Café Royal is a luxurious hotel set in the heart of Regent Street in a beautifully restored grade one listed building (preserved for historic or architectural interest). The hotel has a rich past and if walls could talk they would share tails from politicians Winston Churchill, writers like Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolfe and rock stars like The Beatles, Madonna and David Bowie.
Look how beautiful the hotel is...
When I heard that 'Pret A Diner' was heading back to the UK and setting up centre stage at Hotel Café Royal for one month only (21st April - 23rd May), I had to go along and see what culinary masterpieces they would create.
'Pret A Diner' create dining experiences which combine Michelin starred food, wonderful cocktails, art and music, blended together with the addition of people make the perfect dining experience.
All good parties start with some wonderful cocktails.
Andrew Turner has teamed up with two New York Based chefs Patti Jackson (the brains behind Michelin star restaurant, Delaware and Hudson in Brooklyn) and Ryan Tate executive chef of Blenheim
Ryan is a favourite chef of mine as someone who uses seasonal produce to create straightforward modern American cuisine. He was crowned with a Michelin star within six months of opening Le Restaurant, which is now sadly closed.
The menu for the evening had been created for the chefs to take it in turn to share their masterpieces. The scene for dinner was the perfect bohemian setting.
Once seated we were presented with some snacks to wet the appetite:
Pea and Sorrel by Ryan Tate, Cheese and Truffle by Andrew Turner, Baltimore Style Crab, and pickled Ramps. Dutchy Pretzels by Patti Jackson.
Every course was matched with a paired wine by the club's bar manager Tiziano Tasso.
Vincent Careme, Vouvray Petillant, Ancestrale Loire Valley (France 2010) accompanied the snack board and for me was delicious and refreshing.
Highlights had to be the fish cakes and Baltimore Style Crab.
We were off to a great start. Next up was Tuna Carpaccio, gentleman's relish.
This dish was an absolute feast for the eyes and the taste buds. The lemon with the tuna was a perfect accompaniment.
For mains there was a choice of two dishes, duck with celery pecan gratin and rhubarb by Patti Jackson. This was my instant choice, you all know how much I love duck.
This was a brave choice to cook, it is almost impossible in my view to do duck as a cover for so many guests being served at the same time and to keep it perfectly cooked. Whilst it was delicious it was a little over cooked for my tastes.
Based on the wonderful tuna starter my guest opts for the Seabass, piquillo pepper, fennel and dill by Andrew Turner.
Based on the speed that this was inhaled and the constant pleasing sounds being made I think that this won on the mains front.
Dessert for me is always something that I look forward too and despite my fullness I was excited to see what creation Ryan Tate would come up with.
Strawberries, Maple Vacherin and Buttermilk.
The pictures cannot do this dessert justice, the meringue was perfectly cooked, filled with wonderful strawberries, sharp lemon and lemon sorbet on the outside. Heaven in a dessert.
The dessert wine pairing was a perfect combination. Coteaux Du Layon, St Aubin, Domain De Forges Loire (France 2013).
Coffee and Tea came with a number of back to school sweet treats from Andrew Blas.
The bubble gum ball chocolates and cola jelly's were a favourite.
We had a truly wonderful evening, 'Pret A Diner', certainly know how to throw a Bohemian culinary masterpiece and Café Royal Hotel was the perfect location.
You have from 21st April to 23rd May (Tuesday - Saturday) to go along, I recommend booking your tickets quickly before they all sell out 0207 406 3371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinner is £75 per person and £100 with matching wines.
Thank you very much to Pret A Diner and Café Royal for a wonderful evening. Our meal was complimentary for the purposes of a review, but this is an honest and fair reflection of the wonderful meal we had.