Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Sorrel

Gold Award

Chef Steve Drake held a Michelin star at Drakes for some 14 years, making the Ripley restaurant the biggest foodie draw in the whole of the Surrey region. Now he’s overseeing this Dorking town centre venture where he cooks in an open kitchen, and it seems likely that this restaurant will enjoy similar success.

The vibe here is modern fine dining, and everything from the setting to the cooking is supremely well-judged. So while that open kitchen might be gleaming with all of the mod cons, it sits within the timbered, low-ceilinged rooms that span Sorrell’s Grade II-listed brick schoolhouse. Elsewhere, puffy banquettes and pressed tablecloths are softened by bare beams and uncarpeted floors, while menus balance fascination factor with plain, simple deliciousness.

Bite-sized snacks of chicken liver parfait on ras-el-hanout meringue or beetroot cracker topped with bream ceviche kick things off, followed by airy pumpkin soup concealing a zippy mandarin sorbet that tastes like Christmas.

Menus are wilfully terse, so ‘quail swede and langoustine’ or ‘carrot tobacco’ leave diners guessing, but whether you choose to dine from the tasting menu or the à la carte, you are in safe hands – even an impossible-sounding broccoli mousse with kiwi and caper berries eats like a dream.

Classics like butter-seared scallop with cauliflower are gussied up with compressed cucumber and curried granola, while a Waldorf salad is reimagined entirely as a delicate, blackberry-based dessert.

Oenophiles will rejoice in a bang-up-to-date wine selection that doesn’t shun big-hitting classics and while service is formal, the staff here are also warm and inclusive. Prices are not on the lower end of the spectrum, but they seem remarkably fair for a well-heeled locale that now finds itself with a destination restaurant worth the trip for Londoners – and anyone from further afield – in search of foodie thrills.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Modern European
Fine dining, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Romantic, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
One Michelin star, SquareMeal UK Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Michelin-starred Sorrel in Dorking offers a modern approach to fine dining, the execution of which is overseen by head chef Steve Drake. Steve has numerous culinary credentials to his name that have led him to this point, from working in some of the world’s best kitchens (Chez Nico at Ninety Park Lane, the Oak Room with Marco Pierre White and Pied a Terre) to winning the Roux Scholarship in 2001. Before Sorrel, Steve worked a 14-year stint at Drake’s (now named The Clock House) where he won a Michelin star and retained it for all that time. Sorrel is the culmination of 25 years of culinary experience.  

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and there is a choice of menus available. For lunch, guests can choose to dine from the a la carte or tasting ‘Discovery’ menu, while for dinner only the tasting menu is available. The Discovery Menu really is where the true Sorrel experience lies and takes the diner on a journey from ‘Departure’ to ‘Journey’s End’. The dishes are based around seasonal ingredients which Steve combines using unusual and unexpected flavour combinations. Look out for things like apple and curry meringue with chicken liver, hand-dived scallop with crushed apple, turnip, miso, anchovy and turnip leaf oil, and pork belly with smoked cauliflower, ponzu, cockles and monk’s beard. Expect a surprise by the time you reach the sweet courses as well, such as blueberry ice cream with lavender cake, oregano and ginger beer. 

The setting at Sorrel is designed to be just as engaging as the food. The dining room features an open kitchen which allows guests to chat to the chefs and ask them questions about the food. The restaurant itself is housed inside a beautiful 300-year-old grade II-listed building and offers rustic period features throughout, from wooden beams to an old fireplace.  

What’s more, Sorrel is only open four days a week to provide better working hours for the chefs and allow the team a fairer work-life balance.  


Does the restaurant have a Michelin star?

The restaurant has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Who is the head chef?

The head chef at the restaurant is Steve Drake

Helpful? 0

Can the restaurant cater for dietary requirements?

While the restaurant can cater for most dietary requirements, it cannot cater for vegan or dairy-free diets at the moment.

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77 South Street, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2JU

0130 688 9414 0130 688 9414


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:00
Sat 18:00-22:00
Sun Closed


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3 Reviews 

Richard K

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Really good standard - difficult to fault


23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5

Sorrel is easily a 2 star restaurant but only has 1 star above the door.

high quality cooking in a delightful restaurant.


21 March 2018  
Bad experience, meidocre food, nice setting.
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0130 688 9414 0130 688 9414

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