Roux at the Landau, Marylebone: restaurant review
The Langham hotel's Michel Roux Jr-led restaurant has emerged from its renovation with a new casual-fine dining look, and there's a reworked menu to go alongside it
What's the draw
It takes guts to mess with a winning formula, but that's exactly what they've done at Roux at the Landau. The Langham's flagship restaurant closed its doors in January and reopened them at the end of April, ushering in a new informal-fine dining vibe and a refreshed design that gains a funky central dining counter and loses the white tablecloths. The menu's been thoroughly (if not totally) reworked, too, with a focus on quietly sophisticated French cooking and great British produce. It's evolution rather than full-blown revolution, but you'll be glad they went to the trouble.
What to drink
Handily, Roux at the Landau is in the same building as Artesian, one of the best bars in London, so you'd be well advised to hit the metaphysics-inspired cocktail menu (really) before or after you walk the wine bottle-lined passage to Roux at the Landau. Or both. Those bottles – many very old, very rare and very expensive – are a bit of a giveaway as to what to expect: namely, a huge and starry wine list featuring more than 500 varieties. Thanks to the trick Coravin wine extractor, all of them (yep, all of them) are available by the glass.
What to eat
Roux may be the name over the door but the head chef is Nicolas Pasquier, under the guidance of Michel Jr, and together they've created a menu that reads as well as it eats – it's dripping with hits. We start (as you should) with snacks from that central counter, including 'grissini' – light dough stuffed with super-fresh ricotta and wrapped in San Daniele ham, just big enough to pop in your mouth in one go – and seaweed and cider salami with a salty-creamy remoulade and delicate little pieces of chicory and apple. Then it's onto a survivor from the old menu – a gigantic Orkney scallop, dotted with caviar and sitting in a pool of beurre blanc I'd happily drink on its own – followed by a beautiful Buccleuch beef fillet, and the menu's showstopper: a substantial but delicately flavoured piece of braised turbot draped with a lobster-stuffed raviolo. Bring your elasticated eating trousers, though make sure you save room for an assault on the big selection of British and French cheeses, and pastry chef Andrew Gravett's almost-but-not-quite-too-pretty-to-eat desserts.
Wines from £9 per glass; mains £16-38. The Langham Hotel, 1C Portland Place, W1B 1JA; rouxatthelandau.com