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The Colony, Oxford St, good but lacks warmth

There are so many new restaurants popping up in London that it was inevitable I would get confused by it all and turn up at the wrong place for lunch. I lazily assumed the Beaumont Hotel was on the site of the old Selfridges hotel (my late father's favourite place to spend a penny when shopping in the West End). It turns out it's actually on the site of the old Selfridges car park (not the current Selfridges car park which is where the old Selfridges hotel was) all very confusing but not actually that far from each other so I was only 5 minutes late for lunch. The Beaumont is an old art deco car park which has been transformed into a luxury hotel replete with Corbin & King all day brasserie. I'd liked The Delaunay earlier this year so gave this a try for my Christmas lunch with old uni friend Tazza. As she is with child I wanted to book somewhere which would be comfy and have an easily navigable menu without worrying about which ingredients were suitable or not.

Tazza was already there on arrival and the staff had helpfully provided her with a cushion to support her back, a nice touch. We were one of the first in for lunch though at a nearby table a couple appeared to having a Tatler style interview. I imagine a fair amount of work/deals are sealed here. It's not a massive room like the Delaunay, but still has a grandeur to it with a good mix of booths and tables in the room. The caricatures that adorn the walls are a touch naff though, trying to fool you into thinking this newly opened restaurant has been a long time fixture in London. Small snark aside we are bought some excellent bread which I suppose makes up for the baffling £2 cover charge. It was freezing outside so I started with the clam chowder which came as a hot bowl filled with haddock, lardons and spring onions with the chowder itself being poured at the table. A nice touch of theatre and a beautiful bowl of soup, soup needn't be dull when it's done like this. Tazza had a Caesar salad which was cleverly served on a large lettuce leaf. Again a good simple dish but served with panache.

For my main I had the veal pojarski which is a sort of veal escalope made from minced veal. I have to say I'm not a fan, it wasn't a patch on the Delaunay veal escalope. There is often a very good reason these long forgotten dishes are no longer served. Tazza's chicken pot pie was a lot better, a huge and hearty portion of perfect chicken pie. I tried a spoonful and it was lovely. Sides of autumn greens and fries were excellent as you would expect. Dessert here is a lot of fun as one can pimp one's sundae. They even provide a check list for your preferences. As with much of this meal the sundaes deliver on their promise, great ice cream with quality adornments. Service as with all Corbin & King places is highly professional but lacks that warm charm factor I like. It also slips slightly when it comes to ordering coffee as waiting staff are so self-effacing I forget which one is our waiter. Grumbles aside, and at £114 for 2 with only 1 glass of wine I think I'm entitled to point them out, this is a good restaurant. The food, service and surroundings are of a high quality which is reflected in the price tag. It reminded me a lot of Odin's & Langan's back in the day though the charm of these old school brasseries has been somewhat lost in this latter day translation.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Overall rating
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7

The Joint, Marylebone, no longer with us

Hakkasan, Tottenham Court rd, excellent chinese