"A lavish buffet that’s worth every penny"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane boasts two eateries of note: Theo Randall’s eponymous, highly acclaimed Italian restaurant, and the equally commendable Cookbook Café. The latter are known for their display of cookery books, seasonal produce sourced within 50 miles, and most of all, their weekend all-you-can-eat brunches.
As part of brunch you can help yourself to the cold buffet, a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Plates of sashimi, smoked salmon with dill crust, cold duck salad and prawns with sweet chilli sit alongside more conventional buffet fare like cured meats and cheeses. Eggs and waffles can be made to order from a separate counter; we try the eggs Benedict, with thick, salted ham and a lovely, rich hollandaise, and a golden crispy waffle that we greedily top with a drizzle of maple syrup, Chantilly cream, chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.
And this is but a mere preamble to the main courses, which are brought to the table “family style”, in other words as small plates. Today’s hot dishes are tagliatelle with loin of salmon and a creamy sauce made from crab meat, peas and capers, crunchy cauliflower and courgette in a canary-yellow ragoût made from poppy seeds and flavoured with cumin, and best of all, the eight-hour braised ox cheek, so soft it falls apart with the slightest prod, with onion squash mash, morel mushrooms and deliciously offaly sweatbreads.
The desserts table is filled with canapé-sized treats: coffee and walnut sponge with coffee-flavoured cream, supremely rich flourless chocolate cakes, strawberry trifles, meringues, berry brûlées in shot glasses… the choice seems endless.
Moreover you can wash this all down with unlimited bellinis and/or sparkling wine. Priced at just £49 per person, this lavish buffet is worth every penny.
Leila reviewed Cookbook Cafe on Mon 15 Oct 2012