Classic British Steakhouse
Category : Bar, Restaurant
Address : Westminster Bridge Road - London County Hall, London, SE1 7PB, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.gillrays.com
Opening Times : Mon-Thurs 6.30am - 10.30pm, Sat-Sun 7am - 10.30pm
Closest Tube : Westminster
Spreading muscularly on the southern banks of the Thames, within throwing distance of the Westminster Bridge, the County Hall is one of the most prepossessing edifices in central London, and the Marriott, particularly its flagship restaurant Gillray‘s, take advantage of that location to great effect. Guests must wend their way through dark oaken corridors to locate it, and once seated, are treated to impressive vistas of the river, Big Ben, the London Eye and Whitehall.
The restaurant takes its name for the famous British cartoonist James Gillray, and there are an abundance of his caricatures displayed along the walls. The room itself is long and narrow with lofty ceilings, almost unbelievably vast lightwood wall panelling, art deco chandeliers and marble tabletops. Our table was located just in front of the serving island, where dictionary-thick slabs of sizzling meat were shuttled on silver platters to hungry patrons.
Gillray‘s operates in the same vein as Hawksmoor, specialising in dry-aged British beef precision grilled. Their butcher of choice is O‘Sheas; specialising in cattle reared on the green pastures of Yorkshire. Cuts of beef are offered on and off the bone. Our meal kicked off with a bottle of Carmenere and, rather than bread, Yorkshire puddings impregnated with British cheddar. Starters arrived soon after. We were a bit confused when a plate containing only asparagus and poached Burford Brown egg showed up the table, but the roasted garlic and asparagus soup in a separate serving vessel, spiked with a touch of truffle oil.
Three opaline roast scallops were situated on dollops of green pea puree, with savoury bacon jam and a couple shards of crispy bacon thrown in for good measure. Then the steaks. We ordered ours with a portion of triple-cooked chips which were skilfully fried, as well as ramekins of béarnaise and Oxford Blue sauce. The ribeye, crosshatched on the grill and medium-rare a touch on the rare side, was cooked exactly to order, as was a massive slab of prime rib (which is essentially a ribeye on the bone). The meat had a fresh, almost sweet character, with a char that was right on the money.
After mopping up the juices, we were quite full and opted to share a deconstructed lemon meringue pie with lemon curd, shards of meringue and raspberries. It was just the right potion of sugar and tang to see us back home.
We‘re very happy to add Gillray‘s as an Innerplace restaurant. Members and their guests will receive a complimentary glass of champagne when coordinating bookings through [email protected].