Sunday, October 2, 2011

St. John Hotel


This weekend, A surprised me with a dinner at St. John Hotel  in Chinatown. I had heard of St. John but somehow it had never been on my radar to visit despite the great reviews – I suppose I wasn’t too excited by the concept of eating traditional British cuisine.



How wrong I was! – I absolutely loved the experience. The restaurant is located in the most unlikely of locations – right bang in the middle ofChinatown next to the W hotel. It is a compact dining space with a clean, unfussy feel and an open kitchen at one end. And the menu was quite varied and is certainly geared towards offal offerings.

The service was lovely – the waiters were attentive and knew their stuff. Our waiter was so good at describing the food that I just kept nodding my head and saying ‘yes’ – which is how we ended up ordering 3 appetizers and 2 main courses and 1 dessert.

We started with the devilled pork skin – pigs skin removed of all the fat, puffed up and spiced with paprika served with nice little dill sauce. I had the Aviator cocktail which was gin and maraschino and lime and quite nice.

The appetizers were amazing! We had the Bacon & Snails and the Squid, Potato & Artichokes. The herbs and seasonings were perfect and these were my favourite dishes of the night. We mopped up every last bit with bread.

Feeling adventurous, we ordered Grouse and Lamb’s Tongue. Unfortunately, my adventurous spirit did not last long and I couldn’t stomach the food after the first few bites. I like to try new things however, game is not one of my preferred choices and the texture of the lambs tongue felt very strange.

That’s not to say the food wasn’t good. My dinner partner A loved it and polished off the grouse. Seriously, the bird was gone – every last bit of it – same with the lambs tongue.

The dessert was Figs & Meringue. Overall the meal was faultless and definitely warmed me up to British cuisine. Though I don't know if snails are traditionally English!
We each paid around 45£ and I really want to go back and try other things on the menu.

So YES – you have to go if you are
1)       An adventurous foodie
2)       A lover of game and tongue and other strange animal body parts – i.e a true carnivore
3)       In the mood for elegant, minimalistic British food.

St John Hotel
1 Leicester St WC2H 7BL
Tel: 0203 301 8069
Tube: Leicester Square


St. John Hotel on Urbanspoon

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