What can you tell us about Boyd's?
This hotel restaurant used to be plain old Boyd's Brasserie, but we'd been hearing a number of good report about the place since its revamp into Boyd's Wine Bar and Grill. It's gone in a VERY British direction.
Where is it?
It's just a few steps from Trafalgar Square - Charing Cross is your best bet for the tube - and nestled at the back of the Club Quarters on Northumberland Avenue. Head straght through the lobby for Boyd's. It's VERY ornate - someone back in the 19th century either had a relative in the marble trade or a serious alabaster dependency.
Who's it best for?
If you're having a meeting with anyone from Westminster - this has to be one of the better options for the politicos in the area. Or if you're looking for a particulary British menu - from produce to wines, this is the place for you.
Where can we meet for a drink first?
The name gives away the fact that it's now a wine bar too - so you can easily grab a stool here. Before our visit we popped into nearby Bedford and Strand, you can always grab a seat there, it has a good wine list AND it's affordable. Well worth knowing about.
And what should we order?
The menu here is modern tour around the UK with a particular focus on meat - so come hungry. But don't avoid the starters as there are some crackers on there.
First up we had the fish and shellfish goujons with beer batter and curried hollandaise (£5) - wonderful batter, well cooked fish and a great dipping sauce. We followed this with the Sipsmith gin cured salmon with daikon and buttermilk sorbet (£5) and the beef and bone marrow faggots..
For the main event, we decided to take a lengthy trip through every British steak they had on offer. We went with water buffalo from Laverstock (100g fillet for £18), Scottish Black Gold ribeye (300g for £24) and something we couldn't pass up on - British Wagyu from Trenchmore farm in Sussex. We HAD to give this a go - British beef prepared in the same method as Japanese Wagyu. In the end, however, it was the Scottish Black Gold that won out - some of the best and most beautifully-cooked beef we've had in a while (with a shout out to the Broughton buffalo too).
As for desserts - you SHOULD have the nitro ice cream they make in front of you at the dessert bar but - sadness - they had run out of liquid nitrogen when we visited. The flavours can range from anything from blood orange, to pea and mint, to bacon. We've also seen a fair few videos on Instagram of their Dragon Breath Experience which is a meringue (at the moment flavoured with spearmint and aniseed) frozen with liquid nitrogen that makes you breathe out dry ice through your nose as you bite into it.
How about drinks?
There's a great wine list here, continuing the British theme with a wide range of Nyetimber (starts at £10 a glass) as well as wines from Three Choirs. Otherwise it's a mix of old and new worlds starting at £21.50 a bottle. But with the VERY knowledgeable GM Fabien Babanini (previously of Les Trois Garcons) in charge, we strongly recommend letting him take you through the list to try a few new things with plenty available by the glass.
There's surprisingly little in the area on the way to Westminster and this very British restaurant with amazing steak and interesting wines in a clubby, comfortable dining room is a promising addition. We'll just have to go back for that nitro ice cream...
Boyd's Grill and Wine Bar is at Club Quarters, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY. Find out more about Boyd's.
Hot Dinners were invited to Boyd's. Prices are correct at the time of writing.