What: A new, 34-cover fine dining restaurant that has a rare view of Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus and which is located on the first floor of London’s Hotel Café Royal.
Who: The clue’s in the name, with former executive chef at two Michelin-starred London restaurant The Greenhouse Alex Dilling manning the stoves for his first standalone project. Dilling is no stranger to fine dining or indeed top London hotels; prior to his time at The Greenhouse, he worked with Hélène Darroze as executive corporate chef working at both her two Michelin starred restaurants at The Connaught in London and in Paris.
The food: Dilling is known for his contemporary French cuisine and his menu has all the hallmarks of a chef that wants to get noticed once again by the Michelin guide. Menus start at £65 for a three-course lunch with a six-course option at dinner (£155) alongside a chef’s special six-course menu (£195). Dishes are intricate and precise and include options such as a perfectly-cooked Limousin veal sweetbread; whole roasted monkfish which is presented to the table on a silver tray before being whisked away to be plated; and Brittany pigeon farci with foie gras, preserved truffle and Albufera sauce. Another standout dish is Cornish sardine with buttermilk and cuttlefish that makes a nice change from mackerel.
The vibe: The first-floor restaurant is a space of calm above bustling Regent Street below. The quietly opulent room has a muted colour palette of whites and greys and white linen tablecloths with customers able to see into the glass-fronted kitchen as they walk in but not once seated. The room could easily handle double its 34-cover capacity meaning that tables are spaciously arranged with large booth style seating that neatly divide the space. Those who aren’t fans of light jazz might not be too enamoured with the choice of music.
And another thing: Don’t be surprised to find caviar on your plate. Dilling was once chef de cuisine at New York's Caviar Russe, famed for its selection of sturgeon roe, and has been a fan of the delicacy ever since.
Hotel Café Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY