The latest restaurant to join the culinary line-up at Hotel Café Royal is headed by acclaimed French chef Laurent Tourondel, who already has locations in New York, Hong Kong and Kazakhstan. The glamorous art-deco space on the hotel’s first floor is warm and welcoming thanks to cosy booths and soft lighting, but it’s chic too with a grey colour scheme and marble-topped tables.
Friendly, knowledgeable staff are happy to talk guests through the extensive menu, which is replete with international influences. Start with tightly packed, perfectly formed sushi – don’t miss the intense crispy lobster roll with a slightly bitter yuzu tartare, or the yellowtail-topped roll that conceals guacamole and a kick of feisty jalapeño. Appetisers also showcase Tourondel’s international larder, ranging from grilled octopus pepped up with ’nduja, to a wasabi tuna tartare. Main course highlights include a sharp, spicy blue-fin tuna poke bowl with avocado sriracha – or you can opt for a steak from the grill.
Cocktails stick to the classics, but an impressive wine list veers from the flash to the yet flashier. Come dessert, you’ll discover the luxurious likes of cocoa-dusted chocolate sponge, topped with warm chocolate sauce, ice cream and edible gold (naturally). Big, bold and on-trend, Laurent at Café Royal is a smart addition to this famous hotel’s dining options. Prices? Yes, they’re high.