T&C tests: Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Corinthia Hotel London
Photography: Cristian Barnett/courtesy of Kerridge’s
As the chef and proprietor of the UK’s only pub with two Michelin stars (The Hand & Flowers in Marlow), not to mention a busy sideline in television appearances, Tom Kerridge is already firmly established as one of the country’s top chefs. His new venture at the Corinthia Hotel is, however, his first foray into the capital’s competitive restaurant scene. Fortunately, it does not disappoint: the dishes have all the refinement you would expect from a chef of this calibre, while retaining the richness and generosity of his signature gastropub fare.
The hotel’s oval-shaped ground-floor dining space has been given a luxurious makeover courtesy of David Collins Studio to transform it from its former incarnation as Massimo Restaurant & Bar into something closer to Kerridge’s heart. Dark green walls and burgundy banquettes create an intimate feel, while the myriad artworks have been personally selected by Kerridge’s wife Beth, who is a sculptor. Carcasses of meat sourced from The Butcher’s Tap in Marlow (which Kerridge opened last year) are displayed in fridges on one wall, forming a kind of modern-art installation in praise of British produce.
The menu focuses on classic British dishes executed with skill and sophistication, with a few surprises in the mix: the mushroom risotto with crispy egg and aged parmesan, for instance, turns out to be rice-free but just as creamy as the Italian original. The glazed omelette ‘lobster thermidor’, which comes served in a small frying pan, is already an Instagram favourite, while my truffled baked egg with Charlotte potatoes and fondue was après-ski food made restaurant-worthy. For mains, the emphasis is on high-quality meat cooked to perfection, from saddle of Cotswold lamb to loin of Ramsbury Estate venison, but some of the excellent fish dishes, including the South Coast lemon sole with shrimps, are worth a try. Unexpectedly, there is also a comprehensive vegetarian menu showcasing the same superb culinary techniques as the meat: try the rotisserie-cooked celeriac with a side of the meltingly good, generously seasoned chips.
For a chef who has lately been in the public eye as an advocate of weight loss, the desserts certainly aren’t waistline-friendly – but they are absolutely worth the calories. An unofficial table-wide tasting revealed the two biggest hits to be the raspberry and rose geranium trifle, whose delicious floral flavours offset the sheer indulgence of the gin-soaked baba sponge, and the tangy blackcurrant soufflé. Afterwards, those wanting to make a night of it headed to the bar to sample cocktails and bar snacks by the Kerridge’s team.
The Corinthia Hotel hasn’t always been front-of-mind as a place where Londoners might drop in for a drink or meet friends for supper. Kerridge’s Bar & Grill might just change that.
Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Corinthia Hotel London, London SW1
MORE FOOD & DRINK
Cooking in the Shetland Isles
Blue wine: fad or fixture?
T&C tests: Ella Canta, Mayfair