The Handbook
The Handbook

Having received 2 AA Rosettes last autumn, Ten Room at Hotel Café Royal has recently launched a new weekly changing Sunday lunch menu. Of course one of the advantages of the weather being as it is, is that it is perfectly acceptable to go straight from the cocoon that is your bed and out to lunch (if you’re so lucky to sleep that long), where you while away the hours eating good food before returning to bed. And so that’s exactly what we did.

The restaurant Ten Room isn’t actually a room; it’s a square within a room borded off by dark leather banquettes and marble partitions, which does mean you have the traffic from the hotel walking by and not the most intimate of environments. That said it’s Sunday lunch – leave the intimacy at home. Burnt orange and mahogany chairs lined small tables and oversized glass vases with giant flowers drew your attention to the centre of the space.

Created by chef de cuisine, Armand Sablon, the succinct menu features just a handful of dishes (four starters, four mains and three puddings) and for central London at very reasonable prices; two courses costs £28 and three courses £35.

To start, slithers of rich beef carpaccio arrived topped with large parmesan shavings and spiked with peppery rocket. For those wanting to embrace superfoods then the grilled mackerel with deep, purple jewel like beetroot and sharp horseradish cream is a must.

Main courses consisted of chicken breast, gilthead bream, the sirloin beef and a little unimaginatively for vegetarians a butternut squash risotto. Sticking to the British idea that a Sunday is not a Sunday without a roast we opted for the beef. Two thick slices of roast sirloin beef were cooked perfectly; although the Yorkshire pudding was a little dry, nothing that gravy couldn’t rectify but not the big, fluffy bowl that you imagine. Goose fat potatoes could have been a little more crisp, but they didn’t skimp on the vegetables, they kept them simple but plentiful. I hate it when you have great meat, wonderful potatoes and then the vegetables are an afterthought and under or overcooked.

Puddings were elegantly presented, a beautiful raspberry sorbet accompanied a feather light chocolate mousse and deep red raspberry sauce. Whilst a plate full of paper-thin, sunshine yellow pineapple carpaccio was topped with coconut sorbet and coconut jelly – light, sweet, and refreshingly the complete opposite to the heavy bread and butter pudding or sticky toffee pudding that so often follows a Sunday roast.