TRIED AND TESTED RESTAURANTS
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.