What: GBR is a new all day dining restaurant beside Dukes London.
New? GBR (Great British Restaurant) is brand new, having only opened 18th May 2017.
Where? Dukes London, 35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY www.gbrrestaurantslondon.com
On the Menu: Norfolk-born Executive Head Chef Nigel Mendham has created a menu featuring traditional British dishes with contemporary twists. Dishes include duck liver parfait with Yorkshire puddings and caramelised onion, and English Channel pollock with courgette flower and crab bisque.
First Impressions: A simple sign on the wall and some help from Google Maps meant that GBR was easy enough to find but once through the entrance it wasn’t clear where to head. A lucky guess meant we found the entrance through the winding corridor on our first try, an additional sign guiding diners in would be most helpful.
The Look: The interior is elegant and understated, thanks to light grey walls with subtle pops of colour in the blue velvet chairs. Mirrored ceilings make for a good photo opportunity as well as creating the illusion of more space. The 7-seater bar overlooks the restaurant – ideal for a pre-dinner drink.
What We Ate: Each dish that came out was neatly presented, no more so than the Wye Valley asparagus lined up like little soldiers with a saucer of hollandaise sauce and breaded quails eggs. The hollandaise sauce was nice enough but a little bland and needed a touch of salt while the quail eggs were hard boiled and I would have enjoyed eating the gooey yolk with the asparagus. The cod cheeks, on the other hand, were little bites of flavour with coriander, blobs of korma sauce and puffed rice. The free range chicken hot pot pie had an endearing ceramic bird cooked into it and was filled with generous pieces of chicken. The hand rolled gnocchi with charred broccoli, nut butter, apple and cauliflower was delicious and each bite tasted really fresh but it was lacking a sauce to really bring it all together. The same goes to the cauliflower cheese.
To finish, the lemon curd with parfait, lime leaf cream and crispy meringue was light and sweet and made for an ideal ending, the firm lime leaf cream being an especially enjoyable addition.
What We Drank: A glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut is suitable for all occasions and ideal to toast the new restaurant. The Coffee Cocktail provided a little pick me up comprising of H by Hine VSOP, Delta Espresso and liquor.
Go With: GBR has slick service and a touch of luxury without being over imposing – ideal for client lunches and dinners.
Final Word: The food is aesthetically pleasing and the venue has a touch of glamour to it which makes for enjoyable dining but there is something missing that prevents the experience from being truly special. The dishes are pleasant enough but none of them have that wow factor that makes them particularly memorable; this is a good start for a new restaurant, though, and some minor tweaking will surely have GBR off to roaring success.
GBR: Dukes London, 35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY www.gbrrestaurantslondon.com