Lunching Fabulously At Hunter 486 - The Arch London
Hunter 486 is the place in question, the restaurant within The Arch, London a family run boutique hotel. The staff feel like an extension of the family such is the warmth from everyone I encountered from the doormen to the receptionists to the waiting staff – friendly but oh so professional.
The dining area in Hunter 486 which I learned was named after the dialling code for the Marylebone area in the 1950’s is made up of a bar and restaurant. The bar is adorned with snug spherical booths perfect for enjoying cocktails, nibbles and putting the world to rights. You could easily dine in these booths too but I can see myself having a Sex and the City type soiree there given the relaxed yet sophisticated feel exuding from the surroundings, perhaps a nod to the 50’s glamour after which the restaurant is named.
I must also mention Le Salon de Champagne which continues on from the bar and restaurant offering a luxurious lounge feel with velvet chairs in deep purple, snug sofas with faux fur cushions and for a really intimate feel, booths that can be made private by drawing their sheer curtains.
The restaurant itself also boasts comfortable armchair like seating all soft to the touch in a shade of claret as well as more traditional hard backed dining chairs, in a palette of deep stained wood and leather (look), juxtaposed with cream coloured walls and lamp shades with clean lines in part created by the open kitchen at the foot of the dining area.
I was deep in conversation when the smells from the kitchen literally stopped me in my tracks such was the heavenly chocolate aroma wafting through the air.
For such plush surroundings you can expect the menu to put you back a few bob. Having said that the Hunter 486 Express Menu can be enjoyed at just £19 for two courses and £21 for three and with dishes such as smoked duck breast soup of the day, poached baby chicken and sorbets and ice creams galore, it’s not exactly an economy option!
The Main Menu offers nibbles from £3, starters from £7.50 and mains dishes between £15 and £53 (700g T-bone steak to share) so you can be as modest or extravagant as you like. The All Day Menu has favourites like burgers, pizza and salads from £11 to £18.50 and overall the menu has a healthy bias towards traditionally British cuisine, think fish and chips, roast chicken and steaks but caters to a varied palette.
AfroNoire EiC Deborah Marie was my dining partner for the afternoon shared the fish board with me to start. We were presented with an abundance of delights which included potted shrimps, smoked trout, cured salmon, prawns and a mango salsa and other accompanying dressings. The portion size was generous and each morsel mouth watering-ly good.
For my main meal I tried loin of venison for the first time which I’d describe as both lamb and game like, cooked so as still pink, peppered lavishly and it melted in my mouth. The liberal loin of venison was accompanied by a modest sized gratin all potato, turnip and creamy layers finished off with an oven created crunch. It was served on top of a beetroot puree and jus both decorating the plate and providing a sauce to bring it all together. I added broccoli as a side and the combination of fresh greens with tender meat, cracked pepper, subtle cream from the gratin with a hint of sweet and sour from the beetroot made for the ultimate mouthful. I was suitably impressed.
Deborah opted for the ‘dish of the day’ an extremely posh Tuna Nicoise. The tuna was about as far from the bitter tinned stuff as you can get, it appeared to have been smoked and the flavour was rich, the colour beautifully pink with the flakes just falling apart with gentle pressure from the fork; it was accompanied by quail eggs and green beans, potato and tomato and extremely tasty overall.
I rounded off my meal with a sticky toffee pudding served with a caramelised banana slice, toffee sauce and ice cream. The pudding itself was not overly sweet, which meant that the toffee sauce could be and was thick and rich. There was a hint of bitterness from caramelised crumbs which were like a hidden gem beneath the creamiest of ice creams, even the decorative mint added to the splendour of this dish. I washed this all down with a glass of Prosecco which totally hit the spot while Deborah Marie opted for the trio of ice creams each scoop all glossy and glorious.
If you are looking for somewhere to have lunch or dinner where you can benefit from the best of both worlds, a contemporary feel with a suggestion of 50’s glamour all encased in a beautiful Georgian townhouse with original features and the most delicious menu, then Hunter 486 in the Arch London is the place for you. I would return in a heartbeat, but ssshhh, it’s a secret!