So after my statement that maybe Le Colombier (see review) rather than Le Gavroche may be the best lunch deal in olde Londinium, one is trying another Michel Roux establishment namely Roux at the Landau in Portland Place. It’s near to the old Beeb (BBC) in Portland Place so nice and central.
We started with a pre-prandial in the elegantly appointed Artesian bar in the Langham Hotel and tootled on through to the restaurant. I was stopped in my tracks. The wine display in the entrance took one’s breath away. I grabbed for the wall as I felt my knees go weak.
A bottle of Ch. Petrus leered at me from it’s snug position behind the glass. The cabinet was locked damnit! The bottle nestled close to myriad other oenophile’s wet dreams. A Ch. Lafite Rothschild from Pauillac and a wonderful Ch. Margaux. What a treat it would be to sup that nectar with lunch and of all things it was a 1982…a glorious year for Bordeaux. Alas, one cannot justify spending £7,500 on a bottle of wine for lunch. One’s dream one day would be to spend a year tasting all the 1855 classification’s best vintages.
Hugh Wellington-Livermore and I were whisked off efficiently to our tables in the grand and elegant dining room. With the sun shining through the seven large windows, it was an uplifting sight. En route to our table, we passed the cheese trolley and a voice in my head resembling something from The Exorcist said “you will be mine!”
The set menu was good value at £32.50 for three courses including amuse bouches and coffee. However, this is offset by the wine list which requires a tad more caution. The cheapest wine being £36 and it escalates quickly after that. However, one could not fault our sommelier’s suggestion of the Bourgogne pinot noir.
The staff were all wonderfully efficient. Our sommelier was from Italy and very entertaining. Other waiters arrived and disappeared with classic Gavroche-style efficiency. One has to admit that one is a sucker for most things that M. Roux touches. Let’s hope his mega stardom does not detract from the high standards that he sets. The other thing that sets him apart from many of the other TV chefs is that he is an extremely nice chap.
The highlight for your dear doctor was Rabbit with polenta which was without doubt the most tasty and richly flavoured rabbit one had ever tasted. One’s starter was amusing as it was a home made black pudding with a fried Burford brown egg and it looked akin to what one might have for breakfast (see daguerreotype). Yet on biting into the “black pudding” one was immediately taken to another place, the flavour was delightful and nothing like a black pudding.
Hughie was bowled over by his Pollock main course and we both awaited MY cheese trolley which trundled slowly across the restaurant floor. As one’s chums will know, one is a bit of an aficionado of fine cheese and yet as one looked at the trolley, one realised that these were not as expected. No Reblochon, no St. Maure, Epoisses…These were super eclectic cheeses and so one put oneself in the hands of the waiter and he did not disappoint. If only one could remember the names!
All one can say mes amis is why no Michelin star? C’est magnifique!….and also privée…Doctor Lunch and chums only.
A bientôt mes amis.
Roux at the Landau
1C Portland PLace
London, W1B 1JA
Tel: +44 20 7965 0165