Not many people have heard of the The Escoffier Room, a small fine dining restaurant situated inside Westminster Kingsway College which gives the catering students the opportunity to cook and serve paying customers.
It’s a small, lovely dining room (if not a little old-fashioned) which could have done with a bit of background musak to liven up the atmosphere. You’re also served by the catering students meaning although service is a little nervous, it’s charmingly so.
Only a tasting menu was available priced at £27.50 per person. Our meal wasn’t without its faults; the focaccia in the bread basket was as dry as Jay Rayner’s sense of humour and the pudding came with some leopard print chocolate work which looked like something Kat Slater might wear.
But the rest of it was really rather good – VERY good in fact. Scallops that had been pan fried in chorizo oil, sat atop the most beautiful cheesy cauliflower sauce (sorry, cauliflower béchamel) and to top it off they were sprinkled with spiced breadcrumbs and diced apple which added texture in the most pleasant of ways.
The fillet of sole stuffed with a bouncy salmon and coriander mousse was cooked exquisitely and the overiding flavour of curry from the couscous was delicious. The fillet of beef atop the crispest rosti you’re ever likely to find was exceptional; the flavour was the sort you want to keep on eating forever. And this was all cooked by students.
A trip to The Escoffier Room is definitely worthwhile as there’s nowhere quite like it in London. They also have a more relaxed and cheaper brasserie which is worth a look too. Fair enough you won’t have a perfect meal but you can’t help leaving with a big smile on your face – well we did anyway.