LOTI EATS | WILD HONEY ST JAMES
Wild Honey may have closed the doors to its Mayfair site after 12 years in business but luckily for us, it’s got a brand new home. Anthony Demetre has relocated the restaurant to St James’s, taking over The Balcon in the Sofitel London St James to be precise.
The space is a lot bigger than the original Wild Honey, and it’s all a little bit swisher, with a large bar area at the entrance and then a dining room with plush banquettes and tanned leather chairs. The ceilings are way up above you, and there’s huge windows to give the whole place a very grand feel.
Head Chef Simon Woodrow is heading up the kitchen at Wild Honey St James, and not much has changed from the OG Wild Honey (that’s seasonal, French-inspired cookery with British influences). Starters were excellent: sweet chunks of heritage beetroot came topped with thin slivers of wild boar cheek, black pudding, and a green chimichurri-style sauce, which cut through it all nicely. Then there was the smoked eel, served with cucumber, horseradish and hazelnuts, our favourite of the starters.
If you’re going to order the classic Marseille bouillabaisse for your main, however, you might want to consider skipping a starter all together. The bouillabaisse is beautiful: a rich creamy bisque like soup that could have been a dish in itself, plus fresh fish, potatoes, and the classic rouille sauce. An incredible dish but definitely not a light one – it would probably even happily serve two people. Our other tip from the mains is the Welsh lamb with roast salsify and ricotta; a simple dish very well executed.
For dessert, there’s an Anthony Demetre classic on there, the custard tart with golden sultanas, nutmeg and salted butter – it’s hard to imagine how a custard tart could really get any better than this. The restaurant’s signature is the Wild Honey ice cream, which is topped with Cotswolds honeycomb at the table.
Wild Honey 2.0 has established itself very nicely in its new home. It’s great to see one of London’s best restaurants having a new lease of life, and if you never made it to the old one, now’s the time to check it out. There’s also a great value weekday set lunch at three courses for £27 which is an absolute bargain.
8 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5NG