After a brief consultation with in a
hive mind group what’s app, Emma, Binny, Aftab, Zoe and I all came to the conclusion that Celeste at The Lanesborough was a restaurant that featured on all of our London to do lists. They even had a very reasonably priced £42 set menu … so soon it was settled that this would be the venue for London Kiwi Emma’s birthday dinner 2017.
After weeks of excited messages and consultations on what to wear, the day of the dinner was finally here! At 6.30 I headed to the Lanesborough to join Aftab, Emma and Binny in the bar and it wasn’t long before Zoe turned up, more champagne was ordered and Emma opened up her gifts.
Though we were meant to be having dinner at 7pm we were having so much fun in the bar, that we asked the restaurant to delay our reservation. ‘Not a problem at all’ she said without consulting the restaurant staff. Not a great sign…was the restaurant empty?
When finally did head to our table…it wasn’t a totally empty restaurant but it was only about a quarter full of people. But on a positive note, it’s definitely up there with some of London’s most beautiful dining rooms. It was just a shame it was so dark so that it was difficult to capture the beautiful ornate chandeliers and the duck egg blue walls with their gilded fittings.
Canapés were lovely, my favourite being the squid ink tart which was just tasty and delicate. A huge hunk of crisp bread with perfectly whipped butter also went down a treat on a table of hungry bloggers.
With only three choices for starter on the set menu our choices were made quickly with the option of snails shunned but with the other two being the choice split around the table. Zoe and I chose the nest of coco beans with the lemongrass, shiitake mushroom infused broth poured over the top. Unfortunately the dish was seriously bland and we were both very disappointed with it. Aftab let me try his dish of soft Burford brown egg with crispy kadaif, button mushroom duxelle and this was the better choice. The egg oozed with a perfectly cooked yolk and the whole dish was beautifully seasoned.
Again there are three options for main course and this time it was Binny and Aftab’s turn to be a little disappointed. Their choice of crushed sweet potato with lime and hazelnut, lemon yoghurt really was just a mound of sweet potato. I fared better as I really enjoyed my sea bream served with roast cauliflower, lemon curry vinaigrette and aged Parmesan cheese. Perhaps better still, Zoe was enthused about the slow cooked pig cheeks, carrot ginger puree and roasting jus but I didn’t try it myself nor did I get a chance to get a picture.
For me the dessert was the highlight of the meal as Colombian roasted coffee ice cream, caramelised pecan meringues and fudge is rather a winning combination. Binny was impressed with her Blue Monday cheese mousse, pear marmalade and walnuts too.
Sadly I think you can tell from my descriptions that dinner at Michelin-starred Celeste fell rather short. But the dining room is beautiful, we had a fantastic time and the service was incredible. I think I’d put the disappointment down to the fact that we were eating from the set menu which can often be hit and miss so I’d love to come back again to try the food Executive Chef Florian Favario who worked under the guidance of 3 Michelin-starred Chef Eric Frechon.
Celeste at The Lansborough`
Hyde Park Corner