service that you would get in a regular fine dining restaurant.
The chefs on the night were Mat Follas, James Nathan and Natalie Coleman. Both Mat and James made time to come out and talk to diners during the course of the evening. However sadly Natalie was unwell.
Menu & Review:
Our menu on the night and our subsequent review of each course is as follows:
Rock Pool: Shellfish & edible seaweeds with a shellfish consomme. Somewhat like falling on the beach and landing face down in a rock pool. No real flavour of seafood, some of which was chewy, in particular a red piece of seaweed. The entire dish an over-riding taste of salt water and one of the worst plates of food I’ve ever eaten. Disappointing as I love seafood!
Smoked ham hock & mustard terrine with piccalilli. The ham hock terrine itself was nice, but the entire dish was too dry and it didn’t work together. It needed a proper piccalilli to add moisture rather than the pickled cauliflower and carrot we were served.
Pan-fried sea bass with fennel, crab bon bon & sauce vierge. Indeed a well cooked piece of fish and the crab bon bon was tasty. However the whole dish was barely warm. The experience made worse when the waitress took one our plates away after only a couple of mouthfuls. At the time we were talking to one of the Chefs!
Tea-infused venison with red cabbage & vegetables. At last a tasty plate of food and easily the best dish on the menu. Despite this the presentation was dreadful! Also it was again stone cold by the time it reached our table!
Textures of pear. What can I say? Textures ranging from rock hard to pureed baby food. Neither a tasty nor memorable dish.
Damson, rum & elderberry clafoutie with sloe gin sorbet. The Clafoutie was so small I actually didn’t realise that was what it was! However it was too soft and did not taste of rum. Furthermore, the sloe gin sorbet was grainy and half melted. We would not have served the sorbet!
The food arrived on our table barely warm, you got the impression that the plates had been sitting. The service was also very slow so it did not make for an enjoyable dining experience. As far as ambience is concerned, we agree with with other reviews that the tables were packed in. The waiting staff were clearly new to the game but we would have made allowances for this had the food been up to scratch. However the view of The Shard at night was spectacular.
The highlight of the night for us was meeting the lovely Ping, the 2014 winner of Master Chef, who was also dining at the restaurant herself that night. She very kindly made time to talk and have her photo taken with a number of diners. We would have loved to chat more with this charming woman, but she was out for dinner herself.
Overall it was a big letdown, a waste of money and an experience that none of us will rush to repeat.
The views expressed in this post are our own, the meal paid for ourselves.