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We’ve been massive fans of Nuno Mendes’ Viajante for a few years now and each time we go we’re blown away by his cooking. And this time was no different.

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Martell Blazer cocktail preparation (10/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Martell Blazer cocktail preparation (10/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Martell Blazer cocktail (10/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Martell Blazer cocktail (10/10)

 

Nuno Mendes: Genius @ work

Nuno Mendes: Genius @ work

 

We recently chose Viajante as the best restaurant experience of 2012 and rightfully so. The cooking at Viajante is highly innovative, skilled and tasteful. Having eaten at many top restaurants in the world we would rank Viajante up there with the best of them.

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Thai Explosion III - soft boiled egg and chicken paste in between crispy chicken skin (10/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Thai Explosion III – soft boiled egg and chicken paste in between crispy chicken skin (10/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Thai Explosion III - soft boiled egg and chicken paste in between crispy chicken skin (10/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Thai Explosion III – soft boiled egg and chicken paste in between crispy chicken skin (10/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Amaranth with sorrel (9/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Amaranth with sorrel (9/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Carrot with horseradish (8.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser of Carrot with horseradish (8.5/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser Gordal olive soup (8.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser Gordal olive soup (8.5/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser potato with yeast and olive bread (9/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Appetiser potato with yeast and olive bread (9/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Bread and butter (9.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Bread and butter (9.5/10)

 

Those who’re willing to take a risk will be rewarded by a visit to Viajante. Having said that Viajante is not for all.  If you prefer tried and tested classical dishes then stay clear because you won’t find them at Viajante.   Given the amount of culinary experimentation that goes on at Viajante, there are bound to be some less successful dishes. However, when Nuno Mendes get’s it right (and he get’s it right about 80-90% of the time) he produces truly spectacular art on a plate.

 

Restaurant Viajante London: First course of Langoustine with buttermilk and frozen pine (9/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: First course of Langoustine with buttermilk and frozen pine (9/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: First course of Langoustine with buttermilk and frozen pine (9/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: First course of Langoustine with buttermilk and frozen pine (9/10)

 

The interior at Viajante is somewhat understated and mute. The dining room is consists of two different areas, one with direct view of the open kitchen area where the chefs practise their culinary magic. For those that are into their cocktails and want to have a drink at the bar before or after eating there is a separate bar in the same hotel, opposite Viajante, where they serve some of the best cocktails in London…you have to try the Martell Blazer.  Not only is the preparation spectacular, but the taste of that cocktail is phenomenal.

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Second course of Sea bass with vanilla and yuba (9/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Second course of Sea bass with vanilla and yuba (9/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Third course of Cod and tripe with unions, parsley and potatoes (10/10)...give me a whole bucket of this please :)

Restaurant Viajante London: Third course of Cod and tripe with unions, parsley and potatoes (10/10)…give me a whole bucket of this please :)

 

Viajante means traveller in Portuguese and the theme of virtually travelling to the cuisines of different countries around the world (Thai, Japanese, Iberian, etc.) is enhanced by the background music which plays music from around the world.

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Fourth course of Salsify with pruce bark and black truffle (8.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Fourth course of Salsify with pruce bark and black truffle (8.5/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Fifth course of Iberico presa with fermented squash (9.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Fifth course of Iberico presa with fermented squash (9.5/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Fifth course of Iberico presa with fermented squash (9.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Fifth course of Iberico presa with fermented squash (9.5/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Fifth course of Iberico presa with fermented squash (9.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Fifth course of Iberico presa with fermented squash (9.5/10)

 

This time we visited Viajante during the Christmas & New-Year holidays. The restaurant offered a special 7 course tasting menu to celebrate this occasion, which consisted of:

  • Appetiser of Thai Explosion III – soft boiled egg and chicken paste in between crispy chicken skin (10/10)
  • Appetiser of Amaranth with sorrel (9/10)
  • Appetiser of Carrot with horseradish (8.5/10)
  • Appetiser Gordal olive soup (8.5/10)
  • Appetiser potato with yeast and olive bread (9/10)
  • Bread and butter (9.5/10)
  • First course: Langoustine with buttermilk and frozen pine (9/10)
  • Second course: Sea bass with vanilla and yuba (9/10)
  • Third course: Cod and tripe with unions, parsley and potatoes (10/10)…give me a whole bucket of this please :)
  • Fourth course: Salsify with spruce bark and black truffle (8.5/10)
  • Fifth course: Iberico presa with fermented squash (9.5/10)
  • Sixth course: Wood pigeon with cep mushroom and chestnuts (9.5/10)
  • Pre-dessert / palate cleanser of Cucumber with reduced milk sorbet (10/10)
  • Seventh course: Milk dessert (10/10)…can I have a bucket of this as well please!
  • Petits Fours – frozen olive paste and chocolate truffles (9/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Sixth course of Wood pigeon with cep mushroom and chestnuts (9.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Sixth course of Wood pigeon with cep mushroom and chestnuts (9.5/10)

 

As with previous visits, we found that the dishes at Viajante were very creative and tasty and some of them carried a real wow-I can’t help but focus on what’s going on in my mouth-factor. This is what you’re looking for in a Michelin star restaurant and Viajante delivers in spade. Having visited Viajante multiple times now, I honestly don’t understand how food critic Jay Rayner didn’t like his dining experience when he visited Viajante.

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Pre-dessert / palate cleanser of Cucumber with reduced milk sorbet (10/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Pre-dessert / palate cleanser of Cucumber with reduced milk sorbet (10/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Pre-dessert / palate cleanser of Cucumber with reduced milk sorbet (10/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Pre-dessert / palate cleanser of Cucumber with reduced milk sorbet (10/10)

 

The service at Viajante was exemplary as always (comparable to 2 and 3 Michelin star experiences elsewhere), but not too overbearing and certainly not too stuffy (which I personally detest with a passion). What also struck me was that several of the sous chefs presented the dishes in addition to Nuno Mendes himself, which I thought was a really nice touch (it says a lot about what kind of a boss and Nuno is).

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Seventh course of Milk dessert (10/10)...can I have a bucket of this as well please!

Restaurant Viajante London: Seventh course of Milk dessert (10/10)…can I have a bucket of this as well please!

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Petits Fours - frozen olive paste (9/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Petits Fours – frozen olive paste (9/10)

 

Restaurant Viajante London: Petits Fours - chocolate truffles (9.5/10)

Restaurant Viajante London: Petits Fours – chocolate truffles (9.5/10)

 

The total bill at Viajante came to £160 (incl. service charge, 2 cocktails 1 mocktail and 1 glass of wine), which is very reasonable given the amount and quality of dishes.

 

Overall rating for Viajante: 9/10 (The overall rating is based on quality of cooking, produce, ambiance and price)

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