Michael Moore

Tel: +44 (0)20 7224 1898
Address: 19 Blandford Street, London W1U 3DG
Cuisine Type: International

(N.B. This restaurant is in no way to do with the author and film-maker, Michael Moore.)

We went to Michael Moore’s on a lovely warm evening when the entire of the front section was opened onto the (quiet) street. The decor is modern/white with bright streaks of colour in the red to yellows – a Provencal influence? There is a smaller internal room behind and a basement room for private parties (max 16). The general atmosphere was relaxing with easy listening jazz and the service was absolutely impeccable.

The cooking reflects Michael Moore’s wide global experience and blends east and west: in practice it’s mainly italianesque with chinese extras.

My starter was the crispy duck with julienne of apple and rocket salad (£5.95). The duck wasn’t crispy in the plum sauce & pancake sense but it was yummy; the apple was sweet and slightly excessive in quantity but went with it. And then there was rocket and parmesan on top. It felt less like fusion and more like coincidence: both halves of the dish were good but they didn’t really connect. The langoustine ravioli in a lemon grass saffron infusion sauce (£6.25) was good but slightly sweet: the sauce was a little reminiscent of salad cream and there weren’t too many langoustines in the ravioli, but it did have a moreish quality to it and was happily dispatched. There was a good selection of breads.

For the main course (£11.95 – £13.95) we tried tiger bass with sautéed black trumpet mushrooms and braised plum duck in whisky honey with gratinated zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes. Both were good dishes, well balanced and executed. They formed a perfectly delicious backdrop for conversation, though they weren’t one in themselves. Salads and vegetables are all £2 – there’s an interesting selection.

The dessert menu was a definite dilemma – all sounded good (£5.75). Honeycombe parfait banana tuilles was good indulgence, creamy and sweet. Rhubarb streusel tart with lemon curd ice cream was more heavily cakey and I would have preferred more rhubarb in it, but managed to polish it off without any regrets. Two desserts and no starter would be my recommendation on this menu…

Michael Moore’s prices are on a par for its neighbourhood (a swanky one). In this respect it’s a fine local – if you can afford a flat here you don’t need to worry. If you’re a lady who lunches, it’s not far behind Selfridges and the set lunch menu is reasonable value and very light.

For everyone else I think it’s just too pricey for the food you get. The ingredients are pleasant but not fancy and it’s more of a low-cal than luxury menu. We ordered wine at the moderate level and it wasn’t special at £17 (the prices on the wine list climb sharply thereafter). I feel it’s the kind of restaurant where you’d be surprised at the bill at the end.

It depends what you think a restaurant is for. Would you have a pleasant evening there? – Yes, I had a lovely evening. Would it be worth the money? – If £50/head is not much to you. Would I trek there for the food? – No.