Harden's survey result
“Perfection!” – “I enjoyed every single mouthful!” – “wonderful food and service in the Roux tradition” is the consistent accolade for this formal Parliament Square venue, where the kitchen is run by MasterChef winner Steve Groves. “It’s a bit quiet and sedate… but that’s not a criticism.”
“Faultless cuisine” (better than MPs deserve) distinguishes the Roux family’s formal Parliament Square outlet, where MasterChef winner Steve Groves thrills diners “every time”. Critics say the setting is “dull” but we agree with those who find it ‘stately’.
The Roux family don’t seem to have told Masterchef winner Steve Groves that MPs aren’t the most discerning bunch! – his cooking at this elegant dining room near Parliament is “truly noteworthy”, with many reports of “absolutely brilliant” meals and “exemplary service”.
“Mainly of interest to the parliamentary and business crowd”, the Rouxs’ high-ceilinged dining room offers “elegant” cuisine of a “high grade”, with “charming and efficient” staff helping to offset the somewhat “library-like” atmosphere.
Roux at Parliament Square, RICS Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Very good food as you would expect of a place with the Roux name, but somehow the dishes on the lunch menu were overelaborate for my taste with a liberal mix of meat and fruit on the same plate. Strange mix of clientele - some were obvious business / political types with heads close together, others were scruffy tourists."
"Food is always excellent. Why Michelin overlook this place is beyond me. Staff are sometimes a little too stuffy - hey guys, please remember that the customers are your reason for being there."
Roux At Parliament Square SW1
100 yards from Big Ben, a comfortable but institutional dining room, offering classic Roux-family Gallic fare, of consistently good quality.
The critical world, in particular, is becoming less tolerant of the 'same old formulae' these days. That is not good news for openings such as this recent addition to the empire of the Roux family which, at Le Gavroche in 1967, kicked off the modern era of haute cuisine in London. The style may have evolved, but the heritage is still very clear.
The first impression is that the dining room is a bit institutional - as might be expected in an outpost of a royal institution. The hoped-for Big Ben vista is absent, but there is a decent view of the Treasury, and a fair amount of light and air too, in a traditional room tricked out in anodyne modernity. A suitable venue, you might say, for transparent, new-era lobbying.
Everyone was trying very hard on our early days visit. Michel Roux Jr even popped out of the kitchen to say hello - one's never quite sure if this is because one has been rumbled as someone who might write up the meal (not so difficult in week one), or is simply a courtesy extended to all early-days visitors (who were few, on our early-days visit).
The lunchtime menu offers dishes very similar to those available from the pricier Ã la carte menu, albeit in a much restricted range. We sampled most of it. Almost all of the dishes succeeded in their aims, and there were some very real highlights, incluing a refreshingly taste-of-spring asparagus salad, and both puddings - the (relatively) light and luscious chocolate brownie sticks particularly in the mind. Main courses - fish and pork belly - also hit the spot.
We also seemed to get all the inter-courses - all similarly good-to-very good - which would come with the grander menu, and very decent chocolates (home-made, we think) with the coffee. Pretty reasonable value all round, especially when a 30% opening discount was generously being offered on the whole bill (including wine). With half a bottle of Chablis the bill for two, so reduced, came to around £90.
The last word in fashionability (or, we suspect, critical appeal) this establishment is not, but for a professional or lobbying lunch - and why else would anyone ever be likely to come here? - it is most certainly 'fit for purpose'.
(Rather like the famous nearby Indian the Cinnamon Club, incidentally, Roux is to make quite a lot of its bar operation. Clubbily furnished, and located on the first floor, it will offer light dishes all day. For those in the know, it looks set to become a handy rendevzous/light lunch venue.)
12 Great George St, London, SW1P 3AD
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2 pm, 6 pm-9 pm|