What:A new 34-seat gourmet restaurant with rare views of Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus, located on the first floor of the Café Royal hotel in London.
Who:The clue is in the name, with former executive chef of London’s The Greenhouse restaurant Alex Dilling, two Michelin stars, at the helm of his first standalone project. Dilling is no stranger to fine dining or the best hotels in London; prior to his time at The Greenhouse, he worked with Hélène Darroze as a corporate executive chef working in her two Michelin-starred restaurants at Connaught in London and Paris.
The food: Dilling is known for its contemporary French cuisine and its menu has all the characteristics of a chef who wants to be noticed once again by the Michelin guide. Set menus start at £65 for a three-course lunch with a six-course dinner option (£155) alongside a special six-course chef’s menu (£195). Dishes are complex and precise, and include options such as a perfectly cooked Limousin sweetbread; whole roasted monkfish which is presented to the table on a silver platter before being taken away to be dressed; and stuffed with Breton pigeon with foie gras, truffle confit and Albufera sauce. Another standout dish is Cornish sardines with buttermilk and cuttlefish, a nice change from mackerel.
The atmosphere:The first floor restaurant is a space of calm above the bustling Regent Street below. The quietly opulent room has a soft color palette of whites and grays and white linen tablecloths with patrons able to see into the windowed kitchen when they enter but not when seated. The room could easily handle double its 34-seat capacity, which means the tables are laid out spaciously with large booth-style seats that neatly divide the space. Those who aren’t fans of light jazz might not be too enamored with the choice of music.
And something else: Don’t be surprised to find caviar on your plate. Dill once upon a timechef in new york Caviar Russe, famous for its sturgeon roe selection, and has been a fan of the delicacy ever since.
Hotel Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY