Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: 29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 2999

http://www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk/

Chef Claude Bosi’s Michelin two-starred Hibiscus certainly enjoys wide acclaim, but accolade aside, my experience at the restaurant was overall dismaying.

Diners from all over the world are drawn to this restaurant which has been voted as San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2011 and ranked number 9 in the Good Food Guide’s Top 50 in 2012.

Light wooden tones and a crystal chandelier give the restaurant a sumptuous, yet relaxed, set-up. The presentation of dishes was absolutely beautiful, but taste-wise, the food was rather insipid. Having said that, I have read some fantastic reviews on the restaurant, so it is entirely possible that we just came on an off-day!

(1) The amuse-bouche had a nice and milky texture, but tasted literally just like what it was – apple and carrot soda. The chef recommended that we take a sip, and then down the rest of it like a shot. We did that, but couldn’t taste or feel anything special…Moreover, K and I are normally addicted to stuffing ourselves with lots of bread before we have our appetisers, but we were not particularly impressed by the sourdough in the bread basket.

(2) This beauty below was our appetiser. It was a Duck Rillette that was served with very compatible Poached Rhubarb and Cucumber & Winter Leaves on the side. The duck rillette was soft and delicious, but it was too fluffy and was therefore somewhat less satisfying than a simple pâté.


(3) This was another startlingly attractive starter. This Salad of Devonshire Crab was fresh and delicately prepared, and was served with New Season Turnip, Kentish Sea Leaves, Ginger, Cream & Smoked Olive Oil Dressing. I would definitely recommend that you order it!


(4) For the main course, our whole table ordered the Crispy Plantation Pork Belly Cooked in Hay, Burnt Leek Puree, Goat Cheese & Salsify. The skin was scrumptiously crispy and the meat was moist and tender. (It reminded me of Cantonese 脆皮燒肉!) It was absolutely impeccable and incredibly indulgent.

(5) This White Chocolate & Panettone Parfait, New Season Blood Orange looked extremely alluring – almost like an edible piece of art work! It was slightly impractical for eating though, as the white chocolate shell was so hard that I had to hack it with my spoon.

(6) A givré is a dessert that consists of sorbet in a frozen fruit shell. Even though this Amalfi Lemon Givré was a bit too sour for my taste, I still thought it looked incredibly cute.