TRIED AND TESTED RESTAU­RANTS

Business Traveler (USA) - - CONTENTS - Mark Caswell

Lau­rent at Café Royal, Re­gent Street Lon­don

Hide, May­fair Lon­don

Ho­tel Café Royal on Lon­don’s Re­gent Street opened in 2012, fol­low­ing the ren­o­va­tion and con­ver­sion of the iconic Café Royal. A re­cent $7 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion added a new lobby and re­cep­tion, and re­placed the Ten Room restau­rant on the ground floor with the Lau­rent at Café Royal on the first floor. The new restau­rant is split across two spa­ces – a wrap-around bal­cony over­look­ing the lobby area and a separate bar and din­ing room.

Lau­rent at Café Royal is the first UK restau­rant by Lau­rent Touron­del, a

French chef whose cur­rent restau­rants in­clude L’Amico and The Vine in New

York, and The Al­ley in Mi­ami. The menu of­fers sushi, sashimi and ni­giri dishes along­side steak op­tions. We started with a se­lec­tion of the Ja­panese dishes; spicy tuna sushi (eight pieces for

£16/$21), grilled oc­to­pus (£12/$16), and the crispy wagyu beef ni­giri (three pieces for £16/$21).

The oc­to­pus was de­li­cious and the wagyu ni­giri melted in the mouth.

The spicy tuna sushi how­ever was a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing – frankly, not par­tic­u­larly spicy. The starters were served with a baked “popover” in­stead of bread, which was one of the high­lights of the en­tire meal – a thick gouda, ched­dar cheese and black pep­per crust giv­ing way to the warm, soft floury bat­ter within.

For the main course I went for the USA Creek Stone Farm fil­let (£41/$55) – cooked per­fectly to or­der, and full of fla­vor thanks to cook­ing over cherry oak chips in cow­boy but­ter (that’s but­ter mixed with gar­lic, mus­tard, pa­prika, black pep­pers and herbs).

For dessert I chose the hi­bis­cus and red berry crepe souf­flé, with lime frozen yo­gurt (£18/$24). Served in a pan for two, it was ab­so­lutely de­li­cious. Other dessert op­tions in­cluded a choco­late tart “mousseuse” (£9/$12), a milk choco­late peanut but­ter cro­quant (£9/$12), and co­conut meringue with wild straw­berry (£14/$19).

VER­DICT In the main we en­joyed ex­cel­lent ser­vice, with at­ten­tive and cheer­ful staff. All in all, an ex­cel­lent ad­di­tion to the ho­tel’s F&B of­fer­ing, with an in­ter­est­ing range of dishes. Def­i­nitely ask for a popover.

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