The Pem

British, Modern European·
££££
·
Gold Award
·

SquareMeal Review of The Pem

Gold Award

Hotel restaurants are often charged with feeling directionless or uninspired, but the moment you step foot into The Pem, it’s messaging is clear - this is first and foremost, a celebration of women.

The restaurant is found inside the Conrad London St James and takes its moniker from the pet name of prominent suffragette Emily Wilding Davison. Chef Sally Abe has recruited an almost entirely female team and the dining room feels innately feminine without falling victim to cliche: shiny black and white flooring, rosy hues and cosy tub chairs all set the stage for a night of fine dining. This is not to say that men are not welcome here, as proven by our visit which saw the dining room populated with couples on dates, solo hotel guests and small groups of friends catching up.

The Pem’s menu is ever-evolving, making the most of in-season produce, but you can always expect a commitment to quality, technique and presentation that is seriously impressive. Following a full kitchen refit in the second half of 2023, we were intrigued to see whether the experience would live up to the post-refurb hype.

Abe has always brought drama and deliciousness to even the dowdy and the ordinary but her tasting menu on our most recent visit showed off dishes that respect and reinvent their ingredients while sharpening the senses. Dressed Dorset Crab is a delicate, aromatic starter served with buttermilk and Violino pumpkin, and paired perfectly with a light but flavoursome Assyrtiko. The next dish packed more flavour with Saddleback pork belly lardons melded with black pudding, Wiltshire truffle and a rich St Ewe egg yolk, matched for weight with a refined, aromatic Torontel Orange wine from the Maule Valley in Chile.

Pan-seared Cornish monkfish followed, providing a delicious canvas for chickpea fritters artfully arranged like mini chunky fries and served with an unctuous tomato-based sauce. The tastiest dish of the evening was Lake District Shorthorn and Porthilly Oyster, which showcased two different styles of beef and was accompanied by a plummy Corvina blend from the Veneto.

Desserts have always been an Abe speciality, and the finishing salvo was billed as a Blackcurrant Tea Cake which pitted the acute sweetness of a marshmallow ice cream with a delightfully dialled down, medium-sweet custard.

This level of quality certainly does not come cheap but neither are prices greedy, even for the area. That being said, The Pem’s attentive service, beautiful dining room and commitment to seasonality all make a visit worthwhile - it is the kind of restaurant which reminds you why London is the best city in the world for dining out.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, Modern European
Ambience
Cosy, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Quiet conversation, Romantic, Traditional
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions

About

The Pem is the flagship fine-dining restaurant at the Conrad London St James hotel, run by chef Sally Abe - one of London's most acclaimed young chefs. Abe acts as consultant chef for the hotel and also oversees its in-house pub, The Blue Boar.

Having previously been head chef of Michelin-starred The Harwood Arms in Fulham, Abe now brings her culinary knowledge to The Pem, which serves a dinner menu that champions top-quality British produce and reworks classic dishes with innovative new spins. The menu changes seasonally, but on your visit, you can expect to find dishes that are underpinned by fresh produce from trusted suppliers - think poached native lobster with shellfish cream, heritage tomatoes and sweet olive or roasted John Dory with brassicas, lemon and sauce Choron. Desserts meanwhile, include the classic likes of black forest gateau topped with chocolate curls and served alongside English cherry ripple ice cream.

The Pem takes its name from suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, whose family used the pet name ‘Pem’ for her, and a commitment to showcasing female talent is reflected in Abe’s exclusively female senior team. The restaurant’s look is also distinctly feminine - the dining room boasts an art deco inspired design, including soft lighting and comfy banquettes and tub chairs, all decked out in romantic rosy hues. The main dining room seats up to 70 guests, while a private dining space has room for 24.

The Pem’s wine list combines highly sought-after fine wines with lesser known bottles from independent producers and has been curated from sommelier and wine consultant Emily Harman.

Speaking about the opening, Abe said: “I have the freedom to serve the food I’ve always wanted to cook. It’s me on a plate. I’m taking classic combinations and really making them my own, like steak and oyster, cheese and onion – I won’t be messing with the framework but trying to put a new spin on them without creating challenging or modernist dishes. I want to bring a sense of familiarity and transfer those flavours to high-end restaurant dining.”


FAQs

Is there a dress code?

There is no official dress code for, but we'd recommend opting for a smart casual look.

Helpful? 0

Do you have to book a table?

No, however, booking ahead is highly encouraged but walk-ins are welcome when there is space.

Helpful? 0

Who is Sally Abe?

Sally Abe is a British chef who previously ran the kitchen at the Michelin-starred Harwood Arms, but now acts as chef consultant for the Conrad London St James hotel.

Helpful? 0
Meet the team
The Pem

Sally Abé

Head chef

Following placements at The Savoy and Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Abé went on to cook at The Ledbury with Brett Graham. She followed this by becoming head chef at the The Harwood Arms, co-owned by Brett, where she gained a Michelin Star, the only pub in London with a star. In 2021 she became consultant chef for the Conrad London St James, operating four F&B outlets at the hotel, where her flagship site is The Pem. In the same year, she was voted The Ayala SquareMeal Female Chef of the Year.


This venue also offers

The Harben Room at The Pem
Private Group Dining

The Harben Room at The Pem

The Pem
Christmas Parties

The Pem

Videos and 360 tours

The Pem Restaurant / The Harben Room

Events

£85.00The Pem Presents: Sally Abé x Candice Brown
Special Dinner
The Pem Presents: Sally Abé x Candice Brown

07 Mar 2024

Start time: 6.30pm, with guests seated at 7.00pm.

Chef Sally Abé invites you to indulge with our spectacular four-hands female chef series featuring a stellar lineup of leading women in hospitality.

Candice Brown joins Sally in an exciting fusion menu. Since being crowned The Great British Bake Off champion in 2016, Candice Brown has been spinning many plates: running the widely-acclaimed The Greenman Pub in Eversholt, regularly contributing to a The Sunday Times column, and appearing as a panellist on Loose Women.

Tickets include a glass of champagne, canapés and tasting menu, all set to the backdrop of live DJ beats. The events will feature sharing tables and some sharing dishes. 

 

Book Here
£85.00The Pem Presents: Sally Abé x Poppy O'Toole
Special Dinner
The Pem Presents: Sally Abé x Poppy O'Toole

15 Mar 2024

Start time: 6.30pm, with guests seated at 7.00pm.

Chef Sally Abé invites you to indulge with our spectacular four-hands female chef series featuring a stellar lineup of leading women in hospitality. Poppy O’Toole joins Sally in an exciting fusion menu. Internet sensation, self-crowned ‘Potato Queen’ and Michelin-trained chef. She is the author of two best-selling books and the co-host of BBC Three’s Young MasterChef.

Guests can expect a dining experience that captivates both the palate and the imagination through Poppy’s innovative approach to cooking. Tickets include a glass of champagne, canapés and tasting menu, all set to the backdrop of live DJ beats. The events will feature sharing tables and some sharing dishes. 

 

Book Here
£85.00The Pem Presents: Sally Abé x Chantelle Nicholson
Special Dinner
The Pem Presents: Sally Abé x Chantelle Nicholson

22 Mar 2024

Start time: 6.30pm, with guests seated at 7.00pm.

Chef Sally Abé invites you to indulge with our spectacular four-hands female chef series featuring a stellar lineup of leading women in hospitality.

Chantelle Nicholson joins Sally in an exciting fusion menu. Multi-award-winning chef, restaurateur, and author, Chantelle Nicholson is the founder of Apricity, a Michelin Green Starred restaurant that celebrates conscious cooking and joyful dining. Originally from New Zealand, Chantelle is also an ambassador for Chefs in Schools, and supports many charitable organisations.

Tickets include a glass of champagne, canapés and tasting menu, all set to the backdrop of live DJ beats. The events will feature sharing tables and some sharing dishes.

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Location

22-28 Broadway, Westminster, London, SW1H 0BH

020 3301 8080 020 3301 8080

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-14:00
Thu 12:00-14:00
Fri 12:00-14:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 18:00-21:30
Wed 18:00-21:30
Thu 18:00-21:30
Fri 18:00-21:30
Sat 18:00-21:30
Sun Closed

Reviews

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Shelley S

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Superb, precise British cooking using British ingredients 

Sandra

27 March 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
An incredible culinary experience

Outstanding food and service, we will come back, thank you to al the staff for such a unique experience!!

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Call The Pem to make a booking on:

020 3301 8080 020 3301 8080

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