Sketch is a restaurant open by MouradMazouz, he once said “I could have opened a safe little brasserie like the Ivy” when he opened the restaurant. Instead, he sprawling in Georgian town house, he created a multi-venue pleasurama, a sensory overload of challenging artworks, an alien’s egg loos and extraordinary and also curious food. Everyone said “it will never last” while clutching their pearls but yet the restaurant is nearly 12 years old and the place is always busy.
The star-awarded restaurant “Sketch” is made with two expansive floors which consist of a variety of spaces that food is being served throughout the day.
There is a beautiful “Gallery” of one of the spaces where Afternoon Tea is served; I call this gallery a restaurant within a restaurant (Sketch). The Gallery is one of the most protean of the Sketch stable, firstly there is an operating theatre of white backdrop to early millennial excess but it was later handed over to “Turner prize –winning artist Martin Creed” who cooked up a setting of such dreamlike randomness but it later gone wrong at the Mad Hatter’s tea party when it becomes less restaurant and more of art installation.
Sketch Gallery’s decor was design by “India Mahdavi”, he design it in pink: powdery due to the velvety chairs and booths. The Gallery woodwork is primarily metallic pink with a glittering copper bar-back. The design is 1930’s inspired and people often referred to the Gallery as The Pink Room.
The restaurant’s wall is made with a deliberate juxtaposition of 239 pieces of art lining, the design can be little rude to some people but it is witty. The arts are created by popular British artist “David Shrigley” who is part of long-term programme of artist-conceived restaurants; his work also includes ceramic tableware featuring Shrigley’s distinctive mordant drawing and texts.
The waitering staffs look very fashionable rather than the typical gear of restaurant waitering stuffs, their appearance is more similar to French dining with an occasional lady who dressed as a French mail, apparently her role in the restaurants is to ‘sweep the floors’.
Menu at Sketch:
What we ordered:
I ordered the Fricassee of chicken, marinated with Whisky and thyme, pan-fried with a BBQ sauce and pop-corn powder, grey almonds, hazelnuts, aubergine caviar with bacon – This dish was reasonable enough but it tasted dry and tasteless, the chicken in the dish tasted a little overcooked in my opinion.
My friend Frances ordered the Roasted Galician beef sirloin, slices raw fennel served with Parmesan cheese, Tangy red beetroot marmalade served with Celery sticks, watermelon and melon – which she enjoyed eating.
How can I forget, we ordered the White Home-baked Marguerite bread with butter – This is probably the best bread in London. It is large but definitely worth ordering.
I ordered the Belle Isle, this is made of bitter almond panna cotta, sable biscuit, apple julienne and blue milk foam – This dish looked whacky and spontaneous but it also looks like a child drawing design, the dish looks nice but tasted very average.
Frances ordered the Succes, which is Campari and red plum success, grapes, pineapple brunoise – This dessert name is a little fancy however there is too much sauce on the dish and it looked like a mess. It was sweet but the sauce had overdone it.
One of the “must go to” places of the restaurant, is the Egg shaped toilets. I do like the design but it doesn’t seem to be as practical as it is supposed to. I took my handbag with me, but there were no place for my to hang my handbag. I will need to relieve myself then go outside to wash my hands which I personally don’t find this very ‘futuristic’ as many people seems to find. But I must emphasize my point earlier, the oversized eggs do look nice.
I have heard a very high number of reviews about the venue; however it isn’t a restaurant where I would like to return again for dinner – because the food choice is very limited but it just doesn’t appeal as much. I am however tempted to return back to the Afternoon tea, the prices do make your eyes water with the basic types of food on offer.
Visit The Gallery at SKETCH: 9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG
1 Michelin Star
Value for money 4/10