The Grill at the Dorchester is nestled next to the Promenade, which dominates the ground floor of the glamorous Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane. The restaurant has an illustrious culinary history and the current offering from head chef Brian Hughson (previously at Rhodes W1) certainly lives up to the expectations of its past.
The menu places an emphasis on procuring high quality British ingredients, with classic British dishes such as grilled Dover Sole holding court next to the chef's more adventurous creations like halibut with squid, parmesan custard, lemon pickled potatoes and anchovy.
While the décor in the dining room will not be to everyone's taste, the tartan patterns and colossal murals of historic Scottish characters that dominate the space add character and a certain charm to the grandeur of the setting, establishing itself as a bastion of all things British.
A starter of Aldwych goat's cheese with herb purée, bric pastry, cr?me fraiche sorbet and Jersey Royals was light, refreshing and a visual feast, while the marinated scallops with celeriac, deep fried oyster, scallop crackling and oyster mayonnaise looked as impressive as it sounds.
For the main course, I opted for the more traditional Perthshire filet of beef, which was accompanied by bone marrow, red onion and watercress salad, and a delightfully different barley risotto, while the enormous Dover Sole was wonderfully simple.
Having initially declined dessert, I am still thankful for my change of heart. A mint and chocolate parfait with fresh mint sorbet was a real hit, both light and substantial in equal measure, with an overriding feeling of freshness. The Peanut parfait with cherry jam and sour cherry sorbet created similar sounds of pleasure from my dining companion.
The Grill makes an ideal setting for a business meeting, an upscale family lunch or a celebratory dinner. The setting and the accomplished cooking justify the elevated prices, but the restaurant also offers a reasonable set menu for £23 for two courses or £27 for three courses.
Service was attentive, knowledgeable and professional, displaying accomplished efficiency throughout - being presented with the champagne trolley within the first few minutes of sitting at the table will always go down well with me.
From 13 August, the restaurant will introduce grouse to its seasonal menu in celebration of the Glorious 12th, the start of the grouse-shooting season in Britain. The menu will include items such as warm salad of grouse with Cumbrian ham, fried quail's egg and summer truffle, and traditional roasted grouse with bread sauce, home cured streaky bacon, game chips and roasting juices.
The Dorchester is celebrating its 80th birthday this year and for a limited time, the restaurant will be offering 80 of their favourite wines and champagnes for the special price of £80 per bottle, giving guests the opportunity to sample some of the finest estate bottled wines at a more affordable price.
With such an impressive history to live up to, The Grill at The Dorchester manages to retain its sense of duty to its past whilst adapting to compete with an ever-changing and increasingly demanding London palate.
For bookings and information, visit TheDorchester.com