I suppose it is entirely fitting that Mosimann’s London is housed within what was once a church that dates back to the 1800’s, in the heart of the picturesque, upscale community of Belgravia. Entirely fitting and serendipitous, even, for at Mosimann’s, the gospel of great gourmet cooking is passionately preached on a daily basis. And happy are those lucky enough to taste the message.
Preach it, Chef!
It was with great anticipation that I looked forward to having lunch at Mosimann’s London, a private dining restaurant located in the posh neighborhood of Belgravia, a district in West London in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The club is owned and operated by multi-awarded Chef, Anton Mosimann, OBE, and his sons, Philipp and Mark.
We had the incredible privilege of meeting and interviewing Chef Anton and his lovely wife, Kathryn, at the opening of the Mosimann Collection—a museum of Chef Anton’s impressive memorabilia—at the Swiss Education Group’s Cesar Ritz Campus, in June 2016. Fast-forward some months down the road, and we found ourselves in London, on assignment, and with an invite from Chef Anton and Mark to come stop by for lunch.
It isn’t every day that one gets asked to dine at a club as celebrated as Mosimann’s, so you can imagine how giddy we were! After all, Mosimann’s is the hallowed ground of none other than the Chef to the British Royal Family.
Chef Anton has been preaching good food for the better part of his sixty-nine years, having started his culinary career at age fifteen, as an apprentice at a local hotel. At the age of twenty-five, he became one of the youngest chefs to receive the coveted Chef de Cuisine Diploma. The rest is gustatory history.
A super scrumptious sanctuary
Chef Anton himself met us at the door, and welcomed us with the warmth that you would expect from a close friend or family member. Mark graciously ushered us to the mezzanine of the stunning establishment—formerly a Scottish Presbyterian church in the 1820’s, and purchased by Chef Anton in 1988—for an assortment of delectable canapés, accompanied by an extensive selection of fine wines. Sunlight streamed in through the alcove’s stained glass windows, and splashed a rainbow of colors on what was formerly the organ loft.
The moment could not have been more perfect, or more pleasurable to the palate, for that matter!
A tour ensued, on the heels of appetizers and aperitifs, and Chef Anton beamed with joy and well-deserved pride, as he walked us through the club’s different rooms. Mosimann’s is a showcase of exquisite culinary creativity and flair for food, but it is also a scrumptious sanctuary for private dining.
To this end, seven super-exclusive, gorgeously decorated dining spaces are available for parties of anywhere from two to 80 people, while the main dining room itself seats 120, and can accommodate up to 250 guests, cocktail-style.
Each of the private dining rooms is sponsored by renowned luxury brands like Montblanc, Davidoff, Lalique, Bentley, Lanson Library, Parmigiani Fleurier and Garrard. While all rooms are breathtaking in design and motif, my favorites had to be the intimate Montblanc Room, built for two; the Davidoff Room (for six), which affords a nice live-theater view of the kitchen; as well as the Garrard Room (which can take as many as 50 to 80 guests), for its spectacular location in the church’s belfry.
A harmonious congregation
Perhaps among the biggest plumes in Chef Anton’s toque blanche is the passion he has passed on to his team of excellently trained chefs. Bright young faces greeted us as we made our way down to the organized, efficiently run kitchens. I could barely believe my eyes: smiling chefs! Orders flew off the stovetops, in the hectic pace that is characteristic of busy kitchens, but the atmosphere remained pleasant, despite the pressure.
Mosimann’s has a total of sixteen chefs, in the hot and cold kitchens, and in the pastry kitchen. Each youthful culinary genius is as talented and well-versed in the religion of food as the other, and is integral to Chef Anton’s happy, harmonious congregation.
“Mosimann’s Club is like a big family. When I left the Dorchester Hotel, I had to leave my two Michelin Stars behind. When I came here, I wasn’t allowed to use them anymore, because you know, it’s a private award,” Chef Anton shared. “So I had to make a decision: keep the Stars and please the public, or give them back to come here. In my heart, the Stars are still here. But having this club, it’s like having a big family. It’s a joy and a big advantage.”
Tasting is believing
Finally, it was time to sit down for lunch. A six-course meal followed, and I dare say that I would run out of superlatives to describe each course. The meal was, if I had to choose one word, HEAVENLY! Aside from Mosimann’s skilled staff, Mark attended to us, as well, with contagious camaraderie and cheer. The service was impeccable and seamless!
The menu at Mosimann’s is a mix of popular favorites that have been on the roster for 28 years (like Chef Anton’s famed risotto), as well as seasonal offerings. We started with a refreshing plate of Marinated Salmon and Dorset Crab, drizzled with lemon dressing. The succulent salmon just about melted in my mouth, but not before my taste buds delighted in the contrast of the smoothly whipped, tangy dressing.
This was followed by a helping of Hand Dived Scottish Scallops, which were plump and savory to the last bite. Chef Anton’s sought-after Risotto ai Funghi was served next, and, as I relished each forkful, it became evident to me why gastronomes the world over rave about this dish. The risotto was perfectly cooked, with just the right “bite.” Every magnificent morsel exploded with a spot-on balance of delicately infused flavor.
Somehow, my stomach miraculously expanded to make room for the juicy Seared Loin of Lamb, with Rosemary Jus and Market Vegetables, and the Passion Fruit Soufflé and Petit Fours, which came after that. Mosimann’s fancy Champagne Truffles and coffee then sealed the deal: I was sold on Mosimann’s culinary religion.
Indeed, Chef Anton delivered a wonderful “sermon,” converting me into a fanatic (and very full!) believer. The Mosimann’s were preaching to the choir, and Chef Anton had me at hors d’oeuvres.