High-end restaurants that cater for different types of cuisines in the same kitchen are a very rare breed in London. One such venue is The Colony Club in Mayfair, which offers 6 different expertly prepared cuisines. The restaurant and bar is situated above the ground floor in the Colony Club’s casino.
There are occasions when you enter a dining room and have unquestionable faith that you are about to receive immaculate service. The Colony Club is most definitely one of those places; the room is opulent without being ostentatious. There is a heavenly combination of white and cream colours throughout the space, from finely draped curtains to pure white tablecloths and perfectly aligned conical decorations on the ceiling, which would not look out-of-place at the Royal Festival Hall.
Service was exemplary from the moment we stepped into reception to the moment we walked out the door. Orders were taken promptly, recommendations were given, drinks were served and topped up discreetly. The timings between courses were exacting. One almost suspects the staff have gone through a vigorous Buckingham palace style training process.
Perfecting one menu is challenging enough, perfecting six is akin to scaling the heights of Everest, and the team at The Colony Club make a strong attempt at approaching the summit. To ascend the heights, they have 20 chefs with 5 specific stations to deal with the complexities of the various cuisines. Reading the menu here is an intricate affair, because there will be so many dishes you want to try, but a distinct lack of capacity to fit it all inside.
We settled on ordering from the Japanese menu, in no doubt influenced by the stunning video wall in their Teppanyaki bar of breathtaking landscape imagery. We ordered the signature platter to sample a selection of sushi, sashimi and maki. The presentation was alluring with its multitude of colours and freshness on display – even the very nostalgic use of dry ice worked a treat – as neighbouring diners looked on enviously. The salmon was appropriately rich and fatty, the tuna was cut thick and fleshy, although the dishes we would be less inclined to order were the maki rolls, as they had generally too much rice and little substance.
For main courses, we tried a selection from the Teppanyaki grill: black cod, king prawn, scallops, lobster and fillet steak. With such a vast choice, some dishes were going to work less well. The fillet steak was a touch dry and overcooked. Perhaps they should try wagyu beef or kobe beef shabu shabu or sukiyaki style? In complete contrast, the black cod was delicate and refined with the hint of teriyaki sauce lifting the flavours of the fish. Although lobster wasn’t on their official menu, they do often have daily specials which are always worth checking with the kitchen. The lobster was sweet tasting, had a firm texture and most importantly felt fresh out of the water.
For the indecisive diners amongst us, who would like an elegant night out with meritorious service and a multitude of fine dining options, The Colony Club should be high on the list.
Words by Baldwin Ho