Haute cuisine from London’s French masters
Roux at The Landau brings together the most famous father-and-son team on the British restaurant scene and the results are just as impressive as you might expect. Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr. opened this elegant dining room at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel The Langham, London in 2011, working together for the first time in nearly two decades. Fans of Le Gavroche, the Roux restaurant that’s been shaping London’s thinking about French food since 1967, will recognize the family’s signature style at this more recent opening: classic haute cuisine with a modern twist. The surroundings, however, are a surprise, particularly given Roux at The Landau’s location in the historic Langham hotel: sophisticated, yes, but bright and contemporary, too. The dining experience offers the best of both worlds.
Accessed from either inside the hotel or directly from the street via a discreet door adjacent to Langham’s grand main entrance, the way into the Roux at The Landau is nondescript. Turn a corner, though, and you find yourself in an atmospheric corridor where the restaurant’s most special vintage wines are proudly displayed. This opens up into one of the airiest dining rooms in the city, its seven huge windows overlooking the iconic 19th-century church of All Souls, Langham Place and Broadcasting House, the central London home of the BBC.
Classic white tablecloths are jazzed up with pastel leather banquettes and chairs, plus gleaming brass lighting fixtures with a steampunk edge. The 1,550-square-foot eatery seats 90, with plenty of space between tables making the place ideal for tête–à–têtes and business meetings alike. A private space accommodates up to 18, while circular snugs off the main dining room holding up to four people can be closed off on request.
Rich French sauces and perfectly tender cuts of meat vie for attention with inventive fish dishes and decadent desserts on a menu created by rising star and Roux protégé, Chris King. It all begins with canapés served on neat black slate, followed by artisan breads, before giving way to starters like seared salmon with a shellfish emulsion, cauliflower and monk’s beard, or venison saucisson served with apple remoulade and purple mustard. Main courses include melt-in-your-mouth roasted Pyrenean milk-fed lamb, truffled txistorra sausage and creamed flageolet beans, and classic choices like Dover sole (grilled or meunière) with charlotte potatoes and wilted spinach.
Desserts are the most modern part of the menu, including on-trend flavor combinations like bitter chocolate mille-feuille, with maple ice cream and salted pecans. But this being a French restaurant, the traditional cheese board is second to none, boasting more than a dozen fromages, and served with housemade crackers and chutney. And just when you think you couldn’t squeeze in anything else, a slate of deceptively petite petits fours arrives to round it all off.
The à la carte menu is just one route to go down at the London restaurant. A daily changing set menu includes three courses plus petits fours and coffee, and there’s a five-course tasting menu available, too, for the true gourmand.