Taste of Cornwall
The Goring, SW1W
WHAT? If you didn’t make it down to the coast this summer, The Goring hotel’s restaurant is serving up a laid-back Cornish holiday vibe in the middle of Belgravia. Perch on a veranda that’s been artfully-strewn with fishing nets and crack into a Padstow lobster – it’s practically the same thing.
WHERE? The Goring’s Michelin-starred chef Shay Cooper, formerly of The Bingham in Richmond, has come up with a three course lunch menu with Cornwall’s most famous chef, Rick Stein, and his son Jack.
WHO? The Goring’s distinct awning in a dingy street near Victoria station doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it opens up into a cavernous stately home. Generally, everything’s upholstered in silk, but the veranda has a lighter touch, with wicker armchairs to sink into overlooking a compact, but immaculately kept, private garden.
WHAT'S ON THE MENU? Mostly fish, as you’d expect. To start, the crab salad delivers, due in large part to a lathering of a fruity, Coronation curry-like sauce with chunky heritage tomatoes. The warm langoustine and monkfish main course, however, is less of a salad, more of a dinner plate piled high with fish and not much else. It feels luxurious, but not as satisfying as the lemon sole, served on the bone, drizzled in hollandaise, and served with a double helping of new potatoes. Best of the bunch is the bisque starter, a velvety labour of love with a good hunk of lobster meat lurking at the bottom.
ROOM FOR DESSERT? Puddings serve as a sweetener, rather than an indulgence. Sliced strawberries accompany a dollop of Rodda’s clotted cream, there’s a gooseberry fool or a British cheese board with chutney.
NEED TO BOOK? There’s a no reservation policy, but if you turn up at midday, you’ve a good chance of nabbing the overturned boat on the lawn that serves as a sofa. Sure, the table is a bit too far away for comfortable eating, but who cares, you’re on a boat!
THE VERDICT... The seashells, sand and shark jaws may seem a bit kitsch, but the Taste of Cornwall menu keeps things classy by keeping them simple.
ONE MORE THING... The set lunch menu is available until mid-September. Visit thegoring.com for the full menu and themed cocktail list.