"The Strand Dining Rooms is a great addition to Trafalgar Square"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
“I would never have thought of eating out round here” says the friend, alluding to the fact that the Strand Dining Rooms is right on Trafalgar Square. But this is no tourist claptrap. The entrance is slightly hidden from view because of the vaulted arcade it sits under, within the suitably imposing Grand Buildings, and the interior has been elegantly designed by Russell Sage Studios with a nod to art deco, inspired by the interior of a luxurious Pullman coach.
The restaurant is open all day, serving a modern British menu. Brawn terrine comes with a croquette made with chunks of meat from the same part of the animal. Given that is the head of a pig it may not be for everyone, but it’s sumptuous and rich, and comes with a small pot of homemade piccalilli. The seafood Scotch egg marries the best of two worlds, soft yolk and crispy breadcrumbs of a conventional egg with seasoned minced seafood and a creamy crab bisque.
The mains are equally polished. There’s a dish of lamb done two ways – a lamb cutlet (billed as rack of lamb) cooked till supremely tender, and a compressed slab of slow cooked shoulder of lamb. Rather than plonk a simple salad or some veg on the side there are roasted cherry vine tomatoes, artichoke hearts and shelled broad beans with mixed leaves. The Strand seafood crumble is a refined fish pie, with large, fleshy prawns and no scrimping on cream.
The dessert menu sticks to British classics like treacle tart and rhubarb and custard, and an Eton mess that replaces strawberries with berries. There’s a very thoughtful wine list with several good wines available by the glass, and they’ve put effort into the cocktail list too: we try the TSDR Perfect Negroni, a sharp aperitif if ever there was one, and their version of a Tom Collins, topped up with Prosecco.
It’s mid-priced – the seafood crumble is £16, lamb is £24, and it’s a great addition to the area, especially now that the Albannach, in a similarly impressive building just over the square, has closed down.
Leila reviewed The Strand Dining Rooms on Thu 14 Aug 2014