The Grill at the Montcalm
Nestled within the fabulous 5 star Montcalm hotel is one of the finest dining experiences in London – The Grill at the Montcalm. As a beef lover, with a particular penchant for steaks, I approached The Grill with a level of trepidation and high expectations. I must say, they were met, and met with aplomb.
Firstly, the stunning coordination of the décor strikes you as soon as you walk through the door. The colour scheme goes from hot oranges to subtle creams and greys. This colour scheme is carried from the staff uniform, all the way through to the cutlery; the resulting feeling of continuity, lends The Grill a feeling of class and elegance. Also, the greeting and service are of an impeccable standard; we felt relaxed, cared for and at ease. A good start…
Glancing through the menu it is an emphatically British affair. Detailed information, as to where the produce came from and how it was bred, is given throughout the menu. For example: the sheep are reared on Romney Marsh in Kent, the beef in the South West and the pork is reared in in either Essex or York. The wine menu is also very well chosen and contains a collection of exquisite tipples which can be perfectly matched to anything on the menu.
The starter section of the menu contains a fine selection of light and heavy dishes, and spans a great array of food types.
The cured seafood platter was a particular highlight – the dish consisted of a beet marinated salmon, a ceviche of scallops and Japanese pickled seabass (£14.50). The dish was wonderfully delicate and tickled the tastebuds without filling the stomach to capacity. The marinated salmon was absolutely superb and was complemented well by the seabass. The dish did exactly what a starter is supposed to do; it makes you even more eager for the main and sets the bar very high for the rest of the meal. I would however suggest that the grapefruit did slightly unbalance the otherwise light and subtle flavours, but that would be my only criticism of the cured platter.
However, the Rosary Goats` Cheese Brulee was a shockingly, surprisingly, beautiful dish. The brulée is accompanied by an apple & candied walnut salad, with a side of sultana & fennel sour dough bread (£8.50). The richness of the brulee is sumptuously balanced by the apple salad and then fell back into sweetness thanks to the candied walnuts. The dish is a triumphant, if not calorific, way to begin the meal.
The star of The Grill’s menu is most certainly their beef. All of the beef options are sourced from a specially selected premium beef brand, Church View English Angus Beef. Based in the south west of England, Church View beef is exclusively available through Rare Butchers of Distinction and Allens` of Mayfair. Furthermore, it has been matured for 21 days, making it extremely tender, succulent and full of flavour. All of farms used are part of the RSPCA Freedom Food programme. It is reassuring and satisfying to know that so much care, love and affection has been put into the produce at The Grill. Additionally, it should also be noted that this transcends onto the plate, with a finished product that oozes quality and flavour.
My guest and I, rather coincidentally, ordered the Sirloin of Churchview beef, with a Classic Verte -Pre garnish and a Béarnaise sauce, and a side of delightful triple cooked chips (£24.00, 225g). The cut was rich, flavoursome and cooked perfectly to my requirements. Furthermore, the beef was gorgeously tender and melted in the mouth. One of my favourite accompaniments to any fine steak is spinach, and in this case, a side of rich buttered spinach was the cherry on top of a fabulous main course.
Other exciting options include Grilled cutlet of English Rose veal, fricassee of peas & potatoes at £25.00, and the grilled Romney Marsh cutlets, brochette of devilled kidneys, warm liver parfait & grilled aubergine puree £23.00.
The only negative about the menu is its lack of refreshing and light deserts; they all seemed slightly too heavy and did not do enough to compensate for heavy mains. Albeit, the deserts we sampled, were still packed full of flavour and of the highest quality.
Would certainly make the effort to go here again as it was, from start to finish, a delightfully satisfying dining experience. The Grill at the Montcalm is a truly five star experience from a five start establishment. I will certainly be returning in the future.
For more information, menus or reservations click here.
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