Le Gavroche is part of the culinary furniture in London and is credited with creating the new wave of gastronomy in this country pulling away from the dark ages of boiling the living daylights out of our food and introducing techniques still used today which have been steadily built on to create our now high standard of cuisine in this country.
The owners of Le Gavroche were Michel and Albert Roux, two brothers who took one of the biggest gambles of all back in the 1960’s by starting up their now acclaimed French restaurant in a time where Britain was still emerging from post-war food.
One half of that partnership, Albert, and his son Michel Roux Jr, now of course sole owner of Le Gavroche, have joined forces and opened Roux at the Landau at the Langham hotel in London. After hearing positive feedback from critics and diners alike, we decided to get our first taste of Roux-style hospitality.
On approach, The Langham is grand in stature and steeped in history. The restaurant itself sits just to the side with the gold plaque bearing the name visible to the left of the stairs. A entrance similar to Le Gavroche. Before you are even inside the building it feels like a Roux restaurant.
Once inside we were greeted by a friendly hostess who took our coats (don’t worry, she did give them back). We were then shown down a corridor lined with bottles of vintage red into the dining room. The place just oozes class, grandeur and elegance. A very good start.
Menus in hand we were treated to an amuse bouche of Salt Cod Croquettes encased in Squid Ink Breadcrumb with a smooth Puree of Fennel. One thing is for sure, in this place you will never go hungry.
No sooner had the amuse been devoured and pleasing on the pallet we were supplied with some rather tasty bread and a small block of unsalted butter with a mound of rock salt to one side, the fine details being a focus of this restaurant and a trademark of the Rouxs.
We opted for the Menu du Jour, a decent offering at £35 for three courses, mineral water, coffee and petit fours, add a bottle of wine between two for an extra £10 and this certainly screams value for money.
Starters arrived soon after. Hen’s Egg with a Smoked Haddock Mousseline and Wild Garlic and Duck Sausage thinly sliced with Pickled Vegetables. Both were subtly flavoured and light, just perfect and without criticism which the same could be said for the atmosphere in the dining room.
Main’s arrived with succulent Chicken Breast sitting on a bed of Oyster Mushrooms and Spinach with a side of Straw Potatoes drizzled with a Cider Cream Sauce. Portion sizes were noted and it was mutually agreed that they were certainly generous in comparison with some places in the capital. In addition to that they were damn tasty.
Dessert read like a dream. Pistachio Bavarois with White Chocolate Cream and Rum Ice Cream. Once you get past the stunning visual aspect, the taste is as good as the picture. Smooth ice cream with crispy shards of caramel going into smooth pistachio loveliness providing the perfect end to a rather good meal.
A Trio of Sorbets were equally well made and very tasty shaped into beautiful quenelles. A simple dessert yet fully delivering on flavour.
The kind staff at the restaurant had remembered it was my wife’s birthday and duly bought out the petit fours along with some very nice coffee with ‘Happy Birthday’ inscribed on the slate in white chocolate, a really nice touch.
So overall the bill came to £101 which is exceptional value given the service, quality of food and overall setting. The Roux family are no strangers to Michelin stars – if head chef Chris King and his team continue in this vein then I can see Roux at the Landau following in the footsteps of Le Gavroche in years to come.
Opening Times: Monday – Tuesday 1200-1400, 1700-2230
Wednesday – Saturday 1200-1430, 1700-2230
Sunday 0700-1030 (Breakfast only)
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus