Located on the top floor of the iconic Treehouse Hotel on Langham Place, Madera pairs bold flavours with organic ingredients against the backdrop of 360-degrees skyline views. The little sister to LA-based Toca Madera, concept here remains pretty much the same: to provide ‘an elevated, modern, and organic take on traditional Mexican cuisine‘. Except this time: (i) they’re using local, British produce; and (ii) they’ve taken the whole ‘elevated’ element to new heights – the 15th floor to be precise.
The Treehouse Hotel itself occupies the top eight floors of an unloved Sixties tower next to The Langham and the BBC building at the top of Regent Street. On the ground floor is Nancy Silverton’s renowned pizzeria (on which see my review here). At the top end is Madera, full of quirky wooden treehouse constructions, nostalgic trinkets, plants, bird boxes and eclectic vintage furniture.
In terms of design, if you dreamed of having a treehouse as a kid Madera probably goes some way to scratching that itch. In keeping with the hotel below, the restaurant playfully echos a treehouse – think wooden floors, wicker tables and chairs and a jungle of both potted and hanging plants.
The massive floor-to-ceiling windows offer diners beautiful panoramic view of London. The construction work on one side blocks views at present so it’s worth opting for a view on the BT tower side with views over Fitzrovia and over towards Centre Point.
As mentioned, Madera describes itself as “elevating” Mexcian cuisine, bringing it to the level of “experiential dining”. They set the bar high, in both senses. So do their lofty ambitions deliver? Amazingly, there’s a dedicated vegan menu.
I went for the Portobello Mushrooms “Rocks” (£24). Served over hot lava stones and sizzling from kitchen to table, the dish was recommended as their signature go-to. The idea of a hot plate was also impossible to resist mid-November.
The price is certainly steep (though my companion and I dined courtesy of a Fork reservation and so enjoyed 50% off). That’s probably because this is a hearty dish, made up of a lot of constituents parts and bringing the experiential promise of Madera’s dining motto to life: more DIY tacos / bowls / a combination (burrito – depending on how you roll…?!).
All the essential bits of Mexican cuisine are served for the diner to throw together. Those condiments include pico de gallo (a zingy salsa fresca), corn tortillas wrapped warm in a linen napkin and a bowl of rice featuring a wonderfully smokey black bean mole. Each constituent element had an intense depth of flavour.
The mushrooms themselves are cooked alongside sweet-chipotle, onions and poblano peppers, bringing that smokey-sweet notes – which for me, is the hallmark of Mexican cusine – to the fore. The corn tortillas are light and nutty, showcasing each of the ingreidents effortlessly well and providing an ideal base for a slathering of the signature black bean puree, allowing the Mexican flavours to sing through.
Madera deliver on all fronts: décor, views and food. Though service was a bit slap dash, the setting does most of the talking here. That and its lovely Langham location.
Madera, 14-15 Langham Pl, London W1B 2QS