Simon Wittenberg enjoys an evening at the newly-opened eatery within London’s Trafalgar St. James hotel.
The Trafalgar Dining Rooms greeted its first guests in September of this year, and sits on the ground floor of the 131-bedroom Hilton Curio Collection property just off Trafalgar Square, one of the capital’s most well-known landmarks.
Perfectly located for those venturing to “Theatreland” to catch a West End show or who wish to dine away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Leicester Square and Covent Garden, the stylish 51-seater restaurant and bar, which was formerly the location of the Rockwell Bar, offers an intimate but informal all-day dining experience. Diners sit on arched brown leather banquettes and navy blue leather seats at tables lit by small battery-powered lamps.
The Trafalgar Dining Rooms offers Mediterranean cuisine with a “London twist”, and we were there on the first day of their latest menu, on what also happened to be their busiest night yet according to the Restaurant Manager. When perusing the one-page sheet mounted on a clipboard, there isn’t a massive choice for each course, but there are enough dishes to accommodate a wide variety of dietary preferences.
For the starters, you can tuck into grilled sardines or Italian cured beef, but being a lover cheese, I headed for the sumptuously creamy burrata (£9) which came with red and white beetroot quarters, pickled shavings of beetroot and a subtle hint of lemon verbena (a sweet smelling perennial plant).
My dining partner opted for the nicely spiced tomato and pepper romesco (£9) which was wrapped in aubergine slices and topped with apple and a sprinkling of almond flakes and coriander leaves.
Whilst waiting for our starters, there was time to catch a glimpse of the bar menu, and there is a wide array of cocktails and spirits on the list. I couldn’t resist the Classic “Side Car” (£15) which was artistically concocted using cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice, and finished with some orange rind. My other half went for the equally delicious Signature “Dib Dab” (£18), which uses a combination of gin, champagne, lemon juice, pineapple and sage syrup.