Restaurant Review: Lutyens Grill at The Ned

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Carole Hamilton enjoys a perfectly cooked steak with a glass of heavenly Brunello at Lutyens Grill at The Ned


There’s no doubt about it, The Ned is sitting pretty as the current title holder of London’s hottest hotel. Nick Jones, he of Soho House fame, has parked his boutique aspirations and gone big. Huge in fact. The Ned is grand by any standards housed in a Grade I former Midland bank beside the Bank of England and designed by Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens. There are 252 bedrooms, a roof terrace bar, a bar in the old bank vault, two pools, a spa and no less than nine restaurants catering to your every culinary whim. And the place is always packed, from breakfast to way past midnight, every day of the week. There’s live music most evenings too.

The food on offer takes you around the world; British at Millie’s, Italian at Cecconi’s, Asian-Pacific at Kaia, Californian at Malibu Kitchen and French at Café Sou, all together in one vast room. No walls separate the eating spaces, just lots of imposing marble columns. Hence the noise, which hits you when you first walk through the door but quickly get used to, and don’t really notice by the time you are settled with a cocktail and the menu.

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When the hotel first opened, the American-style Lutyens Grill was for guests only but since Christmas everyone is welcome. And if you want to escape the hubbub and enjoy a quiet, rather good lunch then it comes highly recommended. The restaurant is tucked away behind a mirrored wall (yes, this one has walls) in what was apparently the bank manager’s office in days gone by. It feels quite posh but not stuffy, with white table clothes, wood panelling and even a carving trolley with a roast of the day. The quietly spoken staff are delightful.

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Seafood fans will want to dive straight into the Morecambe Bay oysters or perhaps the wafer-thin slices of smoked salmon accompanied by some very good bread and butter. The Orkney scallops with crayfish were little mouthfuls of heaven.

Steak is the main event with lots of choice from Hereford fillet to Gloucester rump with six different sauces. There’s also Japanese and Australian Wagu for those who take their meat very seriously and don’t mind paying over £100 to enjoy it. The chips were piping hot and crispy and the extra little bowl of Mac ‘n’ Cheese our waiter insisted we try was deliciously soft and cheesy.

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The wine list is short with some well-priced bottles under £30 but do check out the Coravin wines by the glass. This clever system, popping up in more and more restaurants, allows you to sample excellent (expensive) wines by the glass and the sommelier to keep what’s left in perfect condition for other customers days or even weeks later. I can definitely recommend the Freestone Vineyard Californian Chardonnay and the Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany, both were perfect with the seafood and the steak. We didn’t have room for dessert but I like to look and the pan roasted plums with hazelnuts and chocolate soil definitely has my name on it for our next visit.


The verdict


We love The Ned, it’s big, it’s noisy and all a bit flash but it wasn’t designed to be anything else. There’s not too many quiet corners but Lutyens Grill is one of them. This is where to book if you want to escape the crowds, enjoy some quiet conversation, a great steak and some really good wine. For that we give it ten out of ten.

Make it happen
Where: Lutyens Grill, The Ned, 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ
Bookings: Phone 020 3828 2000 or click here to make a reservation

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