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Roux at Parliament Square (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Roux at Parliament Square in Westminster, London

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors building, Parliament Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AD
Cuisine: French
Tel: 020 7334 3737 | Email to Roux at Parliament Square | Transport: Westminster | Write review

Roux at Parliament Square Review

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Best for: Spotting politicians, Michel Roux's Modern European magic, being one of London's best restaurants

Great: EVERYTHING!

You know a restaurant is empty, if, when you go to the loos, you don't bother locking the cubicle door. You know a restaurant is really empty when you go to the loo and don't even bother closing the cubicle door. You know a restaurant is really, really empty when you don't bother going to the loos at all, and just grab the champagne bucket from the table, hoik up the table cloth and... well you get the idea.

I'm being foul-mouthed and obnoxious. Which is why I shouldn't have even been let over the threshold of the lovely too-perfect-for-words Roux at Parliament Square. But there I was. The question is, where the fek were you?

But for a solitary middle-aged male who seemed to nip in and out while we were scarfing out starters, me and my guest were the only diners in the restaurant. The staff outnumbered us. A cartoon version of the evening would have seen tumbleweed rolling across the plush carpet. Only in this case it would have been spun from spiced polenta and caramelised chicory and tasted like nothing your feeble imaginations could conjure.

Because the food at Roux, as I'm going to call it for the sake of my word count, is AMAZING. Why was no one there?!

Actually, there is a pretty sound reason, and the clue is in the name. We went while Parliament was on recess and the usual patrons, those who work in that building by that big clock, had gone back to their constituencies to prepare for paperwork, leaving just the usual fanny-packed tourists cluttering the streets outside. And Roux is no Bella Pasta, I’ll have you know.

Over a dinky mackerel amuse bouche and a glass of Albert Roux champagne, we perused the neat menu; six choices per course, each dish called simply what it is, 'Quail', 'Lamb', 'Pigeon' etc....

I went for Laungoustine followed by Brill, and with no one but me to witness it, my guest went for unethical double whammy of Foie Gras and Veal. The langoustine were plump and buttery, displayed elegantly with nutty truffles, lambs lettuce, and no more than seven kernels of sweetcorn.

The food not mentioned in the dishes' one word title were often the star of the plate. The brill came with mussel, and shrimp served in the shell of a razor clam. My friend's veal came with smoked pomme mousseline (smoky mashed potato) which was a flavour combination that would never have occurred to me, but having tasted it, one I'm not likely to forget.

As you'd expect from Michel Roux's post Le Gavroche venture, it's not a cheap place to eat with two courses for £45, and three for £55, but you get so much more than you order from the already rewarding menu.

We were served a sliced ham pre-starter as well as a pre-dessert, a vanilla pannecotta with tart plum chutney (why have I got to the age of 27 and only just been introduced to the idea of pre-dessert?). Actual dessert was poached Mara de bois strawberry and 'Chocolate' - a trio of mousse, rich brownie and caramel foam, served with unforgettable banana sorbet.

Once we'd polished off a bottle of oily and aromatic Gewurztraminer (bless you), charming, friendly and not at all intimidating manager Johann treated us to a quick snoop, taking in the private dining room, where the walls are dotted with Michel Roux's fascinating historical menu collection, and the empty bar upstairs, which is open to the public, even if no one seemed to have told them. It was a blow to leave, but seeing as we were the only thing keeping the place open, leave we did.

If you go to Roux today, leave no doubt that the tables will be full of sober suited men and low court-heeled women and faces you vaguely remember from falling asleep in front of Newsnight.

Me, I’m glad I went when I did. Happening upon one of London’s best restaurants, and finding it empty was equivalent of falling down a rabbit hole into a surreal dimension. I loved it. The most amazing London adventure and night I will never forget.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Roux at Parliament Square

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Roux at Parliament Square.

“I went soon after it opened and when I first walked in I thought this restaurant looked a bit soulless like a hotel but the food is such high quality, and the service is fab. You get what you pay for. I would and do recommend it to everyone.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Nell, Romford (8 years 2 months 24 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: French
  • Group: Roux

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Loved

"We were 3 of us and we had the best meal in London and the best service from very friendly and kind staff.Im sure I will back again.The girl at the till she was amazing and very knowledge about everything,..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Door staff are apalling, i turned up at 9pm on a weekday and the Eastern European doorman said they were closed despite bring clearly open, returned a month later at 7pm on a weekday and once again the..." Which venue is this?

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