The Colony Grill Room, Mayfair

This Corbin & King restaurant inside their first hotel, The Beaumont, has a menu filled with things you actually want to eat, which can be a rarity these days, and the service is always so warm and welcoming. It’s a fine example of a bloody good restaurant.

Not surprising really considering the chaps own The Wolseley, Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel, Bellanger etc.

We start with a Martini seated in a dark and cosy booth in the bar. Once in the dining room, we’re taken to another booth – I do love a booth me. Hundreds of framed portraits line the walls and the lack of windows makes you forget about the outside world.

While perusing the menu we snack on tempura shrimp (£9.25) which have the balance of bouncy, fresh prawn and crisp, grease-free batter. A punchy soy sauce is a great little dunker.

The best thing about the menu is you can start with half a dozen Carlingford oysters for £18, then have an £8.25 grilled cheese sandwich for your main. The toastie has an oily yet crunchy fried bread exterior which goes perfectly with a side of gem heart salad (£4.50) doused in a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

The Colony Club Salad (£11), the best salad you’ll find in London, has cubed avocado, bacon, cheese, cucumber, chicken and tomato lined up in an OCD fashion. Give it all a mix and every mouthful is perfectly balanced, tasting both healthy and naughty.

The fried chicken burger (£16) doesn’t quite hit the dizzying heights of Chik ’n’ Sours, the bun is a touch dry, but the chicken is moist and on the whole it’s an enjoyable eat. Fries are reassuringly crisp and salty (you’ll never had a bad chip in a Corbin and King restaurant) and a side of macaroni cheese (£8) is gooey, cheesy and rich.

We finish with a little table side theatre; pistachio and cherry Baked Alaska which is flambéed with kirsch (£10.50). The flame reaches quite a height yet our waiter seems un-flummoxed, he’s clearly done this before. The heady mix of booze, crisp meringue and ice cream is a most pleasant one.

Birthdays, wedding nights, a quick bite to eat on a Tuesday – The Colony Grill Room is one of those restaurants we always find ourselves returning to. And for good reason.

Would we go back? Yes

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