Review: Mr White’s
Review: Mr White’s
Angela Zaher reviews Marco Pierre White’s bustling restaurant in Leicester Square
Mr. White’s is the latest restaurant to open in the heart of Leicester Square and its an impressive one. With 300 covers and currently spread over two floors (plans are underway to open up its third floor for dining as well), it’s a substantial undertaking that so far seems to be paying off incredibly well. I went on a Tuesday, early evening, and it was buzzing with customers already and continued to fill up as the night wore on.
Though large, the restaurant has a lively, cosy and welcoming feel. The decor attributes largely to this as well as the friendly attitude of the staff; always smiling and ready to help. The stark black and white tiles work very well with vintage brasserie furnishings (such as the spectacular long pewter bar) and plenty of dining alcoves and booths. The striking atrium has vibrant trailing foliage (real) which gives a soft and fresh air to more industrial finishings such as the low dangling bare light bulbs. The first floor balcony overlooks the red carpet if you time your visit to coincide with a film premier. Framed photos of Mr. White’s namesake, Marco Pierre White, hang on the walls and we are told he writes the menus and sits in on the tastings.
It describes itself as a “ steak, pizza and gin house” and the menu accurately reflects that and more with a range of Anglo-Italian dishes such as burgers, chicken Milanese, salmon steak, lasagne, three versions of each of Caesar salad, gnocchi and macaroni cheese. The wood-fired pizzas looked really good when they arrived at the adjacent table. There is also steak using Redefine Meat, a plant-based meat. Redefine Meat also appears on the menu in the bolognese ragu, as a burger and is used for the sausage on one of their meat free pizzas.
Marco’s avocado Caesar salad (£8.50) and porcini arancini (£9.95) made for a wonderful start to the meal. The salad was beautifully crunchy and soft in all the right places with a punchy dressing. The arancini were as crisp as should be on the outside and delightfully gooey on the inside. The gnocchi Bolognese (£15.95) was a hefty portion that could have easily been split between two people. The steaks come with fries (from potatoes supplied by Pierre Koffman) and piccolo tomatoes, plus at an extra £3.50, a choice of sauces (bearnaise, peppercorn, garlic, blue cheese). My fillet steak with vintage balsamico (£34.95), leaf spinach, and woodland mushrooms was a delicious plate of food. The Koffman fries were outstanding – golden and crusty with a fluffy interior.
Apart from an extensive gin pairing menu which includes Mr. White’s own London Dry Gin, the cocktail list is also lengthy and has some interesting twists on the classics like the strawberry & basil gin mojito and lychee martini (£14 each) – both were perfectly balanced. The wine list covers the usual suspects from both old and new world, including Marco’s own “Marco and Jean-Luc Colombo’s” red, white and rosé. Both the price ranges of the wine and the mark ups are reasonable, especially given the location.
On that note, generally, the prices of food and drink are not as exaggerated as one might expect for Leicester Square with many offers such as 2-4-1 cocktails, a pre theatre menu priced at £25 for three courses (£22 for two), kids eat for free and £19.95 steaks on Thursdays with all the trimmings after 4.30pm.
It has been a long time since I ate at a restaurant in Leicester Square as I tend to think of that area as catering mainly for the tourist trade. But with Mr. White’s, my prejudice was quickly shooed away by the genuine and attentive staff as well as the very competently executed dishes which I thoroughly enjoyed. Plus, it’s a fun and bustling place. Ticks a lot of boxes.
Read our interview with Marco Pierre White