Scott's may have been around for a while, but it's still competing with the best of them... and winning.
Set in the heart of Mayfair, Scott's sits among the fashion elite, with Christian Louboutin, Roland Mouret and Vivienne Westwood as its neighbours. With so much to live up to from the outside, it's no surprise to find the interior is every inch as chic. With its rich wooden paneling, burgundy leather banquettes and impressive mirror displays, Scott's oozes style from every pore. Art lovers will especially appreciate the décor, with modern British masterpieces from the likes of Gary Hume and Don Brown adorning the walls. Tables look on to the elegant Champagne and oyster bar, which serves the full à la carte menu throughout the day and is a popular choice for more casual dining, with solo businessmen often propping it up. The restaurant's centrepiece is a mountain of crushed ice, chilling dozens of fresh oysters shucked to order.
The restaurant has a sophisticated buzz about it, with romantic dates, corporate entertaining and exclusive rendezvous playing out in perfect harmony. The service is everything you would expect, with staff exerting an element of pride as they glide between tables. Scott's is classic and traditional, with a noticeable air of prestige. Understandably, it's a popular destination for special occasions, but its relaxed atmosphere has also ensured it's earned top billing as a regular haunt for the casual (if privileged) Mayfair diner.
Scott's certainly hasn't earned its legendary Mayfair status from dull, lacklustre dishes – and while the restaurant specialises in seafood, the meat and game courses more than hold their own.
Food is flavoursome, well-portioned and, in keeping with Scott's impeccable standards, immaculately presented. The seafood menu offers a wide array of fish, including smoked varieties, as well as crustacea and of course, oysters – all caught sustainably, so environmentalists can rest easy. For those feeling extravagant, there's a selection of caviar blinis, ranging from £80-£295.
Even the simplest dishes are delivered with panache. Seared scallops in the shell, dressed with garlic and chilli butter (£17.50) are delicate, succulent and alarmingly large, which is rarely ever a factor for complaint. Baked spiced crab with toasted ficelle (£14.75) is creamy and warming, with the crusted outer crumb making way for soft, fleshy crabmeat with a smooth finish. A highlight from the meat and game menu is Black Mount loin of venison with game pie, curly kale and sour cherry sauce (£26). Lean, rich venison packs flavour, with the cherry acidity cutting clean through – it's the sort of dish that makes you sit up and savour every morsel.
When it comes to dessert, why choose when you can have them all? Scott's dessert plate (£9.50) is a prime example of having your cake and eating it – a selection of sweet treats in perfect miniature form. Mascarpone cheesecake with raspberries is a sure fire winner.
The wine list is extensive and staff are on hand to offer their recommendations, though the lack of a sommelier is something of a surprise. Wine is served by the glass, carafe and bottle, with glass and carafe options helpfully laid out on a separate menu. The maître d' will bend over backwards to help, even going so far as to bring out taster measures to assist your decision. Champagne is of course readily available, with the Krug Collection 1985 a mere trifle at £990 – or if you're not feeling quite that flush, flutes start from a tenner. A limited selection of beers are also available.
The Last Word
Scott's leaves no stone unturned; professional service and exceptional food in the most stylish of settings. If you're fortunate enough to own one of the many chauffeur driven BMWs lining the road outside, you're bound to be in your element. If not, it definitely qualifies as a worthy payday treat