It’s that time of year again; the Glorious Twelfth means many a London restaurant menu features grouse in some form or another. In previous years I was treated to exquisite dishes by John Williams at The Ritz and Calum Franklin at Holborn Dining Room. This year it’s the turn of 45 Jermyn St.
If you’re unfamiliar with the place, this is the restaurant attached to Fortnum & Mason. Whether it’s a stool at the bar for a Sipsmith Martini (they’ll always find space to squeeze you in) or slumped in a red leather banquette for a bite to eat, it really is a gorgeous spot.
We start by sharing a buck rarebit (£11), which is topped with tomato and bacon, and 10 grams of Golden Oscietra caviar (£32). The caviar comes with blinis, baked new potatoes and scrambled egg cooked tableside. This theatrical flair is something of a speciality at 45 Jermyn St. You can read about their lobster spaghetti and baked Alaska, also from the trolley, here.
The main event is a grouse and foie gras pie (£26.50) – you can also opt for a traditional serving with bread sauce and a game cottage pie (£40) or a tikka spiced grouse with game samosa and red lentil dhal (£26.50).
The pie is a real looker; the pastry golden and flakey filled with rare bird and chunks of squidgy foie. Better still is a jus/sauce/gravy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, which has such depth you can tell the effort gone into making it with each lick of the fork. It comes with no sides and you don’t need ’em. SO filling.
For dessert we go off piste and order an alcoholic float which sees a successful marriage of Black Cow vodka, Manzana Verde, Aperol and violet espuma, soda, Granny Smith sorbet and peanut butter ice cream (£12.50). It’s bizarre and I’ve certainly never had anything quite like it but it’s strangely addictive.
It’s the blend of friendly service with delicious, simple food that keeps me coming back to 45 Jermyn St. It’s run by people who seem to grasp hospitality. And if you love grouse there’s no better time to pay here a visit.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant