HUNter 486 is the ultra-sleek brasserie residing within The Arch Hotel; a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and Oxford Street. An amalgam of no less than seven, grade two listed Georgian town houses, the three-year-old hotel is a beautiful feat of architecture and design, brilliantly restored with hints of original features.
HUNter 486 occupies the window-lined first floor. Furnished with a mix of contemporary cushioned booths and industrial fixtures, it is truly and every inch the modern, London brasserie. The intriguing name – purposefully semi-capitalised – was Marylebone’s 1950s dialing code, although a distinct lack of fifties references renders the restaurant’s link to the era undetectable.
The menu is relatively simple: an array of tempting dishes at reasonable prices fall neatly into the ever broadening ‘modern European’ category. Refreshingly, there were slightly more inspired options for vegetarian diners than one usually encounters, with a bold leek and potato soup – served hot or cold – for starters and a delicate courgette risotto deliciously cut through with goats cheese to follow.
For those with carnivorous proclivities, a rich starter of duck foie gras with an intense flavour profile will sate your taste buds. Then, perhaps a hearty serving of steak tartare? Delectably flavoured with sharp gherkins, salty anchovies and juicy capers; all wonderfully complimentary albeit richly indulgent in terms of the portion.
Upon dessert’s arrival, an Eton mess pleased a sweet tooth but if you’re looking for a slightly lighter option, a colourful selection of sorbets were refreshing and the perfect finishing note (on the night a range of cherry, mango and lemon were kindly presented… and greedily accepted).
Food aside, an impressive drinks menu is also available. Countless cocktails, a dedicated champagne salon and a vast range of wines with a concise, yet well rounded, choice of ‘by the glass’ (all too oft a rarity). The bar sits proudly, with its Philippe Starck bar stools and dim-lit display of spirits while the tucked away champagne salon offers sheer organza curtains and dark corners for privacy. Finally, when the occasion beckons, there is also the bright and airy martini library, typically reserved for afternoon tea.
The evening was pleasant, the staff were attentive and the food, faultless – save for the abundance of salt in both the soup and risotto. The only let down was the atmosphere: dining on a Tuesday night was a lonesome affair with only a handful of fellow diners (the majority of which were single diners, no doubt in town for business). With that bar and those dark corners, it is easy to imagine a buzzing Saturday night; London socialites toasting the night ahead, mojitos in hand.
Address: 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD
Telephone: 020 7724 4700
Written by Jodie Jones
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