Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Gold Award
££££
French

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
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SquareMeal Review of Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Gold Award

French chef Hélène Darroze opened her “exceptional” dining room at The Connaught at the trail end of the fine-dining boom in 2008. Having sensed that luxury in the 2020s will be very different to the noughties version, she has treated her restaurant to an update which has transformed the previously stiff-upper-lip British surrounds into something more chicly French and, in her words, feminine.

The wood panelling has been brightened by several shades, the straight lines replaced with flowing curves (including the tablecloth-free round oak tables) and a soft pink colour scheme introduced. The old duffers who were apoplectic when Angela Hartnett became The Connaught’s first female head chef in 2003 must be turning in their graves.

Darroze’s cooking remains a lightened-up version of the classic haute cuisine she learnt with Alain Ducasse, showcased on two tasting menus which clock in at £120 for five courses and £160 for seven – and if you want to push the boat out even further, there are supplements for lobster, caviar and wagyu beef.

Not that there’s any need for such opulence when diners are treated to the likes of sweet Cornish crab counterpointed with a clean-tasting pomelo mousse and the smoothest of foie gras contrasted with a crunchy topping of koji rice. The greatest flavour revelations, however, are reserved for humble ingredients elevated into the most refined morsels: mackerel in a gazpacho consommé, say, or sweetbreads with a vadouvan emulsion – the sort of subtle spice note that distinguishes much of the cooking.

Genuinely welcoming staff wheel the Darroze family Armagnacs round on trollies, typical of the “attention to detail” and “excellent service” you’d expect at this level of dining. Even if you’re not partial to a post-prandial snifter, do order the brandy-soaked baba in which the Armagnac is an intriguing alternative to rum.

Readers have always rated this place as “fabulous for special occasions”; if you want a truly bespoke experience, book the new pink-marble chef’s table, though anybody hoping for a ringside seat in an arena of swearing and sweating will be disappointed by the zen-like cool with which the chefs go about their business.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cuisines
French
Ambience
Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100, Two Michelin stars
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions

This venue also offers


Location for Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

020 3147 7200

Website

Opening Times

Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 18:30-21:30
Wed 18:30-21:30
Thu 18:30-21:30
Fri 18:30-21:30
Sat 18:30-21:30
Sun Closed

Reviews of Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

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33 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Lloyd S

Outstanding Dining Experience
05 December 2019  

A visit to Helene Darroze has been on my list for quite a while so therefore I was thrilled when I was finally able to dine their on Saturday evening during our weekend stay at Claridges Hotel. After a short walk we arrived at the Connaught Hotel. We made our way to the restaurant reception desk where we received a lovely greeting from Maitre'd Lena who after a little chat escorted us personally into the restaurant. As we entered it was nice to see the stunning refurbishment with it's orange and lemon theme that had taken a couple of months to complete. We were then in for a surprise as Lena showed us to the New Armagnac Room which is a small private dining area for a maximum of three people. I have to say the room looked beautiful. We was then given an amazing opportunity to become the first customers to dine hear or we could have a table in the restaurant. Well the opportunity to dine in this gorgeous room was to hard to say no to so therefore we gladly accepted. So we took our seats and looked forward with anticipation of a great evening ahead. 

We started with a delightful consommé & snacks before being shown the menu. The menu itself is a Tasting Menu where each guest can have the freedom to create their own menu. You could either have a five course including one dessert or a seven course including two desserts with also the added option of a cheese course. We decided on the seven course as you can have two desserts :). Once we had each chosen our courses it was time to meet the sommelier and discuss the wine. We decided that we would like to have a bottle to take us through the first four courses and then a glass with the main course to which he recommended a nice selection for us to choose from. Our decision in the end was a Gasper Malvazija wine from Slovenia which was a nice golden colour with tropical fruit & almond aromas. 

Before the arrival of our first course were given some fabulous bread and butter which continued the orange and lemon theme. 

So now let's begin with the first course where we both decided to start with the Crab. This was Brown & Spider Crabs , pomelo , lampong peppers & txangurro which was absolute heaven. For our second courses my wife chose the Foie Gras with sancho pepper , pear , apple , Komi rice & sake. My choice was the Smoked Eel with cocoa bean , sage & black garlic and both dishes were so flavoursome that you couldn't wait for what was to follow. 

Now it was onto our third course and for this my wife chose the Smoked Eel whereas I decided to choose the Hake with black pudding , jerusalem artichoke & sorrel which for me personally was the highlight of the evening as the black pudding with the hake was a perfect combination. Before we moved on to our next course there was a another little surprise as we were presented with a fantastic Scallop with tandoori spices , a carrot & citrus mousseline , a buerre noisette sauce with coriander that Helene wanted us to try and i have to say it was definitely the best scallop dish I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. 

We then moved on to our fourth course where my wife chose the Turbot with leek , caviar & dill. I decided to choose the Sweetbread which are one of my favourite things to eat. This came with cauliflower , hazelnut , grape & vadouvan emulsion. These were once again another two exceptional dishes. 

For our fifth and final course from the savoury we both decided to choose the Venison this is served rare with butternut squash , stichleton , juniper & black trumpet and although we wouldn't normally eat meat rare I have to say for this course it just worked perfectly. The venison was also matched with two excellent choices of red wine by the sommelier. 

Now it was time to move onto desserts which we started with the Grapefruit with pistachio & greek yoghurt. This was followed by the Chocolate with earl grey tea & bergamot. We also received another surprise as along with these desserts came the Signature Baba with chestnut mousse & a granny smith apple sorbet and with a different flavour Armagnac on each half and although I'm not a fan of Baba this was definitely the best one I've tried. 

We then finished with coffee and petit fours which included a small dessert with a belated birthday wish on it as I couldn't come then due to the refurbishment that truly rounded off one of the most memorable dining experiences we ever had. 

I'd now like to say a few Thanks firstly to Lena for the lovely greeting and giving us the amazing opportunity to dine in the Armagnac Room. To the staff for their excellent service , the sommelier for fabulous wine selection , the Restaurant Manager Mirko for popping in throughout the evening to make sure everything was ok. It was also good to see our friend Alessandro from our holidays in Viareggio who hasn't long started at the restaurant so we wish him well. We really were made to feel like royalty and for this we will be eternally grateful. It will now come as no surprise when I say that I would highly recommend a visit to Helene Darroze as the dining room is stunning and the food , wine & service was first class. 

Thank You to everyone at Helene Darroze and I can't wait to see you all again soon

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

ANTHONY B

06 August 2019  
Good food, service & decor.

Paula C

06 August 2019  
Beautiful decor, attention to detail - each dish served on special plates, carefully selected set menus accompanied by wine, good value for lunchtime, excellent service.

Angelika F

26 July 2019  
Consistently fabulous food Their lunch special including wines was amazing value. Really good service too.

Carl B

28 June 2019  
Very good food and service.

Mike B

The best meal ever...
22 December 2018  
Simply the best meal I have ever eaten, anywhere, any time. Genuinely exquisite cooking and the 5-course concept enables the chef to really showcase her skills.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Angelika F

11 July 2018  
Our favourite in London Fantastic combination of flavours in a beautiful setting with decent service.

Christie J

27 June 2018  
Amazing food and lovely decor!

Anna W

27 June 2018  
Love the food and service there. The lunch menu is great value. The restaurant is traditional with modern decor.

Christina R

20 June 2017  
Very expensive but worth every penny from the superb but not stuffy service to the knowledgeable sommelier and fine wine to the delicious/interesting but not overworked food -just wonderful.

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