Roux at the Landau, located in The Langham, is an elegantly casual space with light streaming in through its tall windows that as of late April 2018 debuted a fresh face to its London public. Along with Chef Nicolas Pasquier’s new spin on French dishes under the guidance of two-Michelin-star Chef Michel Roux Jr, the restaurant interior combines a sense of old and new worlds under award-winning London firm David Collins Studio, which revisited its original design of the restaurant from a decade ago. The new culinary and visual approaches incorporate updates to the high-ceilinged space, juxtaposing an elegant, masculine aesthetic with rich, texture-play for the tongue.
Entering Roux at the Landau is already a step away from the bustling outside and into a subdued, easy luxe environment. A leather reception desk and warm ambient lighting is followed by a glass hallway displaying their expanded Old and New World grape vault – 525 varieties to be precise, each available by the glass – reinforcing how The Langham has made itself synonymous with innovative F&B. Upon entering the intimately proportioned restaurant decked out with equestrian metal accents, oak tables, wooden wall panels, the circular layout and circular dining clusters are immediately picked up upon by the highlight centrepiece – a timber and blue leather oval bar in the middle of the restaurant. Showcasing a tempting display of charcuterie and shellfish, these ingredients are prepared on the spot for diners, whether opting for a la carte, the five-course tasting menu, or simply a drink and nibbles at the heritage-looking structure. Above dangle custom brass chandeliers, while a custom cabinet showcases a range of British and French cheese, an early indication of the culinary approach, which despite offering pared-back refined French dishes, is rife with English products and pride.
The new menu embodies simplicity – focusing on the provenance of ingredients with a slight emphasis on English produce, if the five-course tasting menu is any sign. Though the menu changes frequently, the seasonal dishes are linked by a richness that is not taken over the top, with a textural consideration that proves a welcome, if at times surprising, delight. The XL Orkney scallop, served with Ivy House farm beurre blanc and oscietra caviar is creamy and sweet, while the Cornish crab salad that accompanies San Daniele prosciutto, grissini and Kalamata olives is pleasantly light and even airy – the appreciation for the ingredients and care in presentation and proportion is unmistakable. With each ingredient given its moment to speak for itself, layers of flavour progressively unfold with each bite – whether the Cotswold white chicken ravioli with girolles, peas and tropea onion or the Braised turbot with Chateau-Chalon sauce and native lobster ravioli. Or, perhaps most interestingly, the grilled Buccleuch beef fillet which comes à la provençal – an initially skeptical pairing that proves one ought lead with their palette rather than their mind – especially when restaurant manager Steven Whitbread charmingly adds that one accompanying glass may taste “aggressively acidic” alone, but would sing with the fish. He was right.
With a notable selection of modern English grape and a valiant offering of aged British and French cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy – Roux at the Landau’s culinary offerings do show that the original perceptions and contexts of French techniques and English ingredients are perhaps increasingly outdated. If the dishes haven’t won you over yet, try Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Gravett’s Androuet Basil infused pannacotta, or Manjari moelleux with cardamom ice cream and caramel cloud. Or better yet, the delicate but impactful final note – the display of shards of flavoured chocolates that belie their fragile appearance with a luscious taste punch.
Roux at The Landau
The Langham, London
Open 7am-10.30am (Mon-Sat), 7am-11.30am (Sun), 12pm-2.30pm (Tue-Sat), 5.30pm-10.30pm (Tue-Sat)
+44 (0) 20 7965 0165