108 Brasserie (formerly named 108 Bar and Grill) has had a complete make-over. Tanya Yilmaz of former The Ivy and Asia de Cuba fame has joined the team as General Manager, while Ivo Ferreira de Silva runs the bar.
The team has introduced a new chef’s table named Table 9. Table 9 is a large table located in the center of the 108 Brasserie’s restaurant, which comfortably seats 6-8 people. Guests choose from a selection of tasting menus all designed by executive chef Russell Ford, who brings with him his experience from the Grove hotel, Le Méridien Piccadilly and the Dorchester. He is even on hand to greet you between each dish and guide you through your culinary feast.
It took me five minutes to escape the chaos of Oxford Street and walk into the idyllic tranquility of Marylebone.
I met my friend in the bar and was handed a glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee sparkling wine while we waited for other guests to arrive. I hadn’t seen my friend since her man ‘put a ring on it’, so we had reason to celebrate. Nyetimber is considered one of the best English wines with grapes hailing from vineyards in West Sussex and Hampshire. The flavour is complex, first with a sweet brioche base and then a light fruity finish. We did not decline a top up before being shown to our seats.
The first course presented was watercress soup with smoked haddock and a poached black headed gull’s egg. These highly sought after eggs have become popular on the menus of fine-dining establishments in London. The market reflects the difficulty in sourcing them, with licensed pickers scouting them during a very short season. Ours could be traced to the Isle of Wight. It was my first time tasting a black headed gull’s egg, which was beautifully poached and perched on top of a fresh watercress soup. The dish was accompanied with English Nyetimber Classic Cuvee.
The second course arrived, seared yellow fin tuna encased in wasabi sauce and sliced East Sussex heirloom tomatoes and avocado. This dish was both delicate and flavourful and paired with Sancerre white wine.
Next up – the fish course. Roasted line caught sea bass with seared roe on Isle of Skye scallops, sea vegetables and shellfish sauce. The wine pairing was Riesling, which I thought slightly overpowered the subtle, creamy shellfish sauce. My friend thought so too, and gave her feedback to the waiter who immediately poured her a glass of Pinot Grigio. She was delighted, and I was impressed.
New season Cornish lamb was served three ways for our decadent main course. The rack was pink, the sirloin was tender and the breast was crispy. The lamb was accompanied with morels, peas, broad beans and wild garlic.
Ford’s interpretation of my favourite childhood combination Yorkshire Rhubarb & Custard left me yearning for more. But of course the piece de resistance was reserved to the very end when table 9 was presented with a Tasting of La Fromagerie Cheeses to share. Generous wedges of Bosworth Ash Log, Appleby’s Cheshire, Cote Hill Blue, Durrus and Keen’s Cheddar were accompanied of course with tomato chutney and crackers. I would advise ordering a menu that includes this most impressive spread.
Finally a glass of Balvenie 12 year Doublewood single malt was paired with our cheeseboard. A sip of this complex whiskey before a bite of Cote Hill Blue brought out the richness of the cheese.
Table 9 has everything; an exquisitely designed menu, locally sourced dishes, a beautifully tranquil location, a unique dining experience and a cracking cheese board. All that’s left to do is choose your menu.
Menus range from £45 to £120 per person
108 Marleybone Lane