Seven Park Place★ // St James’s // London

Call us cynical, but Seven Park Place is a hotel’s vain attempt to put itself on the map by bringing in a well-known chef; sadly, this trick is not likely to work.  On paper, it all looks great, but if Chef William Drabble was to sit through the entire dining experience, he would be disappointed.

Despite the promising start of a great negroni, there is a lot to do to build the reputation of this hotel restaurant as a London destination for top-level dining.

Perhaps Drabble’s first downfall is that he doesn’t take advantage of the exceptional array of fresh produce to be sourced in this country. Surprisingly, he seems to have found the worst vegetable supplier in London.

His signature dish of poached native lobster tail with summer vegetables totally lacks flavour and seasoning. Worse still is the pan-fried fillet of sea bass with plasticy pieces of aubergine and watery courgettes without an ounce of flavour.

Maybe the lamb was the winner. If it was bigger and cooked to perfection, it would certainly be the best dish on the menu.

Front of house, the maître d’ was experienced and professional, though the rest of his team would be more suited to a bistro environment rather than a *1 star fine dining restaurant. Currently, Seven Park Place could not be compared to the level of the Greenhouse. If they really want to hit a 1* star level, they will need to start from scratch.

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