[UPDATE: Lutyens Grill is now open to the public]
Of all the 312,476 restaurants inside The Ned (joke, there are just 9) only two are exclusively members and hotel guests only. Thereâ€™s the roof with its stunning views over the City, not to mention its own swimming pool, and Lutyens Grill, which sits hidden behind a mirrored wall In the foyer.
On our Thursday night visit the place is positively packed and the live music certainly makes for a lively atmosphere. The wood-panel-walled dining room is far more serene. It feels elegant yet relaxed. Posh but not stuffy. Servers wear white jackets and speak softly. Thereâ€™s a carving trolley.
A dozen Carlingford oysters (Â£17) is a good way to start. The oysters are plump and ice cold – a squirt of lemon and a drop of Tabasco and Iâ€™m in heaven.
Steak tartare (Â£15) is coarsely ground giving the raw beef texture. There are cornichons and capers aplenty making for a lovely salty finish while an oozy egg yolk provides some decadence.
For main, the 400g Shorthorn sirloin on the bone (Â£40) is a whopping piece of beef. Thereâ€™s a fine char on the outside giving way to a pink centre, all surrounded by crisp fat. The meat around the bone (the best bit) is full of aged beefy goodness.
The 300g Red Devon rib eye (Â£38), this time served off the bone, has superb marbling. Medium rare, the meat is ruby red but the fat is just cooked enough to melt through. Aged for 30 days, the beef has some serious flavour.Â Armagnac and green peppercorn sauce is super rich; you can tell it has been reducing down for quite some time.
Dauphinoise potatoes (Â£5) are as creamy and garlicky as is humanly possible. The truffle mac ‘n’ cheese (Â£5) is the only let down; it lacks a crunchy top and itâ€™s nowhere near gooey enough.
For dessert we share a light concoction of honeycomb parfait with apricots and spring cress (Â£7). After all that beef itâ€™s just the ticket.
As I work my way round the many restaurants at The Ned, this one feels the most secluded and hidden away, which is a good thing. If youâ€™re staying the night and fancy a bit of beef away from the chaos, here will do you nicely.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant