It’s not often you get to describe waiters as “looking like refugees from Star Trek”, but the styling of this hotel dining room (and its staff) used to be a case study in appalling design. After its recent revamp, we therefore approached it with some anticipation: would it be hilarious, or simply bad?
But it was neither. In fact, it’s rather swish. The design-team has sensibly avoided bold flourishes, and opted for a svelte neutral look. Arguably the look is a wee bit corporate, but then lots of corporate stuff happens round Knightsbridge nowadays. And the panelling and cabinets of what’s now a lozenge-shaped room filter out the traffic rumbling past, just a few yards away.
As with many restaurants du jour, the new menu emphasises small tapas-style plates. It’s a bit poncy and confusing, but has its plus points, especially at lunch when it can accommodate both local ladies-who-lunch, and those in search of something a little more substantial.
We mostly opted for the fish for which Pascal Proyart is renowned, but one of the greatest successes actually came from a beautifully tender dish of veal cheeks. In fact, of the seafood dishes sampled (for example scallops with pork belly, or hake plus dumpling with chickpeas and parsley) all were beautifully fresh and well-prepared (even if the earth, never quite moved).
An excellent chocolate soufflé, and some notably good petits fours, though, helped round off a fair-value experience we’d be extremely happy to repeat. Captain Kirk might now look out of place here, but captains of industry will feel much more at home.