Food expert Sudi Pigott finds a menu of quintessentially British cuisine and luxurious Edwardian splendor in The Dining Room restaurant at The Goring Hotel
One foot in the past and the other sauntering confidently forward. The Goring is undeniably a quintessential British experience of ‘The Season’ even for those of us not wearing favourites in our hair at lunch as our invitation to an investiture at The Palace, continues to elude us. Yet more surprisingly and delightfully, it is a thoroughly and thrillingly contemporary dining destination especially since Shay Cooper, from Richmond’s The Bingham Hotel, has taken over in the kitchen.
Cooper’s style is to surprise with original ingredient combinations, exquisitely served, often with a chic, mini jug of something delectable added at the table plus utmost respect for highly seasonal, impeccably sourced produce. What makes the £42 lunch menu a tricky conundrum is that absolutely every dish appeals. A daringly barely cooked mackerel fillet had beautiful vivacity partnered with seared scallop and parsnip puree. More unusual still was to find chicken soup on the menu. Intense, opaque yet light with tiny Japanese mushrooms and a hen’s egg floating in it, this was exceptional and really didn’t need the gimmick of a toasted Cumbrian ham and cheese sandwich with it.
Unctuous and rich oxtail puff pastry bun was boosted by several beautifully cooked slices of beef sirloin. Feeling in decadent mood, I couldn’t resist lobster omelette, perhaps a little too swimming in cream, though the lobster was perfect, sweet and firm. I liked the little lobster Caesar salad on the side not to mention the extremely wicked duck fat chips. I had to try a dessert of buttermilk pudding (currently very definitely an ‘in” ingredient) panna cotta with poached apple, oat flakes and plum sorbet – a superb combination. Do be guided by the sommelier for advice on wine by the glass and admire the Swarovski crystal chandeliers reminiscent of cherry blossom specially commissioned by the dining room’s royal designer Lord Linley.
The Goring, 15 Beeston Place, SW1W OJW; 0207 396 9000; thegoring.com