We started the evening in the way all good evenings should start; at the bar. Apart from reviewing the cuisine at a restaurant, one ought to do the decent thing and take part in some of the cocktails too, especially when the bar is as inviting as this one! So that is where it began, we went straight to the botanicals cocktail menu as devised by the 13 year long Bar Manager Saverio Vicari. This is where I found the delightful ‘Be Smoke’, a combination of gin, whisky, lemon, vanilla and honey served in a honey pot, whilst ‘Cheeky’ my accomplice went for ‘Sloely But Surely’ a beautiful mix of gin, vanilla syrup, lime and Champagne. Drinks in hand it was now time to take in our surroundings.
The Rib Room bar and restaurant has a charming American 1920s feel to the place. With the intimate lighting and the impressive array of alcohol on display at the bar, it felt like we had travelled back to the Prohibition era in 1920’s Chicago. Before the Federal Prohibition agents could break up the party, we decided to make our way to our table to start the gourmet experience that The Rib Room is famous for.
Mario the Restaurant manager welcomed us in and looked after us for the whole evening. We perused the menu and to be honest we were stuck for choice! However, my accomplice ‘Cheeky’ went for Orkney scallops, date purée, cauliflower and lime caramel and I went for my signature review dish Steak Tartare or should I say Steak ‘Ta-da!’ because our waiter created quite the performance for us. He bought out a trolley with all of the ingredients to make the steak tartare, fresh hand cut fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef mince and a whole assortment from Calvados, Dijon mustard to Capers, shallots and Chilli, I was then asked for my preference in flavours and then he whipped it all together right in front of us. I think ‘Cheeky’ had quite a bit of food display envy at this point. The performace over it was now time to taste, the taste was delectable due to the fact that this course must usually be served to giants it was huge, if my belly was a cat it would have beenpurring. Despite ‘Cheeky’s’ food envy, her Scallops were divine.
Now it was time for the main course so ‘Cheeky’ opted for the 28 day dry aged, grass fed Rose County Lancashire (225g) 8oz Fillet Steak with a gorgeous looking thick Peppercorn sauce which was utterly tender and juicy. I chose the whole grilled lobster Thermidor with baby leaf salad and lemon half which was so simple but just perfect, obviously quality ingredients. Both dishes were accompanied by the Glazed carrots with fresh chevril, broccoli, buttered curly Kale and Sautéed spinach with shallots all served in very traditional copped bowls. The wine list at The Rib Room is so vast that they have had to upload it to an Ipad which they bring to your table, quite a novelty indeed. However, Mario recommended a gorgeous 2012 Pinot Noir from Maison Louis Latour which complimented our starters and mains beautifully.
It was now my favourite time of the meal, not that I do not enjoy the rest of the meal, it is just that when it comes to dessert the child in me wakes up. Like a big kid I opted for vanilla bean ice cream with apricots and caramelised peanuts, I was in ice cream heaven.
However, when I looked across at ‘Cheeky’ she seemed to be on another planet altogether as she dived into her English raspberry soufflé with white chocolate ice cream, for a moment ground control lost complete contact with ‘Cheeky’! Of course these desserts would not have been complete without a glass of sweet fruity and honey flavoured French Sauternes from Chateau Delmond and a glass of tropically fruity South African The Welder from Glen Carlou, both a lovely choice thanks to Mario. Once dessert was over we celebrated a fantastic meal with the only way to finish a meal, a couple of Espresso Martinis to help us wind down for the night.
The Rib Room is a fine example of the classic British brasserie at its best. It has been serving the finest british cuisine to the public for more than 50 years and if they keep up the good work which I am sure they will I see no reason why it will not serve for a least another 50 years.
The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant
Jumeirah Carlton Tower
London SW1X 9PY