Thursday, 4 August 2011

Gilbert Scott Kings Cross' St Pancras Renaissance Hotel review - be prepared to be pampered


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Address: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
Euston Road, London NW1 2AR
Tel: 0207 278 3888
Nearest Tube station: King's Cross

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: Below £50pp
Service charge: 12.5% + £2 cover charge pp
Taste: ****
Service: *****
Ambience: ***
This is contributed by Wife who apparently had a delightful lunch at Gilbert Scott. To be honest, I'm a bit jealous after hearing her talk about it the entire evening. All photos in the post are contributed by L, her lunch mate, who obviously is a much better photographer than yours truly.

L and I had lunch at Gilbert Scott, one of the new additions to London's culinary scene, the other day and it was a very pleasant experience. We went not with high expectations given the mixed bag of reviews in the press but left the restaurant suitably impressed. The restaurant has a old world decor, not surprising I guess given the history of the building, with high ceilings, large windows and oil paintings (presumably) adorning every available wall. It might not be everyone's cup of tea and in the harsh afternoon light flooding through the windows the room looks rather tired which is surprising given that it has opened not too long ago. I imagined with the soft glow of the evening light the room might look much more inviting.

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For starter, I had Cornish squid with chorizo (£7.50). I thought my squid was perfectly cooked, not too chewy, made fragrant by the sweet spicy oil of the chorizo with the edge smoothed by the crunch of the pea shoots.

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L loved her starter (Dorset crab - £10), she thought the flavors were delicate and subtle.

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Dorset snail and chicken pie (£16.50) was my main. Why snail and chicken, I wonder? They are the most unlikely bedfellows. An unusual pairing that I just had to try and I am glad I did. The chewy texture if the snail balanced off the tenderness of the chicken which tasted as if it had been slow cooked. The pastry was rich and buttery though a tad too thick.

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L had Cornish sea bass with apron seaweed and surf clams (£18). She was very impressed by her dish - the skin was crispy, seasoned perfectly with the seaweed adding a depth of flavor to the claims.

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There was a number of interesting choices for desert but I went for Mrs Beeton's snow egg (£6.50). It reminded me of the tastes of my childhood - the snow egg was just like candy floss and the sweet peanut sauce had echoes of rojak sauce. Again another unusual pairing which was rther creative though I can't help but feel that it would have been more interesting if perhaps the peanut sauce is slightly savoury.

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L had orange marmalade Jaffa cake with Earl grey ice-cream (£7). The Jaffa cake was meant to be an upside down cake - it had chocolate on the inside with the marmalade on the outside. L loved the Earl Grey ice cream (I had a spoonful and agreed that it was heavenly) but she wasn't a fan of the Jaffa cake. Perhaps a better pairing for the Earl Grey ice cream would have been madeleines straight out from the oven?

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All in all we had a wonderful time, made all the more special by the attentive service of Nick who went out of his way to accommodate us.


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