I originally wrote this piece for the Tiki Chris blog
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Michael Pollan’s suggestion for healthy, balanced eating habits has a simple, bold clarity which rings true on a deep level. We should all be eating less meat, for both health and environmental reasons.
And yet. The “mostly” in the famous phrase is a giant loophole, carte blanche to veer off course in the quest for wholesome living – once in a while. In my view, if red meat, seafood, rich sauces, dairy and other delicious non plant-based food is acceptable occasionally, it makes sense to make those times a real occasion.
Book a table at a restaurant with carefully sourced meat, handled with skill by people who are passionate about the whole process: somewhere like Maze Grill Park Walk in Chelsea.
The beauty of the menu is that there is something for everyone; it would be an excellent option for a reunion with old friends, or a family gathering of various generations. The space is cosy with a chic interior design – somehow the restaurant manages to pull off an exposed brick wall in swanky Mayfair.
The restaurant specializes in rare-breed, dry-aged prime beef, a mixture of British native breeds, US prime steaks and Japanese wagyu. Some of the cuts can be seen maturing in Himalayan Salt Block ageing cabinets, which help draw the moisture out of the beef.
Taking equal billing is a “raw bar” making sushi and sashimi to order. We tried the California Roll (£9), which comes topped with a generous pile of snow crab and tempura crunch. Scallops Yuzu (£14) which was finished with frozen yuzu grated at the table caused chopsticks to clash over the last bites. Another stand-out dish was the Salmon Nashi (£10) with the silky, high grade salmon contrasting pleasantly against thin slices of crunchy, refreshing Nashi pear. The sashimi selection showed off the pure quality of the seafood at maze Grill.
The small plates section of the menu comprised modish dishes like Smashed Avocados with Sweet Potato Chips (£4) and delightfully retro Tuna Devilled Eggs (£4), updated with the addition of dill and nori seaweed in the filling.
In the past I have felt indifferent to Gordon Ramsay Group restaurants such as Heddon St Kitchen, which neither wowed nor disappointed. But I left Maze Grill Park Walk thoroughly impressed – there were simply no duds on the menu. Even the salads were astonishingly good – if you have taken Michael Pollan’s advice to heart, you could still enjoy a fantastic plant-based meal at this restaurant without feeling at all deprived. The Shaved Cauliflower side dish quietly stole the show: paper-thin slices tossed with creamy pureed cauliflower, parmesan and dill dressing. The contrast between the silky dressing, toothsome raw veg, crunchy toasted almonds and fragrant herbs was addictive.
Honestly I happily ignored the last bites of the giant T-Bone steaks my companions were digging into in favour of the Young Kale and Nori salad – this one was given a deep kick of savoury, salty umami with bottarga fish roe.
Between us we tried a few desserts and surprisingly, the best was the “Frozen Lime Yoghurt with Toasted Meringue” (£6) – light and refreshing after the previous hearty courses. Next time I will leave more room for the “Monkey Bread”, spiced cinnamon rolls with pecans and ice cream (£12 to share).
Whether you’re a carnivore, omnivore or vegetarian, maze Grill Park Walk is somewhere you will want to go more than once in a while.
I was invited to dine at maze Grill as a guest of the restaurant, to give an honest review.
11 Park Walk