This is not the place to be on a diet. This is the place to marvel at the splendour of English/Irish cuisine and produce and then, very subtly, undo the top button of your skirt.
Two weeks ago we spent an hour and ten minutes crossing town to pitch up at Pidgin, a Michelin starred restaurant in Hackney. After an hour and a half of a cold and tasteless octopus tentacle, a fantastic brussel sprout and walnut combination, a nice thumb sized piece of lamb with an inedible thumb sized piece of lamb fat, something sweet and dreadful and a petit four of white chocolate and miso that went in and then straight out again into a (paper) napkin, we spent a still hungry hour and ten minutes motoring back musing upon the Michelin guide. It wasn’t just the food: the wine was terrible (there are only ten on the list, the oldest is 2013 and it went down like bleach) and the room was so freezing that I, in my coat, had to drink the bleach for warmth. Yes, I am clearly prone to hyperbole, one and a half courses were excellent and the service was as friendly as you can get without kissing, but it has a Michelin star so I expected it to be as good as other restaurants with a Michelin star. Or at least as good as other restaurants without a Michelin star. Like Corrigan’s.
Corrigan’s is exactly the type of restaurant Jeremy Corbyn would expect to find on Upper Grosvenor Street. It looks like a gentleman’s club, it contains a disproportionate number of bankers and there’s a gentle whiff of a hunting, shooting and fishing theme. There’s also a rather lovely bar called Dickie’s which comes complete with antlers, country humour cartoons and home grown cocktail ingredients (home being chef Richard Corrigan’s farm in Ireland, from which produce is brought in daily).
So far so masculine, but as much as it’s handsome and formal, it’s also earthy and hearty and downright delicious. Carbs may be evil but the IPA sourdough is a fine and necessary vessel for butter so saltily creamy that it’s almost unshareable. Then pressed duck liver terrine, gloriously gamey and accompanied by fluffy and buttery brioche and glazed figs. For main course I had partridge wellington, the partridge encased in duck liver and the thinnest and butteriest shell of puff pastry, with hispi cabbage and mash which was, obviously and in keeping with the theme, loaded with butter. This is not the place to be on a diet. This is the place to marvel at the splendour of English/Irish cuisine and produce and then, very subtly, undo the top button of your skirt.
Now I have to expose my bias. A few days before Christmas, I went to Corrigan’s with bits and pieces of family in tow. We had two bottles of wine and when the bill came, they had only charged us for one. The Other One, because he is made of goodness the way I am made of water, alerted them to the mistake and asked them to put the other bottle on the bill. Except that they didn’t. The Maitre D’ apologised profusely for the mistake and said it was on the house and Merry Christmas, which at £130 was more generous than I was three days later to actual members of my family.
Average for three courses for two people £133 (not including wine).
Corrigan’s, 28 Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London W1K 7EH