While it’s great to see so many London restaurants re-opening, there are some that just aren’t set up to open with any kind of social distancing in place, whether it’s 2m, 1m+, or whatever slogan the government finds itself landing upon this week. One such place that requires diners, waiters, and even chefs to mingle freely amongst everyone’s personal space is Muse, Tom Aikens’ latest restaurant which opened in an old Belgravia Mews townhouse at the start of 2020. With two tiny chef counters and a handful of tables packed into two rooms roughly the size of your living room, Muse is a characterful little spot, but one that won’t be opening up again anytime soon. To fill the void however, Tom Aikens has launched his own delivery service – Musette – offering a taste of the restaurant from home.
We loved Muse when we went there earlier in the year so we were expecting good things from Musette. However, we’ve tried a lot of the deliveries during lockdown and sometimes the more ‘high-end’ ones try to get a bit too clever and it doesn’t quite work. We’re happy to say Musette was a big success, striking the all important balance between creating interesting dishes and making it easy to prepare them at home – in fact we’d say it was nearly on a par with our absolute favourite and lockdown award winner José Pizarro.
Rather than being a set menu format, Musette has a nice range of dishes to choose from, and we’re told this will change every few weeks. There’s a printed recipe with each dish and also a QR code to scan which takes you straight to a video of how to prepare it at home if you’d rather do it that way.
We kicked off with a lovely Cornish lobster linguine, coated in a sweet cherry tomato sauce, basil, and a little dash of lobster oil. Super easy to prepare and a seriously good dish to start with. The main course was probably even less effort but even more of a stunner – a 24 hour braised short rib just needs to be heated up in the oven for about 20 mins. Braised in miso, soy, honey and marmite, it packs an absolute punch. Good as it was, the sides almost stole the show – salt baked beets in a caramelised balsamic sauce, and a ridiculously good onion tatin. We just wish the onion tatin had been bigger, as it was really good enough to be a main itself.
We finished with a chocolate mousse, with Chantilly cream, fresh raspberries and a pistachio praline. Simple enough but delicious and we had great fun piping the chocolate out of the piping bag – felt very chef-y, just for a minute.
Musette is one of the more expensive delivery options around, but the quality of what you get makes it totally worth it for when you need something a bit special.
Check out the menu and order at tomaikens.co.uk