What: The first new restaurant in Belgravia hotel The Goring in over a century, Siren is part of a whopping £4m investment that created the new dining space as well as a kitchen and redesigned bar area. This seafood-based restaurant is no small fry: it’s the largest single investment in the hotel’s history
Who: Just six months after ending his six-year contract with the five-star The Capital in Knightsbridge, Nathan Outlaw has been lured back to another classic old school London hotel. The Goring CEO Jeremy Goring wanted a more fish-focused casual dining option to add the hotel’s more formal The Dining Room, inspired by his family’s links to Cornwall, and there’s no better fit than Outlaw. The two-star chef will split his time between London and Cornwall, where his flagship restaurant is, with long term lieutenant Andrew ‘Ginger’ Sawyer running the Siren kitchen on a day-to-day basis.
The food: Seafood is what Outlaw excels at and so Siren is sticking to type. Outlaw is in his element, with the best possible Cornish seafood at his disposal (before the meal waiting staff bring round a silver platter of whole fresh fish for when describing the specials). This means he can largely follow the approach taken at his Cornish flagship where his cooking is relatively simple but impactful and impeccable. Starters include cuttlefish black pudding, apple and kohlrabi; and lobster and asparagus tart, while mains comprise battered turbot with warm tartare sauce; and red mullet with devilled shrimp butter and chicory; and fisherman's stew (pictured). There’s also daily specials such as grilled whole monkfish for two, and Dooncastle oysters. Bona fide carnivores and vegetarians might be less impressed, with only one meat dish – rib eye steak and smoked mushrooms (£36) – and one veggie option – summer vegetable gratin, hazelnuts and herbs (£25). Desserts are influenced by nostalgic English flavours, with gooseberry pavlova with custard ice cream; and strawberry tart featuring.
The vibe: To create Siren the hotel built out into its garden and has created a light and bright greenhouse style room flanked by windows on all sides and a glass roof. The timing couldn’t have been better, with the windows overlooking the manicured lawn able to be fully retracted to create an open space, while blinds in the ceiling glass ensure that on a sunny day it’s only the wine that stays pink. It's all still pretty trad and old school, but the patterned chairs, glass-blown seafood ornaments hanging from the ceiling and light colour palette have brought a new airiness to this part of the hotel
And another thing: Siren is named after the creatures in Greek mythology who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices and subsequently become shipwrecked. Let’s hope The Goring and Outlaw to ensure that people lured to the new space have a more pleasurable experience.
15 Beeston Place, London