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Only just opened, and no I have not been. Just wondered if anyone else had.

They had a soft opening last week which I only found out about whilst dining at Opera Tavern.

It has not been on my hit list for a visit. Will certainly give it a try though.

What do you think?

Review in todays Telegraph.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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I work in the hotel, and some of my colleagues have been already there as part of the trial run.

The general comments were that the food is simple but cooked really good.

The only thing I have seen is the kitchen. It's really outstanding, it looks like a space station!

I hope I get to go soon actually

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Stumbled on This review and Video from Giles Coren. Its well worth a look.

Hm, they seem to be using some editing trickery on the video! At the last scene where he walks out, he is walking out from the booking bar restaurant to the platform where the famous Paul Day statue is (the actual booking office was here when the hotel was originally open, also this restaurant deals with the room service).

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  • 1 month later...

We had a meal here at the weekend, with mixed results. Nice room, fantastic resurrected building, so so food, and slightly questionable service.

Will post a review when I have a spare hour or three.

Yep, thats how long it takes me. Its oh so simple a read, but crimes it takes an age to put pen to paper, so to speak.

It really is a labour of love.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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I thought it would be remiss of me not to include some history of St Pancras station, so if you click on the link you begin to understand perhaps the estimated £800 million pound refurb costs. That of course does not include the renovation of The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel which houses Marcus Wareing's Gilbert Scott restaurant, named after the famous architect responsible for creating the original somewhat stunning building.

The estimated one million English pounds that the 20 tonne, 30 foot high bronze statue "The Meeting Place" by artist Paul Day cost is perhaps justified, as its quite a spectacle. Its located at the southern end of the massive building complex and if you park your car on site, you have one heck of a treck to reach here, comforted in the knowledge that you are in close proximity to the Gilbert Scott.

I have a gripe, so I will get that out of the way.

I booked online and was asked if I had any furthar requests? Yes, "Can we have a table looking into the room please"

We were shown to a table in the middle of two others. One was a table of two ladies, another a mixed group of three. Now it may have been a table for seven, the tables were touching. The waiter had to pull our table out completely so my wife could climb in. Pathetic. I made my point about the booking request and the Maitre D said he would try his best to accomodate us. He did not. He never returned to us, but as luck had it the two ladies were really good company. Nevertheless this is really shoddy service and no where near good enough.

The menu mentions links to British classics. Dishes inspired by Isabelle (Mrs) Beeton, Florence White, and John Nott. It of course drags you all around the country from Dorset (crab and jugged steak), Cornwall (lobster), Manchester (tart) Bakewell(tart). Cumbria next, for some Kendal Mint cake. Up to Scotland (halibut) and into the Welsh valleys, for some Glamorgan sausages. All in all fifty five choices, to include three English cheeses, eight vegetable side dishes, and seven accompaniments.

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The pictures above were taken near to the end of service and do not convey the fact that for a Saturday lunch it was close to full. Satisfying indeed for Mr Wareing, not so for those travelling cattle class. Note the casual apparel, no dress code here. The room itself is quite grand, but the artwork is to me dreadful, but you know what they say about beauty?

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Bread was good to very good, although it should be given that they charge an archaic £2 cover charge. Witness, rye and fennel seed, and sage and aniseed, made off site to historic recipes. Its not sourdough but made with a starter with added yeast using barley flour. I should add no side plates were on our table. I asked TWICE for some. None were forthcoming.

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Mushrooms on Sippets (toasted bread)(£8) was essentially posh meaty Portobello mushrooms on toast. Poshed up by the addition of bone marrow and a tasty red wine sauce. Quite satisfying, I enjoyed this.

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Dorset Crab, pear and hazelnuts (£10.50) Required a machete, not a knife and fork. This thicket was not worth the effort. A bland dish indeed. The crab had legged it back to Dorset to soak up some brine. Sorry, I want a lot more flavour than this for my money.

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I was really looking forward to my next dish Rabbit and Prawn Pie (£17.50)

especially when I learned it was cooked in a Veal and Lobster bisque. It arrived looking like the dogs goolies, shortcrust pastry gleeming in the sun. As may have been expected rabbit being a dry meat there was not enough of that totally delicious sauce. It was generous in proportion but separating the rabbit chunks to take on the sauce resulted in running out of moisture towards the end of the dish. A ladle more of sauce would have worked wonders. The prawn element consisted of three of the same that looked like they were from a Tesco frozen pack. Shame as this is so very close to being an excellent dish.

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We ordered three side dishes of green beans, carrots and new potatoes all at £4 each. Now I like al dente but chrimes the beans and carrots were near raw. The potatoes just about cooked, if not they would have all gone back.

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Essentially a winters dish, but nevertheless a chefs favourite, because of profit margins and flavour. Our next dish was Dorset Jugged steak (£16.50) In essence, braised featherblade, a very tasty bargain basement cut of meat served with an over reduced port and redcurrent jelly sauce. I did not try the pork dumplings sitting atop. The sauce was cloying and as such spoiled the dish. I remember being surprised at how sticky it was. Shame really as the dish holds much promise indeed. This plate of food neaded some mash and plain veg to cut through the richness.

Both quite full now and not really fancying any of the other heavy sounding puds we decided on the lightest sounding dessert on the menu, Mrs Beetons Snow Eggs (£7), even though I thought it would be sickly sweet.

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I will happily admit to being wrong about this. My first taste nearly verified my initial thoughts, however it all worked beautifully the second to third spoonful in. The different textures, the crunch of the peanut and everton toffee, the fluffy poached meringue, the depth of flavour from the burnt honey custard. The surprise runny toffee sauce inside the meringue. A classic and truly delightful dish. Well worth the entrance fee.

You know that we are not wine buffs but normally try an entry level bottle of generally New World stuff. Sadly only one white and one red was sub £30 so we settled on a glass each of Hochar Pere et Fils, Chateau Musar, (Lebanon)(£6 each)

We enjoyed it and think you may also. Water is free by Thames Water and in plentyful supply.

Well we are not on our own reporting issues here, just read the other reviews. Hopefully Marcus Wareing will cajole his lieutenants into action to address the various problems. The kitchen is the most worrying, but as he suffers fools badly

expect him to kick ass until they get it right.

As expected its not cheap. They must have spent a fortune on the place, and have targets to reach, and as mentioned upthread a nearly full difficult Saturday lunchtime must be very encouraging indeed. By the time that you add cover charge, vegetables, service charge, a glass of wine each and perhaps coffee expect to pay about £55pp. Worth it if they can progress to a higher level.

Would we return?

I guess we would, as really it can ( and really should) only get better ? but especially perhaps if we were taking Eurostar, but not really for any other reason. We would not take the trek again in any great deal of hurry, as there are just too many other options available in London currently. Besides which, there is loads of choice on set lunch options at other restaurants for us, an option this place does not offer.

Don't let that put you off though, it may well suit you down to the ground, especially if you are in the area.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 3 weeks later...

I went there last night. Considering it was a Monday night it was extremely busy and there was a really good atmosphere. The building is amazing, worthwhile going just for that. Unfortunately the food does not quite rise to the occasion.

Our 4 starters consisted of nettle & watercress soup (reported to be very good), a tomato and cheese salad (also said to be good), an excellent baked onion and a garden salad with air dried ham. The spring onion in that dish was so over powering it ruined the rest of the flavours.

The mains included a pork chop, fish, an artichoke tart and a chicken & snail pie. The pie was very dry and the chicken had not been deboned correctly leaving a few small and one large bone in it. The artichoke tart consisted of some undercooked artichokes in over done pastry. Very disappointing.

A selection of sides were generally very good. Excellent carrots, perfectly cooked green beans, a luxurious colcannon and a rich and flavoursome cauliflower pudding. A green salad was covered in salt and in edible (to give the restaurant credit they offered a new one or not to charge for it).

We had 3 puddings - a very good Kendal mint choc ice, a fairly disgusting dish of English strawberries with pimms and lemonade cream served with fresh mint and cucumber and a very good Eccles cake with cheese ice cream. I may be being unfair on the 'Pimms' as it was just to my taste.

Service varied between excellent and haphazard. A £2 a person cover charge for the bread is steep, no side plates are given but then they insist on brushing off the inevitable crumbs between each course, asking you to lift your bread in the process. Either give plates or just accept there will be crumbs on the table!

We had to ask for the bill 3 times and when it finally arrived it was the wrong one. I should have just paid as it was half the price but decided to point it out and then wait for the correct one!

The total cost for 4 people, 3 having three courses and 1 having two courses. All having coffee, 2 soft drinks & two G&Ts before the meal and one bottle of wine came to £250 (inc service).

Would I go back? Yes for the room but unlikely for the food unless it improves.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was here last night with husband and in-laws.

Room very grand, but I agree the three pieces of art are really rather odd - struck us as painted by numbers to match the colour scheme.

The banquettes are very slightly too high and the tables very slightly too low.

The wait staff uniforms are unfortunate. Stripy braces do not sit well on any woman under 5' 10" and with a cup size > B. Alas rather a lot of the waitresses are short and well endowed. The uniform also fails to flatter the male waiters - they all looked rather uncomfortable.

The wine list pricing is peculiar. Someone appears to have said - let's price everything at £35, £55 and £85 no matter what our trade price is. It just looks odd to have a wide range of whites from around the world all priced at exactly £35 - gives the impression you're being ripped off for some of them (especially the Spanish).

They take the wine away from you, hide it round a corner and then don't top up ... grrrrrr .....

Couldn't find anything on the starter menu which appealed (unlike da Polpo earlier in the week where I wanted to eat ALL the pizzette followed by almost all the plates). Husband was the only one to have a starter, the Cullen Skink which was served cold. Is this usual?

Mains: In-laws both had the seabass with seaweed and clam sauce, which despite their initial concerns about the seaweed, was proclaimed 'delicious' and 'marvellous'. Husband has the spatchcocked chicken with garlic. He thought was that there was just enough garlic, my post-meal in-bed view was that there was too much garlic and they hadn't taken the green bits out. I had the pigeon in a pot with morels and cabbage. Very meaty pigeon but sauce was over-salted (possibly from over-reduction).

Desserts. Father in law just had decaff cappuccino, which he said was very good. M-i-l had the goats cheese log, which came as a generous serving with home-made biscuits and slices of nectarine. Husband had the kendal mint choc-ice, which was fine but arrived unadorned save some icing sugar on the plate and seemed rather stingy for £7.50. I had eton mess, which they have re-created as a meringue shell filled with raspberry cream surrounded by very sweet raspberry coulis. Interesting but not very satisfying. Would have preferred more chewy meringue and more fruit flavour rather than just sugar. This season's raspberries are superb - seems a waste to drown the flavour in cream and icing sugar.

Bill was £220 including the £2 cover charge, 4 drinks beforehand in the bar, a bottle of Australian Semillon and service.

Sarah

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the Cullen Skink which was served cold. Is this usual?

In the limited experience of this Italian in Scotland, it's very unusual, I've never encountered it (for the life of me I can't imagine the need for cold food up here, but maybe, down south...)

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