Restaurant Review: The Mirror Room at Rosewood London, High Holborn in London
As you walk through Rosewood London’s eatery, the Mirror Room, all manner of interesting features capture your gaze; funky light features, cultural books and luxurious décor sit among dark walls, low lighting and jazzy instrumental music to offer a relaxing environment.
Tall pillars, interesting curios and books about Dali, modern architecture and the complete paintings and drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, to name a few, catch your eye as you make your way around the low tables and sofas to take your seat. I was a little worried that the name of the restaurant would mean that I would have to watch myself eat from every angle but thankfully the mirrors are strategically placed (mainly on the high ceilings) so this wasn’t a problem.
My guest, Nick and I took our seats at our low table and browsed the seasonal and themed ‘citrus and winter root’ menu. This particular menu had been designed to “awaken the senses after the gluttonous festive season with an array of fresh and intriguing ingredients.” Said ingredients included finger limes, salsify, clementines, long turnips and chervil, and each dish contained a citrus and/or a winter root and was named as such. I like the idea of this focus as it gives the menu direction and offers a good talking point – especially when shown the sensory board containing these ingredients – as well as introducing you to a more diverse range of ingredients.
As we were deciding on our evening’s food choices we were brought a light, fruity glass of Ruinhart Brut Rose (Reims, France) and some flavoursome canapés of truffle mimosa egg – egg between herb crackers and with grated truffle sprinkled inside – and smoked Jerusalem artichokes with truffle mayonnaise. Both were delicious and creative and started the evening very well.
For my starter I continued the theme of Jerusalem artichoke tasting, this time with a soup. The delicate and tasty soup was full of lovely texture and smelled wonderful. It was poured at the table over duck confit and hazelnut praline powder and the light, fresh soup with earthy elements was a delicious start to the meal and was well recommended by our waiter. Nick opted for ‘chervil roots,’ which was accompanied with chicken quenelles, spinach and truffle. He described the dish as intricate, refined, elegant, very tasty and an innovative way to have chicken. He said the quenelles were delicate with a buttery foam complementing the earthy flavours of the truffle and spinach well, all showing great culinary techniques.
My main course of ‘finger limes’ consisted of halibut medallions, finger lime tartare sauce and crispy potato cakes and was the most refined fish and chips I have ever eaten. Fish and potato is a winning combination and need never be messed with, The Mirror Room did a fine job. The meaty, yet delicate, halibut was crispy on one edge and the sauce was creamy and delicious and added a lot of flavour to the dish. The beautiful potato cake had thin layer upon thin layer of delicate potato with a crispy outer and gentle rosemary flavour. The dish as a whole had few ingredients but each was prepared and cooked to a very high standard.
Nick’s main course, ‘carrots,’ came with pan seared scallops, hazelnut butter and nasturtium, while the root vegetable was slow braised. Nick described the scallops as succulent, soft, tender and divine. Little crisps sat on top adding a nice crunch while the plentiful carrot pieces and nut butter were great accompaniments to the shellfish.
Although our savoury courses were very much enjoyed and showed great skill, the desserts blew us away – the presentation of both dishes was outstanding.
I had opted for ‘mandarin,’ which consisted of a mandarin Jaffa cake and Dulce chocolate mousse. My plate arrived with an exquisite looking colourful mandarin sat on a chocolate crumb base with a leaf sticking out of the top and dots of liquid on top portraying a juicy piece of fruit. Once my spoon made its way through the dusted outer layer it found the smooth, delicate mousse, sponge, mandarin and little crunchy bites. The simple looking yet perfectly presented dessert offered little delicious, delicate surprises throughout and was a very elegant version of a classic Jaffa cake.
Nick opted for ‘grapefruit,’ which was made up of earl grey and milk chocolate bavarois, grapefruit jelly and Manjari chocolate sorbet. The dish looked delightful with the bavarois (a creamy, cold set dessert) used as a base for the sorbet, which had a beautiful, thick chocolate curl perched on top. Nick said the rich bitter chocolate was lovely and crispy and the soft sorbet was more like ice cream but was delicious as was the delicate mousse. He added that the colourful grapefruit added a sweet and sharp flavour bringing together all flavours to make for a really good dish.
Head chef Amandine Chaignot has previously worked with the likes of Alain Ducasse and Jean-Francois Piege among others and utilises her French training to create beautifully crafted dishes with ingredients from Britain and France. She describes her style as fresh, honest and intricate and I think her talent is proven when she takes a simple dish or item such as fish and chips or a Jaffa cake and elevates it to such a level that it is almost unrecognisable in its execution, but also retains the nostalgic element that the diner was looking for when choosing the dish.
Rosewood London itself is very grand and elegant. Located in the centre of London, not far from Covent Garden, it offers the ideal base for a theatre visit, while hosting a large bar that is full and buzzing with chatter as we find the restaurant. The Mirror Room itself also serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea with delicious treats created by pastry chef, Mark Perkins.
I really like the décor of the restaurant space and every part of the hotel and bar on the way there but I didn’t enjoy eating at such a low seat. I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed sitting on a sofa to eat, although I imagine it is perfect option for a casual lunch or afternoon tea. An evening meal is not easily enjoyed on a sofa as I find it a little awkward and uncomfortable. The restaurant is not easy to find from the street, which might have explained the fact that it was not very well occupied for a Saturday night, which is certainly not a result of the fine food. The cooking is incredible and it is a shame that there weren’t many diners there to enjoy it. The preparation and presentation of the food is innovative as is the theming of the menu. I implore you to visit.
In a nutshell
The food is delicate and full of delicious flavour pairings, the presentation is fantastic and the restaurant space is elegant and sophisticated with interesting decorative items dotted about. It was a delight to dine here.
Address: Rosewood London, High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN / 020 3747 8620