If someone asked me to recommend a fine dining restaurant that does classics really well, I would point them in the direction of The Colony Grill Room.
It is located inside The Beaumont Hotel near Brown Hart Gardens, a surprisingly quiet enclave of Mayfair, worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of nearby Oxford Street. Owned by Corbin and King, this is the only hotel by the company which already has an impressive portfolio of restaurants under its belt, such as The Delaunay, The Wolseley and Brasserie Zédel.
The hotel itself has an interesting history behind it. The building used to be a garage and former car park for customers of Selfridges. Then Corbin and King took over in September 2014 and pretty much gutted everything except for the Grade-listed facade. The result is a contemporary and plush new hotel with not a single spare tyre in sight.
As you go past the revolving door, a red carpet draws you into an eloquent and tastefully done restaurant. The Colony Grill exudes Art Deco elegance from every corner of its room. There is a sense of arrival and confidence to this place. The colour palette is mostly rich and warming shades of pink and burgundy, yet the room feels masculine glam – partly because of the profuse use of wood and leather and partly due to the images of buff sportsmen on its art-covered walls. There is definitely a vintage American, cool glamour vibe to this restaurant.
As we were visiting on a Saturday, we had the option of a Weekend Brunch as well as À La Carte. However, upon recommendation by fellow foodie and Instagrammer Luiz Hara (aka thelondonfoodie) we decided to opt for the latter and try their signature grill dishes.
We started with a generous basket of bread. Kris had the Steak Tartare (£12.25) as a starter, although you can order it as a main (at a higher price of course). It was freshly prepared from scratch at our table with all the ingredients. I do love a place that does a bit of live theatre with the food, as it engages all your senses and connects you more deeply to the food you are about to have. The hand-chopped meat had a dense, grainy texture, pimped up with all the rich ingredients and humming with flavour.
My choice for a starter was the Lobster Bisque (£12.50). A wide, deep bowl with a heap of juicy, herb-flecked lobster meat was placed in front of me. The waitress then gracefully poured the bisque all over it. Yes, this place does the cloche-lifting, pouring-at-your-table theatrics with aplomb. But my bisque also came with another twist. I was asked if I wanted to add a splash of cognac to my bisque. I have never had cognac-laced food before so I wasn’t going to say no! The bisque itself was creamy and luxurious. The cognac added a boozy scent to it, powerful enough to take notice but not that strong so as to overpower the sweet, seafood flavours.
Moving on to the mains, we both opted for the 7oz Ayrshire 30 day dry aged Aberdeen Angus (Flat Iron). At £20 and with a portion of French Fries and a sauce of your choice thrown in, it was indeed the best value for money. The steak was glorious and grilled to perfection but we wouldn’t expect or accept anything less from this place.
SIDES AND SAUCES
In terms of sauce, we ordered my favourite béarnaise which was quite the refined version. But the star on the table was undoubtedly the beurre maître d’hotel – a herby butter which was their house special. It was sensational! Trust me, after eating this, you will never want to look at ordinary butter ever again.
Strong support came from the sides too. The Creamed Spinach was rich and indulgent, whilst the Roast Broccoli was subtly charred and tender.
The portion sizes were fairly big which meant we didn’t have any room left for Dessert. I have never been so gutted at missing out on dessert. Spying on my neighbouring diners, the puddings looked heavenly and real crowd pleasers (Baked Alaska, DIY Sundae, Caramelised Banana Split!).
Staff were polite and pleasant, deftly handling the chatty grown ups as well as the fussy smaller humans who tagged along.
We had a great meal at The Colony Grill Room. The menu is a homage to old-school American-inflected classics but in a fun, retro kind of way. The dining experience was like a step back in time, when you took your time with things and each moment was meant to be cherished and savoured. In today’s hectic world, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic about those good old times!
Location : The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF
More information can be found here.
N.B. All photos and opinions are mine. I reviewed this meal anonymously as a paying customer.