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|Address:||68 Regent Street, London W1B 5EL|
|Tel:||020 7406 3333|
|Price: £62.00||Wine: £30.00||Champagne: £70.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 7am-10.30pm|
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The new Café Royal complex on Regent Street opened belatedly and with much fanfare. And once you step into the complex on the corner of Regent Street and Air Street, you understand why. It feels like few expenses have been spared in reviving this once-great “place to be and be seen”. 19th and 21st century design merge tastefully and divide into different dining and drinking offerings and the hotel on the floors above. Square Meal correctly lists each of the dining offerings apart – it can be slightly confusing when you're there too: there is the café with cakes and light meals next to main entrance on Regent Street, then there is the Bar tucked away at the far corner , i.e. off Air Street and offering an Absinth-based cocktail menu, the Grill Room a 19th century to roaring 20s party room where small plates are supposed to add some nutrition to large quantities of Champagne, the restaurant reviewed here, the Ten Room Lounge which until the arrival of the fine dining “The Domino Room” is the complex's main restaurant. As you see it is easy to get lost… in the sprawling building that is, because already with a quick glance at the refreshingly compact and well thought-out menu in the brasserie-style Ten Room you can tell that this might work. Classic brasserie dishes are executed – and I don't use the word lightly – faultlessly and inspired by modern techniques while being true to the grand café tradition. And oh it does work… the food is light well presented, tasty and appealing. The overall atmosphere could be a bit better, simply because during our visit things were still a bit new but mainly because of a strange and cold choice of lighting in the Ten Room Lounge itself. However service compares with the finest in London and the place has stuck in my mind as a perfect option for light business lunch in plush but discreet surroundings. Any place that can make an event of a grilled vegetable and artichoke salad is a welcome addition to the London dining scene in my book! Keep it up and we will be roaring to the Domino Room when it opens later this year!