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Seven Park Place

7 Park Place, St James, London, England, SW1A 1LP, United Kingdom

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This restaurant has a tiny dining room with three main tables in little alcoves and a few more in an attached room. It is a little jewel box of a restaurant, with elaborate and attractive decor. The menu is classical in nature and appealing – no ants or weird foraged herbs trouble the diner here, and desserts are mercifully free of shrubbery. William Drabble is a chef who can be found in his kitchen rather than on TV or marketing his latest cookbook. 

Three courses cost £69 or alternatively there was a tasting menu at £85. The wine list was extensive and covered France in depth, but also had plenty of choice from further afield. Sample labels were Domaine Lupin Frangy 2013 at £42 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £14, Albert Mann Schossbery Riesling 2014 at £95 compared to its retail price of £36, or Etienne Sauzet Puligny Montrachet 2013 at £141 for a wine that will set you back £47 in a shop.

Breads were made from scratch in the kitchen and were excellent, especially a lovely walnut and raisin loaf and also rosemary bread (16/20). An amuse-bouche of smoked chicken broth with celeriac was pleasant if not especially exciting (14/20). Better was scallop carpaccio with Jerusalem artichokes and truffle vinaigrette, the combination of earthy flavours with the seafood working well (15/20). Also good was ravioli of native lobster with cauliflower puree and lobster butter sauce, the pasta delicate and the lobster tender (15/20). 

Sea bass was cooked on the griddle and served with wild mushrooms, parsley puree and braised Jerusalem artichokes, along with a red wine and port jus. The fish was carefully cooked and the vegetables were excellent (15/20). Venison with red cabbage was lovely, the meat having excellent flavour and the braised red cabbage with juniper jus was complemented by smooth celeriac puree (16/20).

Pre-dessert was passion fruit jelly with caramelised almonds and cream cheese ice cream, the fruit bring a touch of acidity to balance the ice cream (15/20). Tarte tatin was a fine example of the breed, with excellent pastry and apples that were not over caramelised, served with very good vanilla ice cream and toffee apple sauce (16/20). Also good was a pretty dish of clementine jelly with a dome of milk chocolate mousse flavoured with gingerbread spices, along with salted caramel ice cream (15/20).

Coffee was Lavazzo, a pretty ordinary coffee, but a much superior Hawaiian Kona coffee was also available, albeit at a significant premium. Service was excellent, with a knowledgeable and helpful sommelier. The bill came to £150 a head. A more typical cost per head, assuming modest wine, might be £110. This is of course hardly cheap, but ingredient quality is good and there is plenty of technical skill on display. Overall this was a very enjoyable meal: the menu was appealing, the technical execution consistently good, the room cosy and the service welcoming. This is a restaurant that appears invisible to social media yet it should get broader recognition in my view.

Further reviews: 08th Dec 2012

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  • Douglas

    The Specialty Kona is supplied by Amir of Difference Coffee Co! Glad you are shining the light on places offering decent coffee - too often what is served even at top places, as you identify, is either anonymous or overtly poor quality...

  • alan fowle

    Normally we like jewel box like restaurant rooms- but I am afraid this one we didnt - overmuch. Firstly the bar area immediately prior to the restaurant was far too bright and thus not intimate. We then sat in the far room of the restaurant sharing with only one other table -this was certainly jewel box like . The lobster ravioli, the turbot all good as was the sea bass but these dishes were surpassed in enjoyment by the desserts which we both concluded were the best item on the menu - can't unfortunately remember what it was. I guess we found the atmosphere a little sterile which coloured our judgement on the food - it was a £376 bill following a high end Sancerre at £125 which was equal to our last meal at the Ritz but of course the meal and the setting were no match . Would not return.

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