Roux at The Landau
1C Portland Place, W1B
WHAT AND WHERE? Michel Roux Jrs restaurant at The Langham Hotel in Marylebone has just reopened after a month-long renovation. Its original designers, David Collins Studio, have come back to do more of a refresh than a refurb, with dark wooden panelling and horse motifs still dominating the interiors, but with an added central dining counter and a cheese cabinet to add some theatre. Head chef Nicolas Pasquier is a graduate from LAtelier de Joel Robuchon, who applies a French eye to classic British ingredients.
WHATS THE DEAL? Two courses for £25 and three courses for £30. Theres also a five course tasting menu for £65, with paired wines for £120. We think the three course set is the best value, as theres really only a crab claw and ravioli between that and the tasting menu and youll end up paying a cheese supplement either way.
The dining room, including the new countertop bar
WHAT SHOULD I PICK? The surprise star was the starter of rosemary porchetta, laid alongside a skinned Jersey Royal on a thin slice of cheese topped with mustardy mayo, like a jolly mouthful of ham and cheese sandwich. The best main was a cod fillet bathing in lurid saffron broth with miniature spring veg; at once delicate and comforting with a slightly spicy punch.
ROOM FOR DESSERT? The strawberry and cream pannacotta is a refined take on an English classic with a savoury hit from sprigs of basil, but the peanut parfait is a superbly nutty dish in every way, served with a thin finger of chocolate mousse topped with gold leaf and a milk and lime sorbet. Customers are asked to toddle over to the new cheese cabinet, which opens up like the cave of wonders to present a selection of French cheeses and British varieties from the ubiquitous Neals Yard.
Gougere filled with gooey comte
NEED TO BOOK? Yes, by calling 020 7965 0165 or visiting rouxatthelandau.com. Check out Postillion while youre there. Resplendent in white, pink and gold, its one of the most elegant private dining rooms in London.
COULD I DO IT IN AN HOUR? Probably not. They clearly expect you to be there until the late afternoon, still ploughing through the 525-variety wine list, every one of which is available to try by the glass.
THE VERDICT... A grandiose fine diner in the centre of town that expertly pairs French technique with British produce.