Ozz Restaurant 41-43 Lisson Grove, London NW1
Ozz Restaurant 41-43 Lisson Grove, London NW1
 

Brazil is famous for its football stars, carnival and golden beaches but chefs from the land of Samba are not widely recognised for their culinary magic outside of their own country.

So while the names of soccer stars like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Zico easily roll off the tongue the same can't be said for their compatriots from the world of food.

However, in a corner of London there is one Brazilian chef, who might not yet quite be in the same league as his country's football stars, but is starting to woo customers with some pretty imaginative and smart cooking.

Emerson Amelio D'Oliveira's roots are very much Brazilian but the head chef of recently opened Ozz Restaurant in the heart of Marylebone, has created a modern European menu which is also influenced by his Italian and Portuguese background.

Trained in some of London's top restaurants Emerson is now putting his own mark on the Lisson Grove establishment, just a stone's through from the busy Marylebone Road. The smart white exterior is enticing and the theme continues inside the cosy dining area.

The black and white tiled floor glistens before your eyes and its a colour theme continued with the comfortable chairs. The décor is clean and crisp with delicate coloured low lead-lights over each table, which add to the ambience, and there is a bold splash of colour with interesting art from the owner's mother adorning the restaurant walls.

We are given a warm welcome by the charming and knowledgeable head of house, who hails from France, and enjoy some scrummy complimentary bread and butter. He persuades us to indulge in the promising looking tasting menu which consists of seven components. It's going to be a long lunch I remark to my partner Fiona as we are also expertly recommended tasting wines to accompany the courses.

It's not long before we are tucking into a smooth vibrant carrot anise veloute which is velvety and warming to the taste buds and perfectly seasoned and gets things off to a good start. Next follows a tasty dish of well cooked red bream with ratte potatoes, lovely celeriac mash and piedmont truffle which makes for a tasty dish with a good balance of flavours.

Our eyes light up as the first of three ' mains' on the tasting menu is smartly presented in the form of assiette of goose (breast, leg and liver) with muscat grapes, pomme parisiene, candy beetroot, red cabbage and calvados jus. It's a cracking dish with all the components coming together on the plate and the meat generally well cooked. My only criticism would be that the portion size was too large for a tasting menu, especially with what was to follow.

Ozz Restaurant 41-43 Lisson Grove, London NW1

The next dish of wild Scottish halibut served with linguine with squid ink, butter and a caper sauce was less than dazzling. Everything, including the fish, was a bit 'soggy' and it was a plate of food that lacked a bit in flavour and seasoning – it was all a bit drab.

But without doubt with the star of the menu was perfectly cooked melt in the mouth fillet of East Sussex venison, which came with some memorable and delicious roasted chervil roots, trompette de la mort and red kale which proved a perfect match for a fine piece of meat.

By now our stomachs were groaning but there was no respite as we tucked into a pud of rich, dark chocolate soup beautifully presented with a gingerbread stick sitting precariously on top supporting chocolate ice cream, brownie and basil – a desert of pure art.

And last but not least of the seven courses was appropriately a delicate and well balanced Brazil nut mille-feuilles served with banana parsley sorbet, which was a triumph, and a good example of the adventurous and imaginative combinations throughout the menu.

The tasting menu comes in at around £50 per person plus the wines, which in our case were perfect matches to the dishes, while lunch looks a snip at £15.95 or £18.95 for two or three courses. Ozz has all the ingredients to survive and in Emerson a chef who is energetic and imaginative and keen to make a name for himself on the London scene with his menu.