I was a bit sceptical when I heard about the new restaurant inside the Marriott Hotel on Park Lane. Its name, Lanes of London, refers to its concept, which offers a varied array of dishes inspired by the many lanes of London – Indian, Vietnamese, Lebanese for example. After an extensive refurb of the restaurant and bar area, I was invited down to try out some of the many small plates on offer and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.
The dining room was done out very nicely – it had a touch of the Cecconi’s or Soho House about it. Staff were friendly and really chatty, possibly a little too chatty, but I’d rather that than waiters with no personality, plonking food down in front of you.
We kicked things off with the Foreman’s smoked salmon with potato salad (Â£8.50) which was a light and fresh start to our meal. The thin slices of salmon tasted of high quality and the potato salad featured plenty of chive giving it loads of flavour.
The confit duck hash with HP sauce (Â£6) was really rich and delicious. Served in a cast iron pan, the hash had the perfect ratio of meat to fat and the fried duck egg oozed its gooey yolk over it all beautifully. Sadly however, the whole thing lacked any HP flavouring – I could have done with a bottle of the stuff to give it a good squirt.
The Cornish lamb cutlets (Â£10.50) atop a bed of peas and beans with mint pesto were brilliantly moist and tender. The peas were cooked perfectly; firm and not overcooked and mushy, but they could have done with a stronger minty kick.
A dish we weren’t so enamoured with was the bun thit nuong (Â£7.90) which consisted of overcooked and therefore dry barbecued pork skewers and a cold rice noodle salad which had a peculiar texture. It would have been more enjoyable if the noodles were hot I think.
Putting things firmly back on track were the beef brisket sliders (Â£7.90) served with roasted bone marrow and a horseradish cream. The pieces of bone marrow were huge and provided loads of flavour. The brisket was soft and rich which allowed the fiery horseradish to cut through it all. They were an indulgent delight and every single bite was sublime.
Our final dish was butter chicken with cumin rice and paranthas (Â£9.50). The paranthas, which are an Indian flat bread filled with potato, were crispy and the perfect tool for soaking up the creamy sauce. The chicken was really moist too – it was a really tasty curry.
For dessert, the Valrhona chocolate torte (Â£7.50) was seriously rich making it perfect for sharing. The Jammy Dodgers (Â£5.50) were much lighter. Two homemade biscuits generously dusted with sugar, sandwiched some strawberry mousse; the whole thing tasted delicious. They were served in a tin which was a nice touch.
Bar the minor skewered pork blip, the food we tasted at Lanes of London was really tasty and very reasonably priced – especially for the area. My scepticism for the concept was unnecessary as it seemed to really work – there’s something to suit everybody’s taste or mood. Surely the perfect restaurant for a hotel on Park Lane.