Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Colony Club Mayfair



Take a gamble on dinner at the Colony Club Mayfair



If you’re familiar with Whisky Mist in the Park Lane area of London, you’ll find this discreet restaurant just opposite – the perfect find if you’re after an intimate dinner in a relaxed setting which offers an absolutely amazing array of varied cuisine on the menu. Then there’s also the members club casino too, for any after dinner flutters… 





Greeted by a fabulous host at the reception desk, we received a very warm welcome, as you’d expect in any member’s club… Coats in cloakroom, bookings confirmed and we were shown through to a beautiful bar area downstairs.  Fabulous lighting captured the ambience of the decadent surroundings perfectly, and we were shown to a nice table in the far corner, while the bar itself occupies the centre space, like an island in the middle of a tropical paradise.



The cocktail list was superb, offering  up something for absolutely everyone (each one is bespoke and exclusive to the Colony Club.)  Being  a huge cocktail fan, I’m always looking for something innovative to try, so I was super impressed with the chilli and coconut mojito which hit exactly the right spot, delivered with a perfectly iced glass full of frozen olives.



The service in the bar area really was second to none - the bartender spending that little bit of extra time recommending which drinks would be suitable to our palate -  exactly the kind of service you’d expect in a members club where the staff know your name, and if you frequent enough, I’m sure they’d know which exact cocktail to make without even asking too.



The bar area also has a discreet VIP area which unlike some VIP areas, actually was as discreet as it should be.  Definitely a very intimate setting and perfect for a date or business meeting.  We were told to leisurely enjoy our drinks, even though the table was already waiting, which again I thought was a rather nice touch – not many restaurants are keen on having you turn up after the booking, while it seemed at the Colony Club, this was standard service to make us feel further relaxed in our surroundings.



After an espresso martini (which again was exceptional!), we finally made our way up the sweeping staircase where a buzzing, ambient setting awaited us.  Amazing décor, mirrored walls, beautiful furniture, the Colony Club restaurant oozed sophistication and elegance.  A birthday party sat to one side, 2 guys to the other… Harry Redknapp was also there with a table of friends sat at the far end.  There was also plenty room between tables so as not to be imposing on anyone else’s conversation - there’s nothing worse than being able to hear the couple next to you while they choose their food and discuss their next holiday…



With a huge range of wines and champagnes on the menu, we selected a bottle of white and perused the enormous choice of dishes from every continent imaginable!  In fact in all my time writing reviews, I’ve never been presented with such a vast and varying choice of food!  Deciding whether to go for Middle Eastern, Oriental or Indian cuisine  was the biggest challenge yet and when they’re all laid out in front of you and available, it’s hard to choose between duck pancakes with hoi sin sauce… and chicken tikka masala!



For the purpose of the review, we decided to select a few different dishes, just so we could decide on what the Colony Club was best at.  To our surprise, every single dish that came out of the restaurant was exactly to our requirements and definitely beyond what we were expecting in terms of taste.  We found everything finished and cooked to the highest of standards.  The duck pancakes will remain in my memory forever, while the huge serving of chicken tikka masala was beautifully coloured and flavoured with big chunks of tender chicken and a deliciously creamy sauce -  just divine.



Mains also surpassed the mark – I indulged in the pork belly with spinach and potato frite, while my guest opted for the lamb with red wine reduction and courgette and parmesan frite, all the while taking in the fantastic ambience of this fabulously lit restaurant with its stunning décor and impressive clientele.



Behind us, was the area dubbed as the ‘food theatre’ where you can sit on high stools around the teppenyaki tables and  watch the expert chefs cook your food right in front of your eyes.  This food choice was popular during our time at the restaurant and both tables were full.



We finished dinner with a gorgeous glass of Languedoc desert wine, which went well with the plum and biscotti crème brulee, and a tray of cheeses including some very generous chunks of camembert, brie and stilton, before making our way down to the casino...



The casino itself has a selection of over 20 gaming tables ranging from American roulette to three card poker, blackjack, baccarat and many more.  There’s also a private gaming room for maximum discretion which has access to a private smoking area too – I imagine that’s quite crucial in those moments before a big money gamble!



We declined on the opportunity to have a flutter and instead opted for a walk around the city to digest our food and reflect on dinner.  The Colony Club is truly a hidden gem – a casino and restaurant with an air of exclusivity which is present in all areas of the club from the bar to the restaurant to the casino.  There’s a great ‘buzzy’ atmosphere, yet equally, it has a laid back and relaxed vibe - maintaining the style and sophistication you’d expect from a members club.



And the best thing about the Colony?  Sampling every kind of dish from around the world, without having to book a flight, or most importantly even leave your seat.





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