After the closure of the Chancery Court Hotel on High Holborn, the Rosewood has taken its place, and what a beauty of a hotel it is too. Housed inside this stunning building is the equally stunning Holborn Dining Room, which is the latest venture from Des McDonald – the man behind The Fish and Chip Shop in Islington.
It was a huge restaurant which had a real brasserie feel to it; the type you could never get bored of sitting in. As I sank back into my red leather banquette, I felt like I was seated in a railway station in New York. There’s even a separate deli too which looks well worth a visit.
To start we decided to share the steak tartare (£9.75) and the crispy lamb sweetbreads with sauce gribiche (£8.50) which were both delicious. The coarsely ground beef, served with some crisp Melba toast, was well seasoned and perfectly spiced and the cresting egg yolk added some decadence.
The lamb sweetbreads had a lovely soft and fatty centre with a crisp, breadcrumbed exterior. The sauce gribiche that lay beneath (which is a French mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce) was like a subtle version of a tartar sauce and was the perfect accompaniment.
From the Crustacea section of the menu we ordered six of the mixed oysters (£18.50) which were plump and juicy little beggars. They were served alongside some bread smeared with seaweed butter which was a pleasant but not particularly necessary addition.
For my main course I opted for the Suffolk lamb chops (£23.50) which were drenched in a sweet and minty gravy – totally divine. The chops had the perfect balance of soft, succulent meat and crisp fat – and they were a decent size too. The little mound of bubble and squeak was thoroughly enjoyable and really well seasoned.
The sirloin steak (£24) was cooked exactly as requested (medium-rare of course) and it had a nice, thick layer of crispy fat round the top. Both dishes showed simple cooking yet with perfect execution.
The side of chips (£4.25) could have been a slightly bigger portion but only because they were so moreish. The cauliflower cheese (£4) however, was a satisfying size and was easily the best one I’ve ever tasted; a gooey, cheesy delight.
Desserts were a real highlight; the steamed treacle and whisky pudding (£6.50) fills my mouth with saliva as I think about it. The fact it was served with a mini milk bottle filled to the brim with custard made it even ruddy lovelier. There was nothing not-to-like about the St. Clement’s posset (£6.75); a seriously sweet and tangy lemon posset topped with a sharp blood orange sorbet and a beautifully buttery slice of shortbread – I was in pudding heaven!
I was kindly invited along to the Holborn Dining Room and even though it had barely been open a few days, the whole place seemed to run smoothly and glitch-free. Service exuded friendliness and charm (there’s very few places you could find much lovelier staff), the food wasn’t over complicated yet faultlessly cooked and the dining room was a thing of beauty. I fell in love with HDR during my dinner and I can’t wait to return.