Chef’s Table at The Churchill – Restaurant Review
Working within the travel industry, I am often lucky enough to experience some absolutely fantastic dinners and cocktail receptions. One such recent event was a hosted evening with Hyatt in the Hyatt Regency – The Churchill’s Montagu Restaurant. Not only were we provided with the wonderful opportunity to dine in such an iconic hotel, but we were to dine at the Chef’s Table. It was hands one of the nicest and most delicious dining experiences I have had to date.
After having an arrival cocktail in the Churchill Bar (I opted for a light and refreshing pear cocktail), it seemed only right to pay our respects to the great man himself, sat proudly overlooking the outdoor seating area of the bar. Of course, Mr Churchill is no longer there in the present, but a bronze sculpture has been created to depict an uncanny likeness of the famous leader and adds undeniable character to the already marvellous bar. The bar is to me very… 1920’s gentleman’s club, but ladies don’t let this put you off. It is beautiful and serves up some delicious cocktails and wine… and if it’s to your liking, cigars too!
We were seated at the Chef’s Table after drinks, ready to savour our on-coming variety of dishes. I chose not to read the individual menu, as I generally like the surprise (with the exception of beef which I had mentioned beforehand), but I took the little menu-scroll home so I could remember exactly what was had for the purpose of this blog.
The dishes to follow comprised of:
- Starter – Fresh Goat’s Cheese and Truffle Mousse, Beetroot, Raspberry Compote and Roast Hazelnut Dressing.
- Fish Course – Oak Smoked Salmon, Devon White Crab Meat, Pickled Cucumber and Dill Cream Cheese
- Sorbet – Passion Fruit Sorbet, Cucumber and Hendricks Gin
- Meat Course – Rack of Cornish Lamb and Sweet Bread, Glazed Pearl Onions, Broccoli and Grain Mustard Jus
- Dessert – Willy Wonka’s Crazy Brownie and Vanilla Ice Cream.
The starter was out-of-this-world, the mousse simply divine – air-light yet creamy. The array of flavours on the plate created an incredible explosion of tastes; the crunch from the hazelnut teamed with the sweetness of the beetroot just can’t be imagined. I never thought a combination of such ingredients would go so well together, but they really did. It was the same with the rest of the menu, combinations you can’t imagine working, but somehow they do.
I am not a big fish eater and as soon as I saw the Fish Course appear I felt a tiny ounce of dread. I saw the salmon, that I could cope with, however the crab and what appeared to be, and did in fact turn-out to be caviar, concerned me. I needn’t have worried. Eaten with a white wine perfectly paired to the meal (2011 Santiago Ruiz Albarino Rias Biaxas from Spain) it was actually one of my favourite courses from the menu. The crab tasted so sea-fresh, it could have been caught that very same day. This dish really has launched me into a new unexplored world of seafood which I look forward to trying more of.
Next up was the sorbet. Better known as a palate cleanser, in this case it really cannot have its purpose denied. The zing from the tart passion fruit sorbet teamed with the Hendricks Gin was absolutely tantalising on the taste buds (cheesy saying yes, but in this case completely true!) Add to this cucumber for an unusual crunch, and you have a sorbet unlike any other. Refreshing, tasty and with a slightly potent alcohol content, this sorbet is delicious, but definitely not one for the kids.
The main course which due to my dietary requirements comprised of lamb rather than beef, was cooked to perfection. My rack of lamb was deliciously pink and the delicious (and yes extremely unhealthy) rind of fat drizzled with the grain mustard jus just added that extra oomph to the dish. The sweet breads (I was a bit scared) were as the name suggests, sweet, succulent and perfectly paired with the crispy broccoli and sweet miniature onions. Lamb is one of my all-time favourites and this is definitely one of the finest lamb dishes I have sampled.
Dessert was an exciting array of colours, textures and childhood memories. To celebrate the recent launch of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s debut to the stage, The Churchill has themed a number of desserts around the classic and much loved Roald Dahl novel. The dessert creation for the evening was a chocolate brownie disguised as a Wonka Bar… wrapper and all! It really was a delight to behold and even more amusing was seeing fully grown men coo over such an exciting treat! Not only was it pleasing on the eye but pleasing on the palate. The brownie was delicious and the ice cream so creamy I thought it actually was cream until I checked the menu card (I wanted to ensure I wasn’t helping myself to a tablespoon of simply cream… after consuming so much that evening, I thought I had to draw the line somewhere and that should be at a tablespoon of cream!)
The Chef’s Table at the Hyatt Regency – The Churchill was an absolutely delightful experience and one which I will whole heartedly recommend to anyone looking to sample high-quality food with a completely bespoke menu. The Chef designs a menu for each reservation, using seasonal ingredients delivered that day, and then cooks this fresh before your very eyes – it really is my first time having such an amazing gastronomic experience, and I would happily repeat again many times over.
However, for my next visit? I think it is going to have to be the Sunday Brunch or Afternoon Tea of course!
So onto the rating – I would definitely give the Chef’s Table a 10/10, I enjoyed every single bite!
With the food scoring such an excellent rating, is there anything that I can actually find fault with? There was only one tiny (expected) thing and that was that it got very hot up there overlooking the kitchen. So dress lightly! Come, enjoy and savour; you have an evening of excellent food ahead!
My overall score for The Churchill taking into account all aspects of the experience, is 10/10.
Hyatt Regency – The Churchill
30 Portman Square,
To view the website, please click here
Call 020 7299 2037 for reservations
Price £75.00 per person plus optional service charge of 12.5%