Restaurant within Treetops Hotel, Marylebone boasting a good view, but sadly an overrated menu as a result
Madera is a Mexican restaurant at the top of the Treetops Hotel in Marylebone with ‘Nest’ as the bar one floor above and with rooftop terraces – Madera restaurant itself does not have a terrace so please do not be deceived by clever marketing posts if you see this – it is more likely a picture of food taken at the bar. I was interested in Madera having read a recent article in CNN entitled ’20 Of The World’s Best New Restaurants For 2020′. Intriguing right? How far from the truth this sadly was and I am amazed at how such an article was pulled together. This snack-based meal for £39 (no drinks) proved to be a huge anticlimax and with no actual USP in anyway that I could see for needing to return quickly. It is essentially a place to hoodwink those on dates to come for a nice view to impress a partner on a night out.
On entering the reception I had forgotten to put my mask on and after being accosted and asked what my business was and explained that I had come for my reserved table, I was told I would be “let off this time” for the mask incident. My bad, but you can immediately gauge the level of class of an establishment and from this greeting and the general way in which the reception showed itself, it was evident this was a lower calibre venue boasting a 5* reputation.
Nevermind, maybe the food and hospitality was better upstairs. Supper began with a complimentary pico de gallo (onion, jalapeño, tomato and parsley) with cold tortilla chips. This was nice to have but was served with a pretty watery and bland salad and there was also seemingly no kick of jalapeño. Warm tortilla chips were served with guacamole which had a tang from citrus, onions and pomegranate seeds, red onion, coriander and jalapeño.
Next were little pancakes with beef. These were grass-fed prime skirt steak pieces, with a coriander jalapeño marinade, sweet pepper, smoked guajillo sauce & manchego cheese. Sadly the beef was an utterly tasteless skirt and I generally didn’t enjoy the overall flavour of the dish. It was also quite dry overall and minimal hit from the guajillo sauce.
Calamari frito were chipotle-seasoned, wild-caught calamari, served with a spicy jalapeño-coriander, citrus and avocado sauce. Again sadly this actually had no real, inherent flavour save the kick from the sauce to liven the proceedings up. The batter was also nowhere near the levels of that enjoyed at Hakkasan. By this stage I didn’t have much hope for the desserts and none appealed hugely on the menu and a shame that there were no churros and most seemed quite pricey, given the simple selection on offer.
So all in all, this was a most disappointing experience and I have absolutely no idea how this restaurant had made it to a top 20 list of restaurants in the world. I mean, it’s almost as if a PR team of CNN had blanket asked for as many PR teams to give them a shortlist of attractive places that are recently opened and then which ones they wanted to feature based on the submissions…but obviously that couldn’t happen.
Food Grade: 51%