A blend of West African, Eastern European and modern British. An odd mix, yes. The pair that run Stork Mayfair hail from Nigeria and Romania. It’s one I reckon the restaurant should get deeper into – the recipes and tastes of Nigeria and Romania were very subtle but certainly the interesting part of the meal.
First thing to say about the restaurant is of its fabulous location on Cork Street. In the heart of Mayfair, Stork is surrounded by London’s prestigious art galleries. The restaurant of course has to be, and is, somewhere fitting to attract footfall as well as Mayfair locals. Outside the entrance is an enormous egg hatching a golden stork, while inside is cool, private and peaceful. Actually, presentation is foremost in every way at Stork Mayfair.
Second thing to mention is the wonderful service. My date and I were greeted and hosted by incredibly friendly, slick staff. Our young Moldovan waiter recommended a Romanian white wine, which turned out to be the most interesting part of the meal. Each dish was beautifully served, both desserts in theme with the stork idea and the lamb even came under a smoky lid, which I’m not sure added anything but an artistic flourish. Well, when on Cork Street…
The Lobster with steamed Moi Moi and bisque was good, rich tasting and very appealing for a hungry diner with its deep colours and decent size. The collection of textures in this dish was impressive – the heavy meat of lobster claw, the light foamed bisque (the opposite of the bisque I was expecting), the grain of the Moi Moi and the fresh petits pois. It was my first time trying Nigerian dish Moi Moi, made from steamed beans with onions and spices that was rather like a slab of savoury cake in both look and texture. It’s a good addition to a flavour-rich starter.
There really is something for everyone on the Stork Mayfair menu. Again I’ll say that they could have gone further with the Nigerian and Romanian influences, which are very lightly incorporated. The halibut was served with Romanian cepes, the lamb with jollof couscous, but both to my taste seemed very British. Perfect, though, for understanding a little more of these perhaps lesser known cuisines, and most likely the only place in Mayfair to try the two in one…
I’d recommend Stork for a bottle of wine and a starter in the smooth interior next time you’re in the area. If you can get in; There are only a handful of tables keeping the restaurant intimate and sophisticated. It’s a luxury spot, perfect for a cool summer’s evening.
13-14 Cork Street
London W1S 3NS