After the Mandarin Oriental's recent refit, the hotel's Park restaurant was turned into Foliage, a sleek modern space serving menus as sophisticated as the setting. The main appeal here is the level of attention to detail. Everything from the "pre dessert", a sliver of crunchy pineapple set atop a fruit sorbet, to the exhaustive wine list, is put together with care.
I'm not a great fan of tasting menus - past experience has resulted in three courses of something resembling syrup of slug followed by a minute portion of a dish you'd rather have had a decent portion of. Here, however, they got the balance right, with more adventurous flavours (a tart tatin with pan-fried foie gras came with a dusting of cocoa powder) balanced by more traditional and substantial plates (herb crusted canon of lamb with a spring bean salad).
As the name suggests, the dining room's most striking feature is the wall of windows that looks out over Hyde Park. While Foliage's army of staff sets about serving businessmen, older couples celebrating anniversaries and the odd table of young lovers, diners on a raised platform area get to peek out at joggers, strollers and taxis shooting back and forth just outside. The rather odd aim to "bring the park into the restaurant" by sending the staff out to pick leaves to put beneath guests' glass plates might be egging the pudding. More successful, as the light drops, are the panels of light on each side of the room that give off the soft glow of thousands of silk leaves.
Three-course dinner for two, without wine, around £100. Tasting menu £70.
Foliage, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London (020-7201 3723; www.mandarinoriental.com)Reuse content