The best places in London to wine and dine your important clients.
What is it?
The Betterment is not, as the name suggests, an austere Swiss wellness centre, nor is it a cool new cult you can join. It is in fact the latest restaurant by Jason Atherton, who appears to have run out of nouns onto which you can append the word “Social”. That is, perhaps, not a surprise, given that Atherton owns more restaurants than there are words in the English language. In the near future, all restaurants will be owned by Jason Atherton, and, honestly, I’m kind of okay with that.
Are you really okay with that?
Well, maybe not. But he does do an awfully good job of running restaurants. Take The Betterment, which is, after all, the subject of this column. It’s located in a hotel (eugh), in the middle of Mayfair (yawn), and yet it’s a genuinely innovative, exciting restaurant in an area that tends to play things safe.
Who’s in the kitchen?
One of Atherton’s top men Paul Walsh, formerly executive chef at City Social. He’s been on Great British Menu and he worked for Gordon Ramsay for five years.
Gordon Ramsay, you say?
Yes, it’s obligatory to mention that The Betterment opened within a few months of Gordon Ramsay’s Grosvenor Square restaurant, Lucky Cat, which everybody apart from me absolutely loathed. I thought it was alright. Not as good as The Betterment, but alright nonetheless.
So what’s on the menu?
Trying to pin down the exact cuisine of new restaurants is pretty futile, but it’s broadly in line with Atherton’s favoured modern-European-with-Asian-influences template. I started with crab sitting in a puddle of what was allegedly rose water (mildly sweet, not at all flowery), topped with an absurdly generous mound of caviar. Excellent stuff. Also very good is the roasted scallop with braised ceps, which emerges, Atlantis-like, from an oval of foam. With the niceties out of the way, I then shared a ludicrously tasty rib-eye tomahawk, still clinging to the bone, its charred fat glistening in the dim light, the meat a perfect, vidid pink. This, my friends, is the good stuff. I also ordered some wild mushrooms with egg yolk, and some snow pea, lettuce and blue cheese.
Is there a lunch menu?
There sure is: you can get three courses for a very reasonable £29.50 between 12-2.30pm, and again between 6-7pm. Dishes include ham hock and pig’s trotter, langoustine bisque, and king crab and salmon ravioli.
Need to know:
The Betterment is at 44 Grosvenor Square, W1K 2HP. To book a table go to thebettermentmayfair.com or call 020 7596 3200