Last year, when I reviewed Casa in Bristol, I wrote that it was the best meal I’d had all year. I have the feeling that, by the end of 2024, I will not have had a better lunch than the one that I had at the newly Michelin-starred Humo in Mayfair (or HUMO as it styles itself.) It is rare that one visits a restaurant that combines flawless service, painstaking attention to detail in every regard of the experience with stunning food and beautifully paired wines, but HUMO, under the careful and watchful eye of head chef Miller Prada, is doing something truly special. It is a rare treat to visit somewhere this accomplished – smart and luxurious without being formal – and I can only recommend that everyone reading this review reserves a table for lunch or dinner forthwith.

What can you expect when you get there? Well, HUMO has a special technique, which might be gimmicky in less accomplished hands, and that is for all of its food to be cooked on a four-metre long open grill with fire, without the use of any electricity or gas in the cooking process.

The menu is therefore designed to make the most out of a carefully selected range of eclectic and luxurious ingredients that will respond beautifully to being cooked over flame, and its division into four sections – ‘ignite’, ‘smoke’, ‘flame’ and ‘embers’ – means that, whether one is opting for the a la carte, the outrageously well-priced set lunch menu (three courses for £58) or the tasting menu’s tour through the various dishes, diners are going to be in for a treat.

The menu has a range of influences that reflect Prada’s background cooking at the Endo at the Rotunda restaurant, that Michelin-starred temple to Japanese gastronomy. Certainly, early courses of trout and yellowtail – the former coming served with caviar and the latter being accompanied by a coffee sauce from the chef’s family farm in Colombia – are beautifully presented with a true attention to detail (if you can, get one of the counter seats so that you can watch the kitchen brigade in action).

But then you’re immediately into the mushrooms and garden salad dishes, both of which use rare and unusual luxury ingredients – smoked Cornish agria potatoes in the garden salad, the finest and most succulent mushrooms you can imagine – to make this a real treat.

If the journey through the courses could roughly be summarised as ‘sushi, vegetables, fish, meat, pudding’, then this is a vast over-simplification of a complex and fascinating menu. The next dishes, Orkney scallop served with pear and king prawns in beef fat, are a representation of Prada’s culinary excellence at their most flamboyant and delicious.

Yet they’re close to being outshone by the final savoury dishes, the sea bass – a smoky riot of flavour that is kept relatively simple and is all the better for it – and the lamb, which is served with a light beetroot sauce and is quite unmissably delicious. But by this stage, it would be more surprising for anything we’ve had not to be perfect.

I have yet to mention the wine flight, which is worthy of a paragraph on its own. Beginning with a glass of crisp and perfectly chosen sake to accompany the trout and yellowtail, it’s a comprehensive tour through interesting small producers, all of whose wines are the perfect match for the various dishes that we enjoy. My own favourite was the crisp white wine of your dreams, the Cretan Dafni Psarades; it was a wonderful accompaniment to the fish courses that we enjoyed so very much, and made the whole experience unforgettable.

 We had to leave eventually, after the desserts – of which the crema catalina, the crème brulee of your dreams, was undoubtedly the highlight, and then, after a rum espresso martini (a fine variant on a favourite staple), it was time to thank Prada and his team profusely and head off into a wet, miserable Thursday afternoon.

I barely cared, however. HUMO is doing everything that a restaurant in 2024 should be doing at the highest level imaginable, and every morsel and mouthful of the meal was a delight. As I say, I am willing to be proved wrong, but if I have a better meal this year, I will be astonished.

HUMO, 12 St George St, London W1S 2FB. For more information, and for bookings, please visit