For such a boldly named restaurant, with origins in London’s Mayfair, in a hotel that has been around for almost 120 years, expectations inevitably abound for GBR. Thankfully it doesn’t let its big sister down.
The menu, being just one page, is easy to navigate. To start, we go for the coronation chicken and a salmon and haddock fishcake, and we’re blown away. The flavours are delicately balanced – the tartare sauce only slightly sharp, complementing the flaky, light, smoky fish brilliantly. The coronation chicken is just the right amount of creamy, while the lightly blanched chunks of celery add a fresh dimension of flavour.
For mains it’s fish and chips and cottage pie – with slow-cooked beef, mash crust and homemade brown sauce. The pie is the standout – the chunks of meat are tender, but still with bite, and come in a thick, rich gravy that soaks up the mash, creating a whole gooey mix of comfort food joy.
The fish and chips disappoint. Not the cod, which is encased in a perfectly bubbly, crunchy batter, but the skinny fries it comes with aren’t quite the traditional hand-cut variety we expected. We order a portion of duck fat chips to rectify the situation, and thankfully they do, all crisp on the outside and fluffy within.
GBR is still very new and finding its feet, but with food this good this early on, it has the potential to be great indeed.
The bottom line British venue with potential to be great.
Great British Restaurant (GBR)