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DINING REVIEW: THE ISLAND GRILL LUNCH AT THE ROYAL LANCASTER, LANCASTER GATE

DINING REVIEW: THE ISLAND GRILL LUNCH AT THE ROYAL LANCASTER, LANCASTER GATE

Ad disclaimer: I dined at Island Grill in exchange for this review. I am always 100% honest in my dining reviews, so read on for the full lowdown! 

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I recently took my friend Karoline for lunch at Island Grill, a contemporary restaurant and bar located within the recently refurbished Royal Lancaster London. This new dining hot spot overlooks Hyde Park in all its springtime glory, boasting an all-day Modern European menu and seperate bar menu. There’s a succinct and affordable set menu for those seeking a casual lunch or dinner with friends, colleagues or a hot date; expect fresh and sustainable light dishes with a seasonal focus. If you’re with someone you’d rather not dedicate several hours to, head to the bar area for a quick Chilean Chardonnay and some Salt and Pepper Squid with Lemon Mayo - you can always commit to a more filling meal later on, depending on how things go. 

Karoline and I were gasping for a little calm in the London storm on this particular week day lunch time - she’d just quit her job to pursue a luxury candle venture and I was seriously jet-lagged from my 6am flight in from Edinburgh. It had been a long week of conference calls, wholesale chat, revenue forecasts, stilleto injuries and an obscene amount of Nespresso. It was only Tuesday. Wholesome food and a decent bottle of Sauvignon were certainly in order. 

Island Grill’s set menu is available Monday to Saturday from 12-6pm and it’s a steal at just £17 for 2 courses or £19.50 for 3 courses, including a glass of wine or 1/2 pint of beer. As much as I love my Mayfair favourites, it’s nice to enjoy lunch in a five-star hotel restaurant without feeling as though you could have bought a new Hermés bangle for the same price as your limp cerviche and so-soft-it-was-probably-dead-in-the-tank-for-days lobster.

Island Grill’s set menu features three tempting starter options: Cured Scottish Salmon served with a selection of kales, fennel and Gracburn cheese; Baked Beetroots and Goats Curd Salad topped with English apple balsamic; Wild Mushrooms on Toast with a poached hens egg. Karoline, with a penchant for magenta, opted for the bright and beautiful beetroot dish. Feeling wild, I went for the wild mushroom dish and it was like a warm hug on a chilly afternoon, fabulously flavoured and 10/10 for the poach. My knife-through-the-yolk Boomerang prompted many of my followers to send me the salivating emoji via Instagram, which is always one of my main aims. 

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For the mains, the Island Grill are serving up Smoked Salmon with Colcannon and rain mustard sauce; Braised Lamb Belly with broccoli and grilled spring cabbage; Quinoa and Mushroom Dumplings with mushroom broth and fennel. Karoline and I were enticed by the dumplings, which were delightfully squidgy, see-through and spectacular. The mushroom broth accompaniment was a surprisingly suitable replacement for soy sauce and equally as flavoursome; fennel added a wild spring twist. We loved it. 

Desserts on offer: Lemon Meringue Pie; Chocolate and Ginger Sponge; Bread and Butter Pudding. I skipped dessert as I was on the pre-holiday ‘Watch it Victoria’ diet, although I saw serveral sweet treats pass me by and felt an overpowering magnetic force at work within me. I think they call it cake lust. 

Restaurant sides at Island Grill are an additional £4 each: Sea Salt Chunky Chips, Steam Tender Stem Broccoli with chilli & garlic oil, Baby Leaf Salad and Rocket & West Sussex cheese. I ordered some broccoli - a great way to counteract the sinfulness of the Sauvignon.

Two hours later: Karoline and I had bonded over vegetable-based dishes and we’d come up with a fabulous business idea that will change the lives of women all across the city. I don’t know what was in those Quinoa and Mushroom Dumplings, but something tells me I need to speak to the chef. Our productivity and positivity levels had tripled. 

Book online: Island Grill | Visit: Royal Lancaster London, Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park | Call: +44(0)2075516070

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