Mimosa Ground floor, Regent Street
The Langham Hotel
1c Portland Place
020 7973 7555

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What’s the vibe?

We’re talking more understated je ne sais quoi than overt ooh la la. You wouldn’t see Brigitte Bardot getting up and dancing on a table here, as she (probably) did in St Trop hotspot Senequier in her 1960s heyday, but then that would just be an irritating distraction from the food. The restaurant itself, located in an annexe of the Langham Hotel, is a stylish, soothing space which cossets you with sage velvet upholstered banquettes and ever-so-comfortable chairs covered in coral-printed fabric, while the sponge-painted terracotta walls and mirrored backdrop with a tarnished, bronze patina all whisper of tasteful, and expensive, interior designers. Which we’re all for, to be honest. Hand-painted water jugs, random piles of lemons, and pretty sprigs of the mimosa that gives the place its name add a touch more Riviera chic.

What to eat?

The menu offers what can be best described as elevated rustic southern French cuisine. Start with oeufs mimosa, the region’s take on devilled eggs, which in this instance mean soft-boiled, yielding whites stuffed with creamy, grated, sunshine-yellow yolk blended with mayo and mustard. Order the salad niçoise, obviously, but be prepared to tackle huge slabs of tender, rare tuna, afloat on a sea of well-dressed lettuce leaves, chunks of soft-boiled new potatoes, shards of fennel (not strictly canon but it works so we’ll let it go), juicy quarters of tomato, and crunchy fine green beans.

Another Riviera staple, a kind of savoury tart called pissaladiere, punches you about the chops with its intense hit of anchovy, onion and olive, while the tomato tartare manages to evoke the sort of joie de vivre you’d get from bombing along the clifftop road from Nice to Monaco in a convertible. For mains, the hearty veal meatballs oozing straciatella and drenched in pomodoro sauce, and the red prawns dripping with lemon beurre blanc, both give the impression of having wandered in from just up the road in Italy (but are no less welcome for that). The whole sea bass baked in a salt crust with a zesty sauce vierge is best shared with a friend, as is the spit-roast, corn-fed coquelet, baked with thyme and confit lemon. Save space for the tiramisu, which is assembled tableside - and they do not go light on the mascarpone.

What to drink?

Lashings of Provence rosé, naturellement, but you should also try the minty and refreshing De Lascaris cocktail, with basil-infused gin, St Germain, cold pressed cucumber, and champagne, or the L’Occitane; a zesty, spicy blend of rooibos-infused vodka, creme de cassis, ginger. and cranberry juice. Trust us; whatever you order, you will regrette rien.....

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