Holborn Dining Room: Pies and pudding heaven from a truly British brasserie
Located a stone’s throw away from the tube station, Holborn Dining Room finds its door inside the elegant Rosewood Hotel. The restaurant’s faithfully British menu – combined with the warmth of its decoration – elevates the whole experience to more than just a tasting of seasonal dishes (and really good pies).
Speaking of pies, this classy brasserie has a room reserved exclusively for Britain’s best-known pastry creations. We had the chance to taste one of their many variations, the Potato, Comté and Caramelised Onion Pie. A deliciously crafted main, the dish was made of finely cut potato layers – entrenched in a perfectly balanced cheese and buttercream filling – and presented with a parsley sauce surrounding the base: a flawless contrast of flavours.
As for the starters, we went for something European and refreshing. Firstly, one of the best burratas you can taste in London, tender and mild with a drizzle of olive oil. This was followed by a heritage beetroot salad with blue cheese and a nutty dressing, enhanced by the notes of hazelnut. After this, one of the stars of the night reached our table: Grilled Octopus with Native Breed Chorizo and Aioli. A must-have for anyone visiting, the serving was very well-cooked and just right as an enticing appetiser.
Between sips of scotch (a great 16-year-old Lagavulin) and a citrusy East India Company gin and tonic, the efficient and charming service delivered our mains: the above-mentioned vegetarian pie and the 50-Day-Aged Cornish Rare Breed Sirloin with Béarnaise Sauce, a feast for the senses. If you only go to Holborn Dining Room for their grill, you won’t leave disappointed: both meat quality and cooking technique were up to very high standards.
For sides, we opted for the Truffle & Parmesan Fries – a great combo with any meaty dish – as well as Honey-glazed Heritage Carrots with Toasted Cashew Nuts and a very tasty, yet simple and light, slaw salad, made up of white cabbage, fennel and apple.
Last but not least: desserts. You might think that a restaurant that manages to excel equally in pies, grilled and vegetable-based dishes won’t have as delicious a sweet menu. Although maybe not the most revolutionary offerings in town, it was nonetheless hard to decide between them, and even harder to not ask for an extra portion of Lemon Curd Slice with Raspberry Sorbet. I’m not sure if words can describe the precise intensity of the citrus fruit with the bitterness of the sorbet and the sweet aftertaste. If perfection had the name of a pudding, this would probably be it. Along with that masterpiece, we tried the Fig Rum Baba Crème Chantilly. Despite being less balanced in the mixing of its components than the traditional Italian pastry, it was still a suitable end to a delicious and attentively attended dinner.
This is a restaurant with its fingers – quite literally – in many pies, but luckily all of them taste great. So, if grilled steaks, well-dressed vegetables and gourmet pastries are your thing, make sure to grab a seat at Holborn Dining Room.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Cristiana Ferrauti
To book a table at Holborn Dining Room, 23-25 Ridley Road London E8 2NP, call 020 3747 8633 or visit their website here.