The Better Half (TBH) and I have been wanting to go to The Wolseley for breakfast for as long as it’s been open but as early starts on weekends aren’t usually our thing, we just never got round to it. He was feeling a little nostalgic recently and had a real hankering for kippers for breakfast….it was something his Scottish father always ate. I found this a little odd as 1) he isn’t really that keen on fish and 2) he’s even less keen on bony fish! But hey, who am I to argue? I did a bit of a research and to my delight found that The Wolseley serve kippers. Result! He can get his fix of nostalgia and I can finally tick this one off my bucket list.
The restaurant is located on Piccadilly, in a grand building just opposite the famous Ritz Hotel. In it’s first guise, it was a car show room, Wolseley Motors and that’s where the restaurant takes it’s name from. Thereafter, it was a bank and Chinese restaurant according to our waitress.
Arriving just after 9 am on a very cold and miserable morning, the restaurant was already buzzing. I was surprised people were up and about so early on such a rubbish day! The tables are packed tightly together and we asked to be moved from the table allocated to us, which they accommodated without any issue. It’s an extensive menu and as it’s not something we do very often, I had already decided to splurge and order a starter and a main course.
For round one I ordered the Greek yoghurt with pineapple, passionfruit and mango compote (£5.00). This was unlike any Greek yoghurt I’ve had, it was thick and creamy and the compote brought a lovely sharpness to it. A refreshing and very enjoyable start. I’m glad I went for something light to leave plenty of room for more food.
TBH ordered Canelé Bordelais (£1.95). I’ve written before about how much he loves these little pastries so he was delighted to see them on the menu to go with his cup of tea.
For my second course, I chose haggis with fried duck eggs (£10.95). The haggis had a lovely peppery warmness to it, perfectly sunny side up duck eggs and a beautiful sauce all soaked up by a slice of fried bread. My only bug bear would be that the fried bread was a little too crisp and every time I went to cut a piece of it, I would send something on the plate flying in the opposite direction. I eventually ate it separately dipped into the gorgeous egg yolks and it was delicious all the same. Thank goodness I don’t breakfast like this every day because I don’t think my arteries could handle it.
TBH had the grilled kippers with mustard butter (£10.50). He had this memory of his dad pulling the bones out in one piece, as easy as pie and obviously that didn’t happen when he tried to replicate the movement. The fish was cooked perfectly, smoky and succulent with the mustard butter just adding another dimension to it. But you’ll remember me saying that TBH does not like bony fish and the idea of struggling with masses of bones is enough to put him off. Why he had such a yearning for it is anyone’s guess, but that’s nostalgia for you! If you like kippers, then you should definitely try these though. The taste I had was very good.
Service was extremely speedy and we both really liked how our waitress offered up the history of the restaurant without being prompted. It was interesting and added a lovely personal touch. Our total bill came to £55.43 including drinks and service charge.
Jeremy King and Chris Corbin have created some of London’s most iconic restaurants and The Wolseley is the epitome of that. You don’t need to spend a fortune to dine in beautiful surroundings and have really good food. Thank you Corbin and King!