I recently went for dinner with the lovely Mayfair Office Girl. We met earlier in the year at an event and instantly hit it off! We decided to try somewhere new for our postponed catch-up (I had to have a root canal on our original date, boo. Don’t ignore tooth sensitivity kids!).
Rex & Mariano has been on my must-eat list since it opened – my instagram and twitter feeds were filled with photos of beautiful fish and the promise of a wonderful meal. Well, I was not disappointed.
Tucked away on St Annes Court in Soho this place has a chilled, laid back feeling whilst still feeling rather buzzy. It feels like you’re on holiday in Italy, somewhere by the sea. We quickly ordered a bottle of prosecco whilst we perused the menu.
We started with the tuna tartare and house carpaccio. One of the reasons the prices here are so reasonable for great quality fish is the ordering system. You order through an iPad and so there are less staff needed, keeping running costs down etc etc. Apart from a little glitch at the start where we had a blank screen, it worked very well. You ordered as and when you felt like a new dish and within minutes it was on your table. I did not once notice lack of staff.
Back to the food, the tuna and carpaccio were divine and probably my two favourite dishes of the night. The tuna with chive and chilli on avocado and drizzled in sesame oil was delicious, the chilli was mild and the creamy avocado worked well. Now, the house carpaccio, you must order this! I loved this dish – the fresh tomato was a great addition. I could have eaten another portion it was so light and refreshing.
Next up, the raw red prawns. Now, I know everyone raves about these, but I didn’t love them. I think I’m more of a cooked prawn kinda gal, so will be ordering those next time. I love the open plan kitchen here, it really adds to the whole laid back atmosphere. After a little break and prosecco refill we ordered fried courgette and clams. Everyone needs courgette fries in their life (these were a magnificent example) and the clams in white wine, parsley and chilli tasted beautifully of the sea. That might sound like a strange thing to say but often they are overpowered by spice or herbs, but it was delicate and moreish.
All in all, a wonderful meal – quality fresh fish, affordable and a great atmosphere. I think next time I shall bring the husband, looking forward to it already!
Rex & Mariano
2 St Annes Court