Iconic family-owned London hotel between Buckingham Palace and Victoria station awarded a Michelin star as of 2016
Editor's note: closed May 2020 owing to impact of COVID-19 on the Nathan Outlaw brand. The chef himself withdrew from The Goring in order to concentrate on his Cornwall restaurants.
Some places simply tick every box and make you feel completely at home and this is one of those places. It’s a difficult thing to pull off – luxury whilst also making one feel entirely comfortable and only three places I have ever been to spring to my mind in being able to truly achieve this. These are: Lucknam Park, The Connaught and here at The Goring. I find it very difficult to see how this will change much in the future and the short version for this visit is that apart from one hitch, this was a delightful and sumptuous experience with quality ingredients and design of dishes. My full review is beneath the photos.
Now that The Goring is fait accompli with a brand new Michelin star, it was especially nice for three of us to drop in for the pre-theatre menu following a tour of Buckingham Palace. At £55 for 3 courses and two glasses of wine, it is a reasonable menu but I do think it would benefit from having the option of not having the wine as mandatory as well and just being the 3 courses of food for around the £30-£35 mark (for the quality of this menu) which would make the set option easier on the eye. The food itself on this menu was however, easily in the upper bracket of set menus I have experienced. Most pre/post-theatre menus or set lunches traditionally have smaller portions and less expensive / sizeable cuts of meat, but this pre-theatre menu really didn’t actually feel like this with a wonderfully smooth foie gras terrine with superb brioche mini bun with slivers of ham and shavings of truffle on top – this was not your average set menu starter.
The fish broth was very clean in its flavour and I would also like to make a special mention that the children’s menu was a lovely touch – all the right options for kids and cleverly done and this is another example of how well the establishment gives that extra bit to look after its guests which I think goes a long way.
I thought the mains looked as if they had come from the a la carte as a first impression with beautiful cuts of lamb and sweetbreads in breadcrumbs. The pork main was elegantly presented, but rather unfortunately there was still netting left in the slices of meat that were served which was not the best to bite in to or see after removing. Although this is not the end of the world, it was genuinely quite a surprise (and have hence had to adjust my overall grade), so I asked if the dish could simply be replaced by the lamb as it seemed a safer bet and this was done as quickly as possible with apologies.
A selection of British cheeses was offered to the table with the restaurant’s compliments for the inconvenience which was warmly received. The wines that were selected as the two choices worked well as well – a subtle Sauvignon Blanc for my starter and a rather smooth Cotes du Rhône to go with my main and both were perfectly pleasant as the choices for the set menu. The desserts were light, interesting and pleasant to finish the experience off – the kid’s banana split being pretty splendid as well!
The things I loved about this was the warmth and the unobtrusive nature of the service combined with the lovely dining room (and yes I do like the modern chandeliers) with very elegant food which, all in all was lovely to experience. I’ve had to reduce my food grade based on the little episode on this visit, but overall, if the set menu is anything to go on, then I very much look forward to trying the a la carte as this experience has confirmed that the latter will have some superb elements and design. It’s a lovely option to have for Michelin dining and I look forward to mark another occasion with a lovely meal here in the future.
Food Grade: 72%
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