What's the draw?
It's probably fair to say that, despite him being helming food festival Meatopia, butcher shop Turner & George and a fair few other projects across the city, London had been yearning for a restaurant with Richard H Turner in the kitchen. Lucky for us, though, these days he's executive chef at the excellent Gridiron, a restaurant in the Como Metropolitan that serves some of the best grilled meat to be found in London.
What to drink?
Hotel bars mean cocktails, and this one's no exception. We eschewed bitter aperitifs for a couple of sweeter options, the Pineapple Martini, a mixture of Absolut Elyx and clarified pineapple liqueur, and the Lucky Rabbet, a combination of Rebel Rabbet vodka, dry vermouth, banana and lemon curd that ends up like a lemon meringue pie in a glass. Wine-wise, there's plenty of good stuff to be found: we loved a Bell'Assai from Sicilian winemaker Donnafugata, made with the frappato grape and served slightly chilled, all toffeed notes on the nose and candied cranberry on the palate; and a sweet malvasia from Malvasia Passito that landed somewhere between an oxidative PX sherry and a tawny port.
What to eat?
Despite Turner's fondness for meat, he's also a keen believer in the virtues of plant-based eating and moderation. However, unless you're veggie or vegan, we'd suggest being carnivorous for the night here, starting with the must-order buttermilk fried chicken, gamey and rich in umami as well-sourced chicken should be, with a fiery espelette pepper hit and served alongside a creamy Kewpie-ish mayo.
Turner and Fergus Henderson's Trotter Gear stock adorns a sumptuous chop of mangalitsa pork from Cornwall
Lobster pasta comes in sweetly fragrant broth with chunks of poached lobster that gives between the teeth, while Turner and Fergus Henderson's collaborative Trotter Gear (a gorgeous braised pig's trotter stock) adorns both a sumptuous chop of mangalitsa pork from Tom Adams in Cornwall, and potato purée, which also benefits from the addition of blue cheese. We finished with a knockout sticky toffee pudding spiked with armagnac and served with clotted cream and rolled home afterwards.
Snacks from £3.5, cocktails from £13. 19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB; gridironlondon.com