9 Mar , 2017 Business Lunch,Fine Dining


Marilia Dinamarco Gross visits Petrichor in Piccadilly

We walked into the newly refurbished Cavendish Hotel lobby, which looked like something straight out of an Oliver Bonas catalogue, and I could tell that my husband thought our dinner plans were a bluff and that I had booked a surprise romantic night away. Poor guy.

Petrichor is not a stand-alone hotel feature like Nobu at the Metropolitan Hotel. It doesn’t have it’s own entrance and is set in what looks like the breakfast buffet, dressed up for dinner. I have to say, we felt a bit fraudulent, as it felt as if hotel guests occupied all other tables. But, with Glen Padiyar, former head chef at M, heading the kitchen, we kept an open mind.

For starter I had the celeriac and apple soup, which was delicately sweet with a hint of tart, just like my toddler. My husband had a mushroom and spinach bake topped with a runny egg. I’m not sure if the dish disappointed him, or if it was still the fact I hadn’t booked to stay the night.

My main was the star of the show—the most outstanding fillet steak—and that’s coming from the daughter of a Brazilian cattle farmer. I love a crispy hot crust and warm rare centre. I’d say it was better than the fillet I had at Goodmans. I found the sauce I chose more flavoursome than spicy, but it was definitely hot enough to deserve the warning we got. AT £28 for 10oz, I felt it was reasonable, especially with The Restaurant Club card discount. David got the lamb hot pot, which cheered him up.

For dessert it was the baked Alaska for me with orange sauce and the chocolate and hazelnut avalanche for David. The presentation was really beautiful, especially David’s dish where rich custard melted a dark chocolate globe to reveal a scoop of salted caramel ice cream on a soft sponge. The sweetness of my baked Alaska was perfectly balanced with a crisp orange sauce and candied mint. I had to slap David’s spoon away a couple of times during dessert.

The service was impeccable, the wait staff worked together as a team, so someone was always taking care of us.

We found out there’s money in a pot for refurbishing the restaurant, and they are launching a new menu in the next few days. The combination of well-executed dishes, good value for money and a needed refurb means that Petrichor can easily be the next great date-night restaurant, even if you don’t have a room booked!

Restaurant Club cardholders get 20% off a la carte lunch and dinner. Please call or e-mail to make a reservation. Click here for details.