Posted on Saturday, 15th September 2012
The Grill Restaurant at the five-star Montcalm Hotel has a fabulous location on Great Cumberland Street right near Oxford Street. The restaurant was refurbished and reopened last October and exudes a relaxed and modern style. The Grill makes a strong point of using British sourced ingredients, and all the farms which service the restaurant with produce are part of the RSPCA Freedom Food Programme.
A fish soup (£11) had a nice seafood essence but could have done with further reduction for a greater concentration of flavour. It came with saffron potatoes, some nicely grilled prawns and grilled sour dough croutes.
Citrus-cured North Atlantic sea trout (£12) was pleasant and worked well with the accompanying chive and lime crème frâiche. However, the mussel ‘popcorn’, crumbed and fried, proved to be a bit dry. The crumbing was also too thick.
Grilled English Angus sirloin steak (225g) was nicely cooked to medium rare. A greater charred effect would have tasted better, and for a cleaner presentation, the gristle around the steak could have been trimmed. Some ginger and sesame dressed green beans were tasty, but was a peculiar choice as an accompaniment for a steak like this.
Poached stone bass (£23) would probably have worked better grilled, as it would have given the fish a crispier skin. Furthermore, the acidity in the gazpacho salsa was too sharp against the fish. This dish did not work.
A dessert of rhubarb compote, rhubarb jelly, preserved ginger cream and lime meringues (£7) was extremely yummy. The cream was very well made, and its zinginess was lusciously good. All round this was a very good pudding.
A Granny Smith crumble (£7) was decent, but the crumble was neither hot nor crunchy enough to make this a really fabulous pudding. A scoop of apple peel ice cream was tasty.
Our waiter was lovely and very attentive, but perhaps a touch too attentive.
The food was well presented and there was evidence of promise in the technique. But while the cooking hovered near its potential, it didn’t quite hit the mark. All decent, but it was slightly short of being very good.
Food rating: 3/5
Service rating: 3/5
Price range: About £30 – £54 per head. Excludes drinks and service.