The All in One Ultimate Restaurant List Interview: Sam Njuguna

London’s Top 100 Restaurants 2013

The five star Goring Hotel was opened by the Goring family in 1910. Its restaurant, the Goring Dining Room, enters our list for the first time this year at number 97. Executive Chef Derek Quelch left the restaurant in March after 15 years, so we caught up with Executive Sous Chef Sam Njuguna.

A favourite with the royal family, the hotel is where Kate Middleton spent the night before her wedding to Prince William. This year it became the first London hotel to ever be awarded the Royal Warrant by the Queen. “The Goring has always been a great favourite of those visiting Buckingham Palace for investitures, garden parties and other royal ceremonies" says Njuguna. “Since the granting of the Royal Warrant we have received even more enquiries for tables. Sadly we are full already, however we try to accommodate everyone we can for these special royal occasions."

The Goring’s menu is fastidiously British, serving dishes rarely seen elsewhere like eggs Drumkilbo, a favourite of the late Queen Mother and Prince Charles. Produce is sourced as locally as possible. “Our chefs have tremendous relationships with our main suppliers here in London and together they have sought out some of the best producers these Isles have to offer. A team from the hotel regularly goes out into the shires to visit top farms, fruit growers and live-stock producers as far afield as Inverness and the Castle of Mey. We even have our own forager rooting around the wilds of Kent and East Sussex."

Unsurprisingly, the team at the Goring are fans of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant Dinner, where the menu showcases cooking from the last 400 years. “Blumenthal’s food there is much simpler than at the Fat Duck but he champions old British dishes and brings them to a new younger audience."

Njuguna is clear about people who are dismissive of British food. “They are idiots. This country has a long tradition of well-produced and well-cooked food. The past 30 years have seen the presentation of British food reach new heights. The flavours are exquisite and the new breed of British chefs who have come up through the ranks now make this country a beacon for cuisine throughout the world."

This article is connected to Goring Dining Room
Published Jul 1, 2013
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