Wednesday 30th March saw my good friend Hannah and I take a trip to the Big Smoke for a spot of lunch in one of the worlds top rated hotels, The Langham London, where Roux at the Landau is situated. We’d had it planned for months after seeing an offer on Bookatable that we just couldn’t resist. A three course lunch with coffee and petit fours for just £39, it seemed like an absolute steal considering it was food from the mind of Michel Roux Jr. One of mine and Hannah’s favourite chefs.
The walk there, somewhat pretentious as you move past all the old buildings to get to The Langham, opposite the BBC studios. A huge and very inviting entrance greets you, as does the concierge with a polite ‘good afternoon ma’am’. Now, the entrance to Roux at the Landau is located to the left hand side of The Langham and beautifully ‘signposted’ with a golden plaque on the wall, leading you round to a big white door.
It’s everything I’d expected from the exterior. Simple yet effective, oozing opulence with the gold detailing and a hint of Parisienne style. The interior, the French feel continuing throughout but with a more modern vibe.
Arriving a little early, we opted for a drink in The Langham’s Artesian Bar, a relaxing purple and silver room laden with items of expense. Somewhere where you can escape and experience service like never before. Being handed a cocktail menu on a wooden board, like a Michelin restaurant menu – fancy names with a vague description, just how I like it, yet adding playful hashtags for the socialites amongst us. Or simply because they knew people would be dying to upload their cocktail photos to Instagram due to the sheer genius of them. An order for a ‘You’re So Gangsta’ containing Grey Goose Vodka and after much speculation a ‘Chameleons Crystal’ made with Hendricks Gin arrived at our table. Hannah’s #FeelingLikeABoss with her ridiculously tall glass whilst I open my wooden box #FeelingAmazing but apprehensively, a slight fear of the unknown, almost expecting a lizard to appear out of it, I am greeted with a tumbler, full of luminous green liquid and a large ice cube once the smoke had vanished. That was pretty cool, I can see why this is the most popular on the menu. They were both absolutely delicious, strong, but delicious and you would like to think so too at £18 each but worth every penny, as gimmicky as they may have been.
Taking in the atmosphere, it’s noticeably quiet. Not the kind of place two people with cocktail infused giggles should be but the decor quickly calms that. Floor to very high ceiling wooden walls encase you, lined with paintings, a symmetrical dream. A cheese cart, champagne chilling on ice and waiters in the smartest suits.
Shortly after being seated, we are brought the menu and a glass of wine is poured. Three selections to choose for on each course, all sounding distinctively like French Winter warmers with a hint of Spring. The starters, enticing you with their hearty options, the mains forcing you to salivate just reading them and the desserts leading you to calorific heaven, we made our choices and placed our order. Canapés made their way to our table, consisting of Red Onion and Goats Cheese Crackers and a Carrot and Creme Fraiche Taco.
A delightful taster into what was to come. Both equally delicious in their own ways with flavours and textures that complimented each other brilliantly. Our starters arrived soon after finishing, a bowl of Carrot and Carraway Soup served with Cheese Canneloni for Hannah and Marinated Mackerel with Celeriac for me.
Dishes of sheer beauty just asking to be eaten. The soup, earthy and rich with the right amount of Carraway searing through the carrot flavour. The Canneloni, rich and sumptuous providing a powerful cheesy hit, a great accompaniment for the soup. The mackerel, just cooked and super tender, melt in the mouth good and giving me a sensational taste when eaten with the celeriac making me excited for the main course.
A beautifully composed plate, home to Baked Beetroot, Chard and Pork Belly. A stunning dish both visually and in taste. The pork was so soft and melted away with one bite. The beetroot added a sweetness which perfectly balanced the bitterness of the chard, the ideal crossover dish to wave goodbye to those cold, grey days and hello to the blossoming of the new season. It’s safe to say, I devoured every morsel on that plate and I could have eaten it again and again and again. But then, I wouldn’t have had room for dessert…
Having both opted for the same dessert, there was no food envy over this gorgeous view. The colour of the Mango Sorbet, so vivid against the White Chocolate Mousse, teamed with desiccated coconut and a citrus based sauce, our palettes couldn’t get enough and it was demolished within an instant. So light and creamy, yet so rich and indulgent.
We agreed that this was by far the best dish of the day.
Before paying the bill, we were served with coffee and a miniature Coffee and Chocolate Eclair, in a way, I am grateful Hannah isn’t into pastry so… I had both. Although the coffee flavour was slightly overpowering and left me with a little dryness I my mouth, it was nothing the coffee couldn’t sort out.
All in all, it was worth every penny and more. We both had a lovely time at Roux at the Landau, the only thing that could have made it better was for the man himself to have been here. We enjoyed amazing cocktails, elegance in the room and impeccable service from the staff.
Roux at the Landau
The Langham Hotel
1C Portland Pl.