Sunday, 1 October 2017

Dinner at The English Grill at The Rubens at the Palace, London

The Rubens at the Palace Hotel is a grand building overlooking Buckingham Palace Mews and close to Victoria Station in Central London. I was recently invited, with my daughter Cate and fellow blogger Adam of The Dapper Chapper, to dine at The English Grill, a magnificent dining room with high ceilings, chandeliers and luxurious decor that matches the grandeur of the hotel.

Cate and I arrive at The Rubens at the Palace Hotel

We were warmly greeted and invited into the strikingly decorated Cavalry Bar with its London theme dominated by paintings of military scenes and vintage posters showing the Trooping of The Colour. The bar staff shook us up some spectacular cocktails, pride of place of which had to go to Cate's 'Up in Smoke' (see image below).

The Cavalry Bar

After cocktails we were shown to our tables in The English Grill. With its magnificent and very British decor the restaurant is as welcoming as the staff who showed us to a quiet corner table where we studied the comprehensive menu which obviously majors on the classics of grill-cooked food, but caters for all, whatever their tastes and dietary preferences. For starter, Cate had Lobster Arnold Bennet, a delicious baked dish with a crispy top and juicy lobster. I had smoked salmon, which was carved at the table and offered a choice of Scottish or Irish salmon. Each was smoked in a different way, the knowledgable waiter described exactly how each would taste and I opted for a slice of both, in time-honoured fashion.

For our wines I asked the sommelier to serve a selection of his own for each course. He served whites and reds throughout the meal from a boutique South African vineyard, Bouchard Finlayson in the Western Cape. All were delicious and complemented starters and main course to perfection.

For the main course I went for an 8oz Kobe beef steak which, as might be expected, was butter tender and deliciously cooked to exactly my request. Others also enjoyed the steaks, while Cate had a delicious chicken pie (The English Grill specialises in a different meat pie each evening of the week) and a mixed grill which seemed to contain every possible combination of meats and sausages that it's possible to get. The quality of the cooking is high, portions generous and we were all pleasantly satisfied at the end of the main course. Throughout the service was friendly, knowledgable and discreet, while attentive to our possible concerns during a short delay in proceedings.

But we still had the pudding course to come. The portions sizes are obviously carefully judged to leave a small corner for the wonderful selection of desserts, from cheesecake to sundaes, Eton mess through to ice creams and sorbets or cheese for those wanting to finish their wine. Needless to say, these were excellent, as would be expected in an English restaurant.

Adam and I enjoy The English Grill

The evening was perfect. The English Grill offers sumptuous surroundings, friendly and helpful service and excellent food which is hearty and well-cooked rather than self-consciously fussy. I'd describe the dress code as smart casual, suitable for the tourist on a relaxing holiday or the Londoner wanting a special meal at a special place unsullied by ripped jeans, shorts and t-shirts. 

The English Grill is a restaurant for the man or woman who likes food the traditional way. I'll certainly be going back to sample more of the excellent menu and wine list. See The Rubens at the Palace - The English Grill for more information and bookings.

I was a guest of The Rubens at the Palace Hotel. This is a collaboration with the hotel. All views expressed are mine alone.

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