Dinner only, small and refined neighbourhood restaurant in Belgravia serving dishes with flare
Having been awarded a Michelin star in 2017, I am very late to the party to visit this small and elegant restaurant, just off Sloane Square. Highly attentive service with warmth of hospitality was evident on my first visit and the menu itself was notably stylish in presentation relative to its 1 star family. Whilst there were limited euphoric moments for the food, it was all elegantly done with some definite moments enjoyed and with impressive skill. The premium is higher than most Michelin starred tasting menus with matching wines, but so are most probably the restaurant’s overheads based on where you are dining in Belgravia combined with the small number of covers. Heartfelt hospitality took the sting out of the £184pp (with pre-dinner champagne and wine throughout) which the meal turned out to be and I would say this venue is ideally suited to more romantic and quiet occasions.
The meal began with intricate warm cheese tartlets with tomato powder, parsley & tarragon financiers (a form of sponge made with beurre noisette) with nori seaweed and with a third plate of mini dumplings. All of these were delicate and clearly displaying a lot of effort as nibbles to the start. I detected a slightly longer wait than usual at the start of the meal for this and the breads to arrive, but not so much that it entered the danger zone. The home-made breads here were particularly good and the sheer crispy butter base of the white bread with its perfectly fluffy interior was fantastic as was the cheese sour dough.
The egg shell of Caesar salad foam was an original and pleasant way to start revving the engines and the wilted spinach with mini croutons at the base made an altogether great amuse bouche. The gentle handling of the Caesar foam was the most gratifying part and it was evident at this stage how much attention to detail was going to be afforded to the menu at this point. The lobster was beautifully cooked and thankfully was enhanced rather than bowled out by the supporting glaze of tomato. The tube casing of the foam was made from tomato as well and had a deep and punchy tomato flavour which was grand, but being ultra-picky, it seemed to stick in between the teeth and clamp the teeth together which detracted the overall enjoyment. The artistically done ‘egg’ side of mozzarella was gooey, fun and similarly decent in flavour.
The langoustine arrived in beautiful presentation and I really enjoyed this. The melon bites with aromatic spices were wonderful. Melon has such a glorious texture and with its life-giving juiciness always feels so good to eat but its flavour is frankly dull, so having it livened up in this way was enough to make you want to just chomp on these all week as this would actually be good for you as well! These Asian notes complimented the lemon grass on the side of the langoustine and I loved the touch of tamarind as well which was also softened by the melon. When all were combined I did begin to lose the langoustine a little with the number of other components on top, but the actual combination of flavours was undeniably good and credit to the original composition here.
The scallop was reportedly very good and my replacement of pork with maqui berries, honeycomb and edible flowers was exactly the one I wanted to try and thankfully this was possible (with a small surcharge). The slivers of pork on this starter dish were absolutely outstanding along with their perfectly crispy skin and the dish itself was one of the most visually impressive I have had in a while. Its earthy tone (even with the honey) was not an issue here but it felt a little too thick at the same time, preventing falling in love with the dish (which my eyes were). I appreciate that this was not the chef’s choice for the tasting menu for probably precisely this reason of being out of place, but I would personally opt for slightly less of the heavier elements on this dish even if I was to have in the context of on its own.
The foie gras that came next, was actually quite light in comparison to my surprise and with its surrounding seaweed cigar and mousse-like texture was very pleasant in its balance. This was the first time I have had foie gras with gooseberry and again, full marks for originality and fresh spin. The next dish was pigeon and my taste of that revealed a deep flavour, steeped in umami but is not my personal favourite when veering on the soft-cooked side as this was in the centre of the pigeon. My brill on the other hand was an absolute maestro. The fish was perfect and with the support of the girolle mushrooms, bean puree and perfectly pickled elements, this really had everything – succulence, texture (from the supporting broad beans), flavour and harmony all together – a great dish.
Similar happiness was also caused by the beef which had a lovely sweetness to its glazed coating. The artichoke and truffle was as good a choice as any to accompany with the supporting puree and crunch from slice of artichoke. I found that I didn’t need the whole portion of artichoke proportionate to the beef, but the meat here was extremely good as were the lovely and creative sides, including the cheese spelt and especially the beef stock gel which was so clarified and well done, it appeared to be coloured glass and part of the plate when first presented. Scraped with the other elements with a small spoon, this was a delightful add on.
Final elements of the meal included the raspberry dessert with ginger from the broken biscuit bits and ginger ice cream which was a nice touch. The latter was very smooth and had just enough kick from the ginger to be noticeable an different and also do its job of countering the onslaught of sweet that raspberry can give, but was not too obtrusive at the same time. Among the simple and effective choices of petit fours, I have to say that the salted caramel here was actually better than my all-time favourites served at Marcus (and Tredwell’s) which have been in pole position for a very long time.
My initial thoughts at the end of this meal were slightly underwhelmed at purely the flavour impact which, feels harsh on reflection as there were couple of great moments in the mix to the parts that weren’t as successful for me. Aesthetic factor thrown in as well, there is no doubt in my view as to the skill and flare provided at the same time and there were some fine moments. The hospitality was heartfelt throughout and we felt very well looked after here as another good plus point for the experience. The main dining room is small enough to have to monitor your volume so I would say The Five Fields is more suited to romantic and quieter occasions rather than for business or larger parties and if you were wishing to treat your other half on a one to one to feel bespoke, the environment at this venue will cater for that in spades.
Food Grade: 77%
Location (Click google logo for directions)