The wonders of London, where the wildest energy of the streets of Soho are combined with the elegance of Mayfair filled with boutique designer shops and the sophistication of St. James. Between these unique and beautiful parts of London lies the gorgeous Hotel Café Royal. Luxury at Hotel Café Royal knows no bounds, with balconied rooms that overlook Regents Street as the lights twinkle in the night, as a day of a shoppers come to an end.
As someone that spends a lot of time shopping down Regent’s Street, it’s easy to find comfort in a a local hotel restaurant where you can escape from the hustle and bustle and retreat with some peace and simplified, yet excellent food. That was Papillon for me, one evening.
The dimly lit restaurant provided the perfect ambience for the evening, with small lamps on each of the tables to provide some extra light where required. The tables were covered in dark marble which was a contrast to the inviting yellow walls of the Papillon restaurant.
Our waiter ensured we were settled before serving us a glass of Laurent Perrier Brut that was served into a cloudy, chilled champagne flute to ensure we had the most satisfying, cold glass of bubbles. Just what was required after a busy day.
A selection of breads were brought over whilst we studied the menu. Crusty white sourdough, focaccia and rye bread were the choice on offer for the evening, served with individually wrapped cubes of butter and a homemade style tomato salsa with red chillies. The tomato salsa was just delicious and I couldn’t get enough of it, it was definitely a more appetising way to enjoy a pre-meal bread assortment.
It wasn’t long before we chose our dishes for the evening, especially with the great influences of French and British ingredients it made for a great selection of satisfying and moreish courses.
I started with a Goat’s cheese salad which was served with orange purée, chicory and sugar coated walnuts. My favourite thing about my starter was that the Goat’s cheese was glazed with melted brown sugar that gave it a delicious sweetness, complementing the walnuts and the citric purée.
Binny ordered the Jerusalem artichoke soup that was served in a lovely large shallow white bowl and was served pipping hot from a white porcelain jug. Binny absolutely loved the soup and claimed it was perfect way to end a cold autumnal day.
For my main, I ordered the corn fed chicken that was served with roast butternut squash purée, black cabbage and lightly caramelised onion. The chicken had a lovely browned, crispy skin on top and the meat was super tender, without it being too moist – just the way I like it. The sweet flavours from the butternut squash and onion complimented it so well.
As much as I love the glitz and the flare of Michelin dining, this was the ideal execution of a simple dish done perfectly which sometimes surpasses all the theatrics.
Binny on the other hand continued on the theme of hearty, warming dishes and ordered the wild mushroom risotto. The risotto looked extremely creamy and heavenly, which definitely showed by the big smile Binny had on her face whilst she indulged.
However, I must admit the highlight of the meal was trying Executive Pastry chef Sarah Barber’s desserts. I have had so much about Sarah’s talents and it was finally about time I got the chance to enjoy her incredible sweets. Binny and I both opted to for the yoghurt and lemon thyme mousse with passionfruit purée, marshmallow stars and mandarin ice-cream served on a crumble bed. It was just incredible! Everything I heard about Sarah’s desserts lived up to its expectations – so many flavours, textures and it all came together to be one flawless dessert.
If you haven’t tried Papillon at Hotel Café Royal, I would certainly suggest checking it out.
Until next time…