The Halal: Roux at the Landau will happily accomodate halal requests if given 48 hours notice. They are usually able to order in any halal meats. The restaurant does serve both alcohol and pork.
The Place: I would expect nothing but chic opulence in a Roux establishment and I wasn’t disappointing entering the fabulous Langham hotel. The restaurant has a separate entrance onto Portland Place which is a short walk from Regent’s Park or Oxford street. The interior is very French: decadent chandeliers, magnificent arched windows and elegant artwork adorn the grand dining room.Chris King is the chef de cuisine. He is familiar to the Roux family after his ample training at le Gavroche and Roux at Parliament Square.
The Food: A large part of my dining experience is satiated by ‘the visual’ and Roux brings fanfare to each dish with his sophisticated and sexy presentation skills. First to arrive are the amuse bouche: seafood creme on a crispy prawn cracker. It tasted deeply oceanic with an aftertaste of chilli spice coating the palate.
The creamy cauliflower soup was light and airy. You may think this could be a boring starter but the vibrant radish and crouton accompaniment elevated the soup.
The squid was plated beautifully however it was a bit tough to chew.
For the main course we unanimously chose to have the Windermere lamb saddle with smoked aubergine and pearl cous-cous. The dish certainly brought drama to the table. Served whole on a wooden tray, the lamb was sliced with precision at our table. The lamb was cooked perfectly to our taste; slightly pink on the inside but not too rare. The meat was tender and moist. My only recommendation was that it would have been nice to have a jus or gravy to provide more moisture to the dish.
The desserts were very special. The Madagascan vanilla-infused creme brulee was rich and sensuous. Homemade palmiers were crispy and sweet. The portion was too large for one but would be a good dessert to share with a strong coffee.
The bitter chocolate millefeuille with maple ice cream and salted pecans could have been framed and put up at the Tate. The intricacy of the the presentation and the balance of sweet, salty and bitterness was perfection! Coffee was served with an alternative petit ‘threes’: a wild berry jelly, fresh fruit skewers and a mini black forest gateau.
The Price: It was never going to be cheap… Three courses from the a la carte menu are around £60 or the 5 course tasting menu is £65 without drinks. There are occasionally special offers for early or late dinners which are excellent value for money so keep your eyes peeled!
The Verdict: If you want glamour, rich flavours and a panache for presentation, it will always be Roux….