Island Grill: Understated Stylish Dining in the Heart of London

By Paul Joseph

Amongst London’s myriad of high-end hotel eateries, there can be few that are quite so unfussy, inviting and stylish in equal measure as Island Grill restaurant and bar.

Located within the grand Lancaster London (formerly Royal Lancaster Hotel) in Central London, one may expect to find the restaurant resplendent with palatial chandeliers and elaborate table arrangements. The reality is refreshingly different.

Occupying an enviable spot overlooking London’s beautiful Hyde Park, Island Grill strikes the perfect balance between informality and contemporary style. Split over two levels, it has an understated, minimalist décor, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering plenty of natural light, as well as pleasant views of the park.

Of course, a restaurant is only as good as its food, and the concept of Island Grill’s all-day menu is to put a cosmopolitan twist on classic British dishes.It is a theme that they pull off with great success.

For starter, pan fried Atlantic scallops with marinated artichoke and bacon salad was executed to perfection – the scallops combining well with the garnishments to deliver an explosion of flavour.

A main course of a 7oz fillet steak (cooked rare, natch) with béarnaise sauce and accompanying chips was equally satisfying, and testimony to both the quality of the meat and the skill of the kitchen staff.

But the best was saved until last, as my relentless search for the world’s best sticky chocolate pudding arrived at a strong candidate. One of the keys to a chocolate pudding is to avoid diluting the divine flavour of the chief ingredient, and the Island Grill kitchen achieved this with aplomb.

All-in-all, this was a highly pleasing dining experience, in a cool setting, with friendly and efficient service, and excellent food. For a relaxed and reasonably priced slap-up meal in one of the most prestigious parts of London, you will struggle to find better.

By Paul Joseph