Posted on Tuesday, 17th March 2015
HOLBORN DINING ROOM
Holborn Dining Room opened about a year ago and makes for a welcome addition to the London dining room. Located in the glorious Rosewood Hotel (which was once Pearl Restaurant by Jun Tanaka), it is a bustling restaurant with the look of a grand brasserie. Holborn Dining Room is run by Des McDonald, a restaurateur with a prestigious background. Previously a Head Chef at The Ivy, Des later went on to become the group chief executive of Birley Group, Caprice Holdings, and Soho House, before eventually forming his own restaurant group, Des McDonald Restaurants etc. Des is a man who knows his stuff, and it is easy to see his vision of comfort and relaxed elegance in the grandeur of Holborn Dining Room. Beautifully decorated with red leather banquettes, chandeliers and earthy colours, the restaurant resonates with vibrancy and energy. There is also an outside courtyard that comes alive in the summertime with al fresco diners.
The Head Chef at Holborn Dining Room is Calum Franklin, who previously cooked at The Ivy, Aurora at the Andaz Hotel and Indigo at One Aldwych Hotel. Prior to Holborn Dining Room, Calum was the Senior Sous Chef at Roast in Borough Market. With this wealth of experience, Calum has put together a very British menu that draws upon seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Our first starter was the griddled prawns with lemon and garlic butter (£15). Six fat prawns had been placed on our plate and each offered up lots of firm, meaty deliciousness. The combination of garlic and prawns is always a winning one in my book, and here it was fabulously tasty. With lots of flavoursome butter and a touch of acidity from the lemon, this was a perfect way to start our meal.
A lobster thermidor tart (£12.50) came with tasty bite size pieces of lobster in a classical thermidor sauce. The sauce was a little too tangy, but it was still tasty and well made with a lusciously creamy texture. The pastry casing was mouthwatering as it was light and flaky. To complete the dish was a delightful piece of lobster meat, crumbed and deep-fried, which added another dimension to the tart.
The bread (£3.25), an ‘Ancient loaf’, had a good bake on it and was warm and delicious. Similar to the French classic farmhouse loaf, the crust was cooked a little darker for an earthier flavour. The accompanying hand churned butter from Abernethy was also gorgeous to eat. Being hand churned, its texture was glorious and creamy, and it proved to be a real treat for the palate.
Our main was the special of the day, a beef rossini with foie gras and truffle (£36). It was faultless. The beef was cooked to perfection, perfectly pink very tender, well seasoned and boasting with flavour. The foie gras was unctuous and the truffle was lusciously good. There was also a drizzling of delicious madeira jus with some finely chopped Perigord truffle which worked perfectly with the beef.
To desserts, and a steamed marmalade sponge with Drambuie sauce (£6.50) was really tasty and moreish. The whisky worked perfectly with the sponge as it gave it an alcoholic kick. The sponge was a little dense in texture and became a little sweet on the palate after a while, but I still really enjoyed it as there was something quite rustic and homely about this pudding.
A warm chocolate fondant filled with poached pear and served with vanilla ice cream (£6.50) gave way to a molten chocolate centre. The pears worked well in the fondant to give it another texture. The accompanying vanilla ice cream had been home made and was velvety smooth and delicious.
We really enjoyed the food at Holborn Dining Room. The cooking embodied the best of British ingredients done beautifully and simply. There was something for everyone, and in all, Holborn Dining Room offered a complete package of delicious but uncomplicated food at fair prices with lovely service in a beautiful setting.
1. The gorgeous bread and butter.
2. The griddled prawns
3. The beef rossini.
4. Prices are reasonable.
5. Lovely service.
6. It’s an all-round nice restaurant.
1. The slightly over tartness in the lobster tart.
Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 3.75/5
Three courses: £28 to £60, excludes drinks and service.