With a backdrop like the Langham – the beautifully grand, five-star hotel on Portland Place – Roux at the Landau was bound to be luxurious.
What was unexpected, however, was a restaurant that we found to be casual yet stylish, with consistently excellent cooking.
Having closed its doors for a spruce-up by David Collins Studio, Roux at the Landau reopened in April with stunning details that catch the eye – a central counter with a fresh seafood display and a cheese fridge on your way in.
Everything about the restaurant screams fine-dining, but the atmosphere is relaxed.
Although the restaurant namechecks Michel Roux Jr, the menu itself is a co-creation of both Roux and Head Chef Nicolas Pasquier, who delivers on the Roux legacy with a refreshing take on classic European dishes which is modern yet unfussy.
Start with snacks from the counter: a crafty Cornish crab salad and puffed-up brown crab crackers; Oysters, here Carlingford Lough, washed down with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut.
For starters, a huge Orkney scallop with a dollop of oscietra caviar and bathing in a moreish beurre blanc was spot on – the scallop plump and juicy, the briny caviar a perfect match.
A slab of foie gras was seared and served with an unctuous rillette of rabbit and pigs’ trotters on toast, offset with delicate pickled vegetables.
From the mains section, a fillet of Buccleuch beef was served with a Sauce Provencal – rich with all the flavours of the South of France.
The winning dish of the night, a braised turbot fillet, was perfectly translucent, served with a sauce made from Chateau-Chalon Champagne and a delicate lobster raviolo.
The cheese selection is particularly noteable – a well thought out selection of English and French cheeses, from Neal’s Yard and Androuet respectively.
We let the waiter choose for us, and his selection, including a creamy English goat and a peppery ewe’s cheese, was wonderful.
We finish with a hazelnut soufflé to share, with a dollop of ice cream laced with Balvenie Doublewood, designed to melt in the souffle’s piping hot middle.
We could have stayed for hours, making our way through the seemingly never-ending list of 525 wines. The sommelier picked our wines for us to match each course, and each was a hit, matching every dish perfectly.
This in itself explains the expert service at the restaurant – the warmth and knowledge of the staff more than matches the food served.
The type of cooking at Roux at the Landau is the sort that you could eat time and time again. Every dish is well thought out; each component in its rightful place.
Just make sure to save room for the cheese.
The Bon Vivant Journal
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