An orrery is another name for a planetarium. Not to be confused with ornery, I know a few aunts like that, not restaurants.
When people mentioned planetarium to me (which is something not requiring a dictionary to understand), I am brought back to days as a child enjoying the space museum. In particular, their solar system exhibition with planets buzzing around my head would enthral me in my smaller days. In my current larger state, they do not hold as much interest for me. Not because I have obtained my own collection of orbiting planetoids (despite how much I eat, I’m not that fat) but I am distracted by the problems of this world.
Wine display at the back, plush seats in front. First impressions were that the Orrery did have a nice clean look to it, so befitting its name. Plenty of space for things to pass in between.
Placing. The theme continued.
Mushroom and celeriac cream soup. A little amuse bouche, this was tasty yet light. A good warm up for the meal.
A beautiful looking loaf. Delightfully bouncy inside, yet strangely somewhat bland in taste. It was deceptive as the golden crust made me think of fantastic taste hidden inside, much as the beauty of Saturn might make you think that there are treasures if you looked a bit deeper. Yet if you probed deeper, you would find gas, gas and then crushing gravity near the core. Not a place for casual tourism just like this bread alone would not be a reason to book a return.
Just like the bread, the butter was a feast for the eyes. It spherical shape made me think it was cream. Instead, it was a diary product of another kind. Its taste was light but I would have preferred more heft.
Salmon gravlax, cucumber. Rather nicely laid out, delicate cucumber on top, this was good. Thick chunks of salmon holding meaty taste, set off with drizzled sauce and spices, it went rather well with the crunchy bread below.
Carasau bread. Crunchy and spicy, a nice dish.
Seafood raviolo, lobster bisque. Yet the salmon was not to be outdone by its neighbouring shellfish. Pasta sheet with a generous chunk of seafood in the middle. When slicing a knife into this ball, the oozing bisque inundated the seafood mixture heightening the umami taste. A great dish.
Beef wellington, potato puree, sauce Perigourdine. This was alright, as the beef did seem a tad dry. The crust was firm and crunchy, the potato sat in between that state of solid and liquid and the liver was meltingly yielding.
Poached salmon, parsnip, crab bisque. Delivered nicely pink inside with delicate soup cunningly partitioned by a parsnip, this proved to be a treat. A combination of flavours showed what sea food could be. The issue was that there sadly wasn’t more.
Praline cremeux, hazelnut, cherry. A shaped blob of intense chocolate. Sharp cherry and crunchy nuts on the side. Maybe not that inventive a dessert but why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Carefully arrayed like those dishes that come before, I did note that on the presentation front, Orrery have it down pat.
Chocolates. As a final act, this was a little parting gift. Although they lacked the visual appeal of what had gone before and they tasted rather ordinary. Kind of sad as my departing memory was just that things were good but could have been better.
Perhaps this is just what is needed on a dull, rainy day in London. Something that is guaranteed to take away ornery thoughts. Good food, comfortable atmosphere and excellent presentation. The peace of the setting made me want to emulate the planets serenely passing by. Even writing this review, I feel calmer already.
A quiet eating 8/10.
Lunch (3 courses) was GBP32 excluding drinks and service.
55 Marylebone High Street,
London W1U 5RB