If you can think way back to May you may remember that The Grill at The Dorchester shut its doors to give it a complete refurbishment – that’s the interior, menu and team. Fast forward a few months and there is a new young team with Alain Ducasse’s protégé Christophe Marleix at the helm and a new look created by Bruno Moinard.
What’s he created is a timeless, sumptuous restaurant; it’s almost like sitting inside a copper teapot – if you can imagine, a mix of bronze, zinc, mirrors, copper and butterscotch leather chairs and a rather marvellous chandelier. On one wall runs a bar, with a display of glass jugs whilst the other is the front of the kitchen where the shelves hold copper, ornate jelly moulds – the sort the Victorians would be proud of.
The menu features a few new dishes alongside classics including The Dorchester’s signature blue lobster chowder with mushrooms and chives – as you might expect it’s a refined variant of a chowder – but the lobster was full of flavour, if rather on the small side. Grilled scallops were plump, plentiful and served with a delicious autumnal salad.
It would be wrong to choose anything other than something from the grill section of the menu, so we went for the veal chop with mushrooms and cream, it was a great hunk of veal with a velvety cream sauce – which went perfectly with spinach and of course a few chips. A Scottish salmon steak was flaky, tender and beautifully cooked, served simply with a buttery béarnaise sauce.
Boasting the first extensive sweet soufflé menu in London, we of course had to choose them, and boy where they good. Light, fluffy and beautifully risen – I’m not quite sure if I’ve ever seen such a high soufflé, a tower of pure indulgence. I opted for the rum and raisin, which had a subtle rum flavour, a little more of a kick would have been good, especially on a cold winter evening, whereas the Sicilian pistachio and salted caramel packed a real punch.
With charming service and a relaxed ambience, London may have had to wait a little while, but was it worth it? Yes definitely, The Grill at the Dorchester – it’s good to have you back.