Friday, April 26, 2013

Lunch - Roux @ The Landau

Happy days, yesterday was time for  Saf and I leave to reality behind for a short while and head up to London for shopping and lunch, in style.  It is so great having such easy access to London, but I do sometimes wish I was even closer to town. Surrey is a lovely place to live, but still, you cannot beat the atmosphere in the Capital, not to mention all of the vibrancy, energy and beauty that the city exudes. 

The Langham Hotel is situated right at the top of Regent Street, just opposite the fancy new BBC building and is a stunning place.  We arrived a little early so we made our way back down Regent St in the glorious sunshine for a quick spot of shopping before hitting the bar.  I was wearing flats but the world's most uncomfortable ballet pumps (yes such things do exist!) so headed for Zara and picked up a fab pair of pink suede heels, for a whopping £22.50 (the black versions were £70, I think I might have got an ultra bargain) and back in heels I felt much better, albeit leggy next to my slightly shorter compani.  We had a good look around and then headed back for a drink in the Artisan bar before heading in to the Restaurant.  The bar was beautiful, but expensive and OK I had a glass of Laurent Perrier but they charged us 12.5% service charge for 2 drinks which I feel is a complete con. 


Walking in to the Roux you are presented with amazing looking wine cellars on each wall and then a dining room that is opulent yet serene, with a calm vibe about it and immaculate staff.  We were shown to our lovely table by the window and were presented with the lunch menus as well as a red rose for Saf and a white one for me, we were also told that our aperitifs had been paid for, no clue as to who by though.  I guessed it was Ram but when Saf messaged him he denied all knowledge the toad.  Anyway, it was a lovely surprise and the whole restaurant went quiet, making me blush - which never happens!  Saf did laugh. 

So, we made our choices from the menu, I chose from the set lunch menu and Saf went a la carte vegetarian.  My menu included half a bottle of wine and 3 courses for £45 which I thought was excellent value and chose Chablis to accompany both fish courses.  I was rather surprised that there was no present Somellier as I love talking wine, this time I had to choose for myself which, although it is of course fine, I would have liked to have the opportunity to benefit from an expert's opinion.
The first set of canapes were very promising, smoked haddock, and gorgeous, we had high hopes, and the bread was hot and fresh from the oven, so again, lovely detail there.  Much laughter and putting the world to rights ensued and a short time later our starters arrived.  I have to say that I have never been more surprised when Saf's starter arrived, 4 minuscule chopped carrots in the bottom of a bowl, barely enough for your average hamster - until the pea veloute was poured on top, thank goodness for that.  When my starter was presented I have to say that I was more than a little disappointed, it didn't look good at all and I am afraid to say that it didn't taste great either, it was under seasoned, eggy and well flaccid, for want of a better word!  Saf and I took at least 5 minutes to compose ourselves, so mature that we are.  It was a smoked salmon and scallop dish, but really the flavours were lost and it was rather disappointing. 
My face says it all - and

The next disappointment was the lack of extra tasters, no amuse bouche or palate cleansers, which I do feel would have added to the meal.  When the main courses arrived they looked much better, I had the Sea Bass and Saf had aubergine with Saffron wheat, lovely presentation and cooked to perfection, although again, mine could have been better seasoned (not that I am a food critic, it isn't just about the food but it is rather an integral part of going to a restaurant, and therefore expectations are naturally high, especially with the Roux name above the door) the portions were very generous though and we were both really full at the end of our main so waited a while before ordering our desert.  Another huge plus for the place was the the cheese board could be taken instead of desert at no additional cost, which was a huge plus for us as neither of us are that fussed about desert.  It also meant that I could have a glass of exquisite Bordeaux as well - no after dinner fizz for me this time.  It was excellent cheese, truly delicious, but the bread served with it had nuts and raisins in it which meant that Saf and I both spent a deal of time picking the bits out!  By the time the petit fours were delivered we couldn't eat another thing.

Saf's Main
Cheese & a cheeky Bordeaux
Overall it was a really great day, a super location, relaxed ambiance and friendly, attentive staff.  The food was good, but I was expecting more of the wow factor I have to admit.  We weren't offered a kitchen tour either which was a shame, but the quality of the food was first class and it was super value, especially as our mystery benefactor had paid for all the additional drinks for us!  That was a lovely surprise.  I am really glad that we chose this place, but at the same time I wouldn't rush to recommend it, competition is rife and I really feel that there is a lot more to be done in order to secure the coveted repeat custom. 

Lastly, what I wore;

Printed dress - Joseph (this dress was £380 to start with but I got it for £90 3 years ago and have never worn it, have been 'saving' it for an occasion-  but I need to stop doing that, too many things with tags on in my wardrobe, so it was trotted out)
Pink Suede heels - Zara
Black patent Barbarella bag -  Aspinall of London
Black blazer - Zara
Prada sunglasses

Saf and her rose from Ram

Wine Racks!  The entrance

The dining room

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