August 12 is known as the Glorious Twelfth – the official start to the game-hunting season, which begins with red grouse. Whether you like yours roasted and served with the usual game chips and bread sauce, or prefer more avant-garde accompaniments to this most traditional of dishes, take your pick from the London restaurants that are upping their game this season.
10 Greek Street, Soho
What: Game is at the heart of this Soho stalwart’s menus. Welsh grouse is served with a potato galette, kale and grilled plum, while other game dishes include venison Wellington with truffle mash and whole pheasant with tarragon bread pudding.
How much: £28
Where: 10 Greek Street, W1D 4DH
45 Jermyn St, St James’s
What: The restaurant beneath Fortnum & Mason is serving a trio of Scottish grouse dishes from lunchtime on 14 August. Young roasted grouse will be served with game chips and bread sauce with a mini grouse cottage pie on the side, there’s a grouse and foie gras pie encased in glazed pastry, or, for something completely different, try the tikka-spiced grouse.
How much: from £24.50
Where: 45 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6DN
Café Spice Namaste, City
What: Chef-patron Cyrus Todiwala is cooking up London’s most exotic-sounding grouse dish, jardaloo anjeer nay sali ma grouse. It involves fillet of grouse pan-grilled and simmered in a spice-flavoured tomato sauce with apricots and figs, garnished with straw potatoes and served with basmati rice.
How much: £19
Where: 16 Prescot Street, E1 8AZ
The Cinnamon Club, Westminster
What: Grouse will be on the menu at Vivek Singh’s benchmark modern Indian, set in the atmospheric surrounds of the Old Westminster Library. Tandoor-smoked breast of grouse, bitter fenugreek and corn stir-fry with tamarind-cumin jus will be served from 14 August.
How much: £38
Where: 30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
Enoteca Turi, Belgravia
What: From 21 August, this classy Belgravia Italian will be serving new-season grouse as Venetian-inspired roast breasts and confit leg with a barley and girolle mushroom risotto and a fig compote. As the game season progresses, expect to see partridge, pheasant, mallard, venison and hare.
How much: £29.50
Where: 87 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8PH
Galvin la Chapelle, City
What: On 20 August, for one night only, the Galvin brothers’ Michelin-starred City restaurant is holding a five-course dinner to celebrate the start of the game season. Dishes include pressed quail and foie gras, poached wild halibut – and, of course, roast Scottish grouse with savoy cabbage and wild mushrooms. Each course will be matched to a paired wine.
How much: Five-course dinner with paired wines, £130
Where: St Botolph’s Hall, 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
The Game Bird, St James’s
What: From 14 August, The Stafford hotel’s restaurant will be serving roast grouse with game chips, bread sauce, liver on toast, pancetta and grouse sauce. Pancetta might seem an odd addition but The Game Bird’s new culinary director is Ben Tish, who was chef director for the Italian-Spanish Salt Yard Group. Check out The Stafford’s refurbished American Bar before dinner.
How much: £38
Where: The Stafford London, 16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ
The Jugged Hare, City
What: ‘From field to fork in under 12 hours’ is The Jugged Hare’s proud claim, with chefs bagging the first shoot on the Yorkshire moors on the morning of 13 August before racing back to London to plate it up that evening. Roast breast and confit leg of smoked grouse will be served on a special menu alongside heather smoked roe deer loin and braised shoulder of Yorkshire hare.
How much: Five-course dinner, £85
Where: 49 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SA
La Poule au Pot, Belgravia
What: This romantic French restaurant (and its British cousin in Kensington, Maggie Jones’s) will be serving grouse with celeriac mash, red cabbage and game sauce from the second week of August. If the weather is nice, there’s a pretty terrace out front, or sit in the candlelit interior.
How much: £28
Where: 231 Ebury Street, SW1W 8UT
What: The second site for Jersey chef Shaun Rankin’s Ormer finds itself appropriately in swanky Mayfair. This game season, the restaurant is dishing up a sweet take on grouse as part of its set lunch menu, serving it with a chocolate tortellini, alongside medjool dates, quinoa and parsnip.
How much: Three courses, £31.50 (venison £8 supplement)
Where: Flemings Mayfair Hotel, Half Moon Street, W1J 7BH
The Rex Whistler, Pimlico
What: The restaurant at Tate Britain is serving roast Yorkshire grouse with game chips, redcurrants, bread sauce, red cabbage and reform sauce from 16 August. Early in the season, only ten grouse a day sent will be sent down from Ripon-based butchers Farmison & Co.
How much: £28
Where: Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Simpsons in the Strand, Strand
What: Founded in 1828, historic Simpsons is one of the most appropriate settings in which to eat one of the most traditional British dishes. Expect to see roast Yorkshire grouse with braised red cabbage, liver paté, bread sauce, toasted breadcrumbs, game chips and grouse gravy on Simpsons’ ‘Bill of Fare’ (nothing as French as a ‘menu’ here).
How much: £35
Where: 100 Strand, WC2R 0EW
Tom’s Kitchen, Canary Wharf and Chelsea
What: Chef Tom Aikens’ duo of casual British restaurants will be serving Yorkshire grouse with bread sauce, game chips and watercress salad. Later in the game season, look out for pigeon, rabbit, venison, pheasant and hare.
How much: £30
Where: Units 1-2, 11 Westferry Circus, E14 4HD and 27 Cale Street, SW3 3QP
Hungry for more seasonal specialities? Do your patriotic duty and check out our list of London’s best British restaurants.