What can be better than the restaurant trolley – an age-old tradition of carting food with a touch of performance right to your table. And while Covid took its best shot at restaurant trolleys, they didn’t die out, they’re back and just as brilliantly glitzy as ever. If you love a bit of theatre with your dinner, here’s where you’ll find carts of all kinds in London.
The Game Bird
The Game Bird, inside The Stafford hotel, offers their smoked and cured fish trolley at the beginning of your meal. Several entire fillets of smoked and cured fish are wheeled out and slices are cut and served at your table. You can choose from Wellgate smoked salmon, whiskey spiked Balvenie H Forman & Son smoked salmon, and house-cured Chalkstream trout gravlax, accompanied by bread, horseradish cream, chopped egg, cucumber and dill pickle, mustard dressing and capers.
16-18 St James’ Place, London SW1A 1NJ
A slice of Paris here in our very own London, Maison Francois’ patisserie trolley is a thing of beauty. Tartes and gateaux are wheeled out on top of the trolley and the drawers open to reveal columns of pretty pastries, eclairs, macarons and canelés. You’ll want one of everything.
34 Duke Street, London SW1Y 6DF
The Colony Grill Room
Located in The Beaumont, the New York-style Colony Grill Room has two trolleys (ok technically not trolleys because they don’t have wheels but you get the idea) one serving steak tartare and the other Cobb salad. The steak is chopped and mixed with your choice of seasoning – whether you’re more into tabasco or capers – right at your table. The same goes for the Cobb salad, where you can personalise your dish and have it tossed in front of you.
8 Balderton Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6TF
Launceston Place has a trolley (well, trolleys if you count the mini one that the confit potato comes served in) that serves as an extravagant cheese board, with what appears to be every kind of fromage imaginable. Take your time and make sure you have somewhere you can lie down afterwards.
1a Launceston Place, London W8 5RL
Queen of cakes Lily Vanilli leads The Lane’s Regency period-inspired afternoon tea with a range of elaborately decorated cakes and pastries. To finish, a trolley carting Lily’s absinthe mint choc chips ice cream is brought to the table to serve it up by the scoop.
Catherine St, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5JF
At Cinnamon Bazaar, a trolley (called Chamiya) wheels everything you need to build your own chaat plate right at your table – including crisp wheat bowls, tamarind yoghurt, chickpea vermicelli, lentils, spices, chutneys, cashews, veggies and more.
28 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7JS
Terra at Eataly
Terra, one of the restaurants inside Eataly, has two different trolleys roaming around the space – one with a wheel of gorgonzola, which gets scooped onto plates and topped with walnuts, dried figs and honey, and another with maritozzo, the first of its kind in the UK. Maritozzo is a brioche and whipped cream dessert and at Terra, it’s wheeled over to the tables and topped with black cherries, pistachios, hazelnuts & amaretti.
135 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3YD