Mustard is the latest brainchild of restauranteurs, Lawrence Hartley and Tim Healy who are behind the ever popular Joe Allen and Orso in the West End. Their latest concept is about bringing simple, honest British all-day brasserie food to the high streets of London. The decor is a clean, smart, nonsense affair; the distinct yellow and black logo design is attention-grabbing. No doubt this is a formula they intend to repeat on other high streets in the UK.
The menu is all about the ingredients: there is no fancy purée or exotic ingredients from Asia or South America. This is very much a British-centric menu and producing food that is easy to create and deliver. The Devonshire crab salad was brought out from the kitchen with minimal waiting time. The crab meat was chilled and healthy tasting and it had a pleasant kick from the wholegrain mustard, whilst the chicory and fennel tasted like it was just harvested from the back garden.
You expect a dish like new season lamb hot-pot to be heavy and meaty, but the version at Mustard feels hearty and healthy. There is an abundance of peas, carrots, broad and runner beans, alongside the lamb which is so soft and already cut into pieces rendering it unnecessarily to use a knife. The broth base for the hot-pot is so rich in flavour, you just wished they had provided a spoon and some sourdough bread to accompany the dish. Although the creamed mashed potatoes weren’t an inferior alternative.
This is the kind of restaurant where you feel the head chef has a safe pair of hands. The almond and orange cake has the ideal texture you would expect, not too soggy or too firm, it has a gentle hint of almond and orange without being too overpowering.
Apart from focusing on British ingredients on the menu, they have a fine selection of sparkling British wines on the menu; I would say probably a bigger selection than in most restaurants as well as artisanal craft beer and cider from companies like Hawkes London and Somerset Cider Company.
I don’t know what their company plans are, but I could quite easily envisage a roll-out of Mustard brasseries across London and even in the UK, because in these uncertain times, people need restaurants like Mustard, where you get quality assured, comforting food.