Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rib Room

One of the finest pieces of beef I have ever eaten is the rib roast at the Rib Room, a wonderful restaurant located in the Jumierah Carlton Towers hotel in tony Cadogan Square, London. While the Rib Room is, as its name implies, primarily a chophouse, it is no ordinary chophouse.

Indeed there is nothing that the fine diner will find wanting at the Rib Room. The wine list is impressive, the service precise and effusive and the cuisine, beyond the beef which is about as good as it gets, is spectacular. Dining there one weekend night I found everything, from soup to nuts, in perfect harmony and balance. The freshness of the ingredients, which are a culinary tour of the best that the British Isles has to offer, the attention to detail in preparation and the highly accommodating service made dining here a delight.

A half portion of the carmalized scallops with slow cooked pork belly in an orange and ginger sauce starter. The dish is so sumptuous and rich that sharing, as I did, provides one with more than enough satisfaction. Especially if you will be eating the house specialty which is obviously beef.

Rib Roast

Although an expansive kitchen is secluded in the rear of the restaurant a prep and carving station is proudly displayed in the front. It is lovely to see the huge slabs of rib roasts resting, awaiting carving.
The beef is Aberdeen Angus free range grass fed and comes from a single estate that produces exclusively for the Rb Room. The beef is dry aged or hung as they say in the UK at the estate and delivered to the restaurant for roasting and carving. The vertically integrated sourcing of the Rib Room's beef insures consistency and a uniqueness of flavor. Note the yellow hue to the fat, this is beta carotene derived from the grass feed. There is a distinct difference between the taste of grass fed and grain fed beef, the former being far more gamy and earthy. It is I suppose in this age of mass produced agri farming a bit of an acquired taste and I will admit a general preference for grain fed beef myself, but grass fed beef can be wonderful as it is here.

The rib roast here ranks as one of my favorite beef dishes anywhere. It is an utterly exquisite cut, being deeply flavorful with a buttery texture. The gamy character of the flesh that is a result of grass feeding is wonderfully complimented by the tangy mineral rich flavors of the dry aging process.

Roast Gressingham duck with spiced cherries.


Cauliflower cheese

The side dishes are equally captivating. A cauliflower cheese is absolutely perfect in preparation and seasoning. A spinach in shallots was simply the best spinach dish I have ever eaten, far more delicate and flavorful than any if numerous creamed spinaches that have accompanied my steaks over the years.

The cuisine at the Rib Room is wonderful, certainly leagues above what you can expect at an even above average chophouse. This is British cuisine at its finest, wonderful fresh ingredients sourced from around the Isles - seafood from Cornwall, beef and salmon from Scotland, the finest vegetables England's gardens have to offer. The service is effusive and the room is tastefully appointed. Highly recommended.

Rib Room
2 Cadogan Pl.
London, United Kingdom
020-7858 7053

2 comments:

DocChuck said...

Nick:

In reference to your post about the Rib Room (2 Cadogan Pl.), my wife and I will be returning to the UK the week of Christmas, and we will check it out (as we will be sequestered in London for two nights, unfortunately).

Yes, I noted the yellow hue to the fat, but I didn’t know that it was a beta carotene derived from the grass feed. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

Prime rib is perhaps my favorite dish on the planet, but I find it so difficult to find a REALLY superb rib, served properly (particularly at the correct temperature on a heated plate).

I feel comfortable with your recommendation, and we thank you for the information.

Nick said...

Nice to hear from you DocChuck, it has been a while. Last we communicated I believe that it actually pertained to grass feeding. If I remember rightly you had not found beef fed on grass much to your liking. Personally until I ate at Hawksmoor in London I had never had a grass fed steak that I particularly cared for. I have always found grass fed beef to lack enough fat but beyond that the flesh itself is texturally different from grain fed (or finished as it is more appropriately called as almost all beef is fed grass during early development) However I think that for braised dishes and for roasts the earthy, gamy character that grass imparts can be delicious. I love the roast beef at the Rib Room, it compares favorably with my personal favorite prime ribs in NYC,namely Smith and Wollensky, The Post House and Keens. I am interested in your thoughts on the Rib Room. You will not find it as touristy as you found the rest of London. It is certainly leagues better than Rules, the epitome of a tourist restaurant, at least for the well heeled. Hope you enjoy it!