Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG, 020 7300 1400
Tube: Oxford Circus
The scene: A West-End haunt for the suave and swanky.
Glide along the hotel’s glowing Long bar into a dimly-lit restaurant that invokes a sort of oriental allure. You’ll impress a date from the outset, especially if you mention that Amy Winehouse once trashed a room in the celeb-frequented hotel.
The grub: Fancy Malaysian eaten from small sharing dishes. Amid the lip-smacking menu are Welsh salt marsh lamb in green curry with curried lentils, chicken skewers in sweet and spicy coconut milk and crispy soft shell crab.
Every dish is impeccably presented, but the food falls short of not unreasonable expectations on flavour. The tender lamb falls lusciously apart at the prod of a fork, but the curry seriously lacks bite. Salty rice cubes accompanying the chicken skewers are a surprise delight, but something tells me this was unintended.
Behind the bar: The cocktails are divine. Knock your socks off with a Vesuvio – a muddle of vodka, lychee, lemon and chilli.
Bill please: Dishes cost between £10-30.
Verdict: A totally cool place just to be in, with staff who are, refreshingly, unpretentious.
– Rebecca Kent