Caxton Grill

 Tel: +44 (0) 800 652 1498
Address:  2 Caxton Street, SW1H 0QW
Cuisine Type: British
roundel The Kings Arms St James’s Park

Caxton Grill went through a major refurbishment about six months back and it’s been made significantly larger than it originally was.  Great care has been taken to create a stylish, comfortable, well thought out dining space as well as an excellent private dining area.  Caxton Grill is part of the St Ermin’s Hotel, but has its own entrance in Caxton Street; however you can enter the restaurant through its spacious bar, which links the restaurant to the hotel complex. The bar is also similarly well set out with comfortable spaces for customers to enjoy their drinks, before or after their meal.  Both Caxton Grill and the hotel are immediately across the street from New Scotland Yard, so with such a landmark, it’s very easy to find.

Caxton Grill has a vibrant lunchtime service; it’s very popular with local business and offices around Victoria Street.  When we were there it certainly had a good atmosphere and bustle in the dining room.  There’s a lunchtime menu as well as the à la carte menu to choose from: we selected items from each.  They both feature dishes cooked or finished off in the Josper grill, a technique that imparts a distinctive charcoal flavour, and they are the stars on the menu.

For starters, the chicken consommé with gnocchi and tarragon was both light and tasty; the clear consommé with its good chicken flavour was delicately seasoned marrying well with the chicken, carrot and gnocchi.  The slow cooked pork belly was a plate of divinely soft and tender hunks of meat that were full of flavour.  Served without crackling, the meat had good crispy caramelised edges having been given a blast in the Josper grill before serving, giving it some additional texture and flavour.  Both of these dished were real winners in our eyes.

For mains Phillip had the 8oz fillet steak, medium rare, which was perfectly cooked with a deep reddish pink centre and just showed a little resistance to the teeth.  The meat itself had great flavour, enhanced but not overshadowed by a good porcini rub that added to the meatiness and gave the cut some slight salt.  I chose the mixed grill from the lunch menu, perhaps unwisely as it does say it’s ideal for two to share, but I do love mixed grill.  And yes, it was huge.  A big board covered with goodies including 100g of tender medium rare porcini rubbed sirloin, two chicken skewers each with three decent sized tender nuggets of breast on them and more, two fillets of beautifully cooked, moist and flaky red mullet that had nicely seasoned crispy skin and char roasted chorizo, which had great spiciness.  It was a challenge that I wasn’t equal to but I did it some justice! We accompanied the dishes with sides of al dente, purple sprouting broccoli, dressed with crushed toasted hazelnuts and roasted potatoes with rosemary and sea salt, both of which were good.

After a necessary breather we thought we’d share one dessert.  It sounded almost irresistible and the chosen warm prune whiskey walnut crumble cake certainly didn’t disappoint, it was surprisingly light but given texture by the prune and the nut.  This came with some good flavoured creamy Guinness ice cream that had great depth of flavour and some spice to it.

We accompanied our starters with a carafe (effectively two large glasses) of fruity but nicely acidic Sauvignon Blanc and at £15, reasonably priced we thought.  With mains we had the house red, Vina Mariola, which was brightly fruity and had medium plus body with quite low tannins, at £19 a bottle it was really good value.  Starters at Caxton Grill average at £7, Dishes from the Josper grill are in the £20 – £30 range and other mains average around the £20 mark. Service throughout the meal was excellent: the team at Caxton Grill work really well together.   We enjoyed our meal there very much indeed.