Laurent at Cafe Royal

My family and I were lucky enough to be one of the firsts to try the new brunch on offer at Laurent at Cafe Royal and what a treat.

Laurent is the grill restaurant and sushi bar by Chef Laurent Tourondel who is internationally renowned but best known in America where his restaurants in New York, Miami and Charlotte all share the same relaxed approach to casual fine dining that he has brought to London and for that, we are thankful!

We Londoners are a little obsessed with bottomless brunches and Laurent is way up there. I am not a fan of prosecco which is what the majority brunches include so when I find one offering champagne – it’s a yes from me.

You can choose from a Bloody Mary or Mimosa Brunch (£45) or a Veuve Clicquot Brunch (£65) which includes a choice from the extensive menu.  I went for Truffle Popovers Benedict which was outstanding and I keep eat with the best of them but I literally couldn’t finish it, it was huge.  Two others in my party went for the Avocado and Smoked Salmon which I am assured was delicious and the final choice, Pork Kimchi Fried Rice to which I had bloody food envy. It was gorgeous and something that I am obsessed with eating recently!!!

Live jazz with a three-piece band and some of the most attentive waitstaff ever made for a wonderful afternoon and I can’t wait to go back.

Whilst I was there for leisure, this is the perfect spot for a corporate meeting, whilst its location by Picadilly Circus is certainly a busy one when you are in the restaurant you feel a million miles away. It is the perfect spot and can be taken exclusively for private events.

Menu items from £17 – you don’t need to go bottomless.

Click here for more information


Benares

Professionally and personally, my meal last night at Benares was outstanding. The culmination of staff, food, drink and service was as a combined effort well worth its Michelin star.

My party of six had an early sitting of 6.00 pm.  We all arrived around that time where we sat in the bar and were not once rushed or urged to take our table, finally moving over to the restaurant around 6.30 pm.

Being an #eventprof I had emailed prior to our reservation to aBenares 2sk to see the kitchen, chef’s table and other event spaces.  The staff there bent over backwards to accommodate and showed myself and my family to the chef’s table and gave an in-depth explanation of the kitchen.  We were even told if it wasn’t booked we would have been welcomed to dine in there which blew me away and makes total sense.  What an amazing experience it would have been….

The Chef’s table sits 4 comfortably and the kitchen (whilst not huge) was buzzing. The price for the chef’s table is only £100 minimum spend per person – well worth it for a special occasion or client event.  Benares also has 3 further private event spaces.  My husband now has his eye on the Sommerlier’s table where the Michelin starred cuisine is carefully matched to exquisite wines. There is a further 2 private event rooms and a buyout available for the whole restaurant accommodating 150 seated and 300 standing.

 

 

Once seated, we were given the set menu which we had pre-booked through Bookatable.  The deal is amazing.  As well as a signed cookbook for only £35.00 per person, you get a 3 course meal and this amazing passion fruit cocktail (to which I had 2 hence the hangover this morning).  The deal is still available here. 

Most of my party started with the Classic Lamb “Shami”, Mint and Tamarind Relish, Baby Radish which was fabulously presented and whilst not a huge portion, was just enough.  My husband had the Bhatti Spice and Beetroot Cured Salmon, Cucumber Crème Fraîche, Fried Capers and this seemed  a better choice for us and we all had food envy.


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Benares 4

 

 

For mains everyone had the same (apart from me as I am difficult).  Everyone went for the Tandoori Spiced Quail Supreme, Wild Mushroom Biryani, Quail Egg, Pineapple Raita and I had food envy.  It was absolutely delicious.  I ordered from the A la Carte and paid a supplement.  I had the Kadai Chicken ‘Classic and Contemporary’  Organic Chicken Cooked Two ways, English Peppers and Tomatoes, Chilli Oil.  Whilst it was amazing, I should have also gone for the set menu option and had the quail. Each dish was fabulously presented and came with 4 different types of Nan to which we even asked for more.  We got through a few bottles of wine (which also explains the hangover) to which for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called… It sure was tasty though and am pretty sure my husband (I like saying husband.  We just got married lol) said it was a Malbec blend and around £30 a bottle.
The highlight and best part of Benares though has to be the staff. They are attentive, knowledgeable and quiet frankly outstanding.  Working in the industry you deal with a vast array of waitstaff and the Benares staff were the best I have had the pleasure of seeing.  Nothing was too much trouble, they were in abundance and seriously, could not do enough for us.  We told them it was our wedding a few weeks ago and that we were celebrating our parents wedding anniversary and the attention they gave us just made the evening.  After pudding, we had a congratulations plate each that was delicious and were honored to meet Chef Atul… twice!

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I will definitely be going back.  I think we all will and in terms of events, you really need to use the private dining rooms.  I would use the Chef’s table for a client dinner or lunch without hesitation and as I mentioned above, I think my husband has his eye on using the Sommerlier’s table for one of his boys nights out.

 

5 Star on my #fance rating.