The Dining Room
Tel:020 7396 9000
Mon – Sat 7am-10pm
Sun – 7.30am – 10pm
You either like cricket or you don’t. A Marmite sport. It is easy to while away a balmy British summers day listening to Aggers and co on Test Match Special. They are a sort of male version of ‘Loose Women’ on the radio for middle class men who live in Godalming and wear Austin Reed.
Returning from the Test match at the Oval the other week, The Dining Room at The Goring was our venue for dinner. The Goring is a five-star oasis amongst the All Bar Ones and Spaghetti Houses in Victoria that greet weary American backpackers at the start of their European tour as they get off the Gatwick Express. If you were not familiar with this London hotel before Friday 29 April this year, then you definitely would have been acquainted with it on that day as this was when we first got a glimpse of Pippa Middleton’s arse. Originally opened in 1910, it was the first hotel in the world to have en suite bathrooms in all of its bedrooms. Today it is the only privately run five-star hotel in London, still being run by the Goring family.
A drink at the bar to start your evening should be compulsory. Dark wood interiors and a very masculine feel to the place give it that air of a James Bond hangout in the 70’s except the service was very 21st century with a distinct lack of understanding of the English language. Let’s just say if you were looking for an Easter European plumber, one of the guys behind the bar could no doubt sort you out.
The dinner menu is a set one, charged at £48.50 for 3 courses with around six choices for each course. There were a number of specials also available at a supplement cost but charging an extra £28.50 for Yorkshire grouse reminded me that despite being in Victoria, this is an establishment where clearly for many customers, money is no object. The dining room, which is aptly named The Dining Room, is designed by David Linley with neutral tones, Linley style cherry wood columns and some slightly alien looking Swarovski chandeliers. Tables were perfectly placed apart from neighbouring diners and the lighting was textbook. Many a restaurateur should pay a visit and see what a properly lit restaurant looks like.
To start, we had the Queen Mothers favourite dish supposedly, Eggs Drumkilbo. It is a sort of ‘poshed up’ prawn cocktail with lobster. A sort of dish that wouldn’t make it through to the next round on The Great British Menu; perfectly edible but a little on the dull side. The Glazed lobster omelette was in a different league. A nice concept by taking something so simple as an omelette, something you can throw together at home when peckish, but add some lobster and a shed load of butter and it transforms it into something sexy and a little risqué. If the Eggs Drumkilbo was the Queen Mothers favourite dish, well I could have seen this omelette being Princess Margaret’s favourite dish.
We’d been told to order the Beef Wellington, so we did. Beef Wellington should be simple but yet technically it is a challenge. Whoever was in the kitchen passed this test as a beautiful medium rare slab of beef encased in pastry was served and accompanied by some potato dauphinoise. The chicken with mushrooms and truffle sauce was moist and the truffle sauce edged on the right side of not being too overpowering.
Although we could have easily called it a night after two courses, it was a 3 course set meal so for dessert we had a deconstructed Bakewell tart, similar to that at the Gilbert Scott, and a plate of cheese served as it should be from a trolley. Service was exemplary and hard to fault.
At this price range, it is more suited to those with an expense account but there is no denying the food is good, in fact it is better than good and coupled with delightful service and surroundings it is one of those places that you wouldn’t always initially think of going to but glad you ended up doing so.