About Time: You Celebrated Valentine’s Day at mazeBy Angelica Malin
“This is romantic” my boyfriend says.
I’m taken aback. After weeks of Valentine’s Day research (think stuffy ‘romantic’ set menus, rose petal-adorned cocktails, sharing platters, 50 Shades themed hotel packages and foods boisterously claiming aphrodisiac properties) (side note: apparently chickpeas were banned in Egyptian times for romance-inducing, remember when you next order hummus) – this, this he finds romantic.
We’re at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze on Grosvenor Square. It’s dimly-lit, kind of sultry and other than the bartender shaking up lychee martinis at the bar, we have the place to ourselves. There are candle-lights flickering on the table; we’re reclining on velvet arm chairs with the most delicious Yuzu Pisco Sours in hand. I look up – the candle light catching his face, his eyes catching sight of sushi approaching – and think he’s right: this is romantic.
After weeks of eating rose petals in the name of editorial, it suddenly struck me that I’d lost sight of things. I had been duped by my inbox into thinking that eating a giant chocolate fondant with two tea spoons was the answer to any romantic situation. Amidst the thousands of Valentine’s Day press releases, menus and suggestions, I’d forgotten what real romance is; a beautiful, intimate setting, sexy food, and the luxury of time.
Sometimes you don’t realise what you’re looking for until you find it. We found romance at maze, on the one night we’d given ourselves to stop looking. Forget all the fancy one-off cocktails and over-priced set menus, here’s why you should make maze your Valentine’s Destination this year:
Maze: The Idea
I’m not suggesting proper dinner. What I’m suggesting is much, much sexier. After all, let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day is often about ending up in a tangle together and what’s worse than stripping off after a three-course meal of rich steak and buttery mash, bread rolls and creamy chocolate desserts. You want to keep this Valentine’s Day light and fun – which is why I suggest going for some Yuzu Pisco Sours (created specially for Pisco Sour Week and so good they kept them on) and a sushi sharing platter. Of course, if you want, you can opt for the Valentine’s Day special menu – which you can peruse here.
Maze: The Food
The sushi is out of this world. I’d recommend a selection of their finest; the seared salmon roll with avocado is buttery and rich with smoky flavours, and comes topped with a yuzu miso sauce and puffed rice crispy topping which seals the deal. The spicy tuna is some of the best I’ve ever had in London; the minced tuna melts in the mouth, paired with a heavenly mustard mayonnaise and avocado. The Nigri is no less fantastic; you can really taste the freshness of the raw salmon, yellowtail and tuna. If I were you, I’d have two drinks at the bar before moving to the comfy sofas for another round and some food. Pair the sushi platter with a couple of their special martinis, and, if you’re in the mood, grab a dessert from the list afterwards. Light, fun, delicious – exactly as Valentine’s Day should be. Happy smooching, London.