That one night in Holborn. EmJay and myself have wanted to visit the Holborn Dining Room ever since we saw Chef Calum’s posts on Instagram about “Welly Wednesdays”. A quintessential British brasserie that serves charcuterie, seafood and a load of pies (as well as a few other British classics), it’s perfect for a London date night or special occasion.
We got to the restaurant a little earlier than planned but the staff were happy to show us to our table which was ready. We sat in a corner booth, looking out into the restaurant which has amazing decor. It’s traditional but modern at the same time.
We ordered some drinks to start from the extensive menu which included a whole range of gin, spirits and cocktails, I got a gin and tonic, EmJay had a Vesper. Both were really good and super refreshing given the heat we’d just come in from outside.
Looking at the menu, we were spoilt for choice on the starters, EmJay went for the beetroot and gin cured salmon, I was super tempted by the burrata but as asparagus season has just started here in the UK, I wanted to eat seasonal and so I went for the asparagus. Both came out relatively quickly and were served with the most amazing sourdough and freshly churned salted butter.
EmJay loved the salmon, he said it tasted really fresh and zesty, he could really taste the gin in the cure too which isn’t often the case in other restaurants we’ve been to. He also got the paired wine, a Riesling on the suggestion of the waiter and he said it matched the dish perfectly. My asparagus was beautifully steamed until just tender and served seasoned with sea salt, the lemon mayonnaise was silky smooth and was the perfect accompaniment for dipping. Eating seasonally is something I’ve really grown fond of in recent months, you really get to eat food at its best when you eat it in season.
For main course, I had been staring at the potato, Comte and caramelised onion pie which is served with a parsley sauce since it went on the menu, as it was Wednesday, EmJay went for the Wellington, which is served with gravy and roast potatoes. We got some carrots and a mac and cheese to share as sides.
When it all came out, we were really glad we went for the lighter options to start. The Wellington, cooked perfectly rare was wrapped in a mushroom duxelle, layer of spinach, pancake and then that insta-famous pastry. At first look it’s so simple, but having had a cheeky bite, it was just as beautiful as I expected it would be. The meat melted in your mouth and all the ingredients were seasoned perfectly, the pastry still perfectly crispy to provide texture.
My pie, was a carb lovers dream. Layers and layers of potato, cheese and onions cooked until tender and wrapped in the most perfect pastry I think I’ve eaten since I was a child. The parsley sauce complemented it perfectly. If I had a bucket list of my last ever meal, I think that pie would be a part of it. Just look at all those layers!
The sides were great too, heritage carrots, just cooked and with a hint of aniseed, they were the perfect vegetable accompaniment to all the carbs. The mac and cheese had a crispy, crunchy topping and oozed indulgence.
Once done, we ordered our desserts, which quite frankly we didn’t have space for but wanted to try anyway (don’t tell Daniel!). EmJay got the pump street chocolate tart, and I got the sticky toffee pudding. Neither of them disappointed. They were the perfect end to the meal, although we probably could have shared just one of them as were both bursting at the seems by that point. We also ordered a tea and a latte, both of which came with a delicious, buttery shortbread.
It’s safe to say we didn’t leave hungry! It was our first time dining at Holborn Dining Room, and what a pleasure it was. We said we definitely want to go back and try everything else on the menu, especially the mutton and chicken pies.
If you’re nearby, they’ve recently opened The Pie Room. Between 10-4 you can walk up to the hole in the wall and buy pies to take away and watch the pastry chefs at work.
Holborn Dining Room has been on our list since I moved to London, and I’m so pleased we finally got to try it. We will definitely be back!
You can find out more about Holborn Dining Room here.
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