Chef Tom Booton famously became Head Chef at The Dorchester Grill back in 2019 at the age of just 26 – making him the youngest head chef in the restaurant’s history. The restaurant has been a huge success and Tom has won many plaudits for his cooking, so it’s perhaps not surprising to see that the restaurant has had a slight rebrand, complete with Tom’s name above the door.
The Grill by Tom Booton, as it’s now known, is in the same space as The Dorchester Grill always was but the menu has had had an overhaul with a whole host of new dishes. The Grill is all about classic cooking and big flavours but there’s a creative flair and element of fun in Tom’s cooking that elevates it well above a by-the-numbers grill restaurant.
One of our top recommendations from the snacks menu was something we nearly didn’t order, but our server insisted we tried – and we are so very glad he did. Yes, the crispy semolina might not sound like much but these delicate spheres are stuffed with melted gouda cheese and topped with salami and they explode in your mouth. An actual flavour bomb. Other must-orders from the snacks menu include the milk rolls with salted butter and the fried shimeji mushrooms (complete with KFC-inspired spice mix), all of which are best paired with a glass of fizz from the Champagne trolley of course.
From the small plates we went for squid Bolognese “a la Koffmann” named in tribute to the famous dish created by Pierre Koffmann. Thin strips of squid are used in place of pasta, which is then topped with the most banging squid bolognese sauce. We also tried the crispy pork, a puck of breaded, deep fried pork topped with onion soubises, mustard, capers, and a pig’s head gravy. Rich and tasty AF.
For mains, there’s the large plates section or you can go for one of the big sharing dishes, such as large steaks or the ‘All-In’ chicken – a stuffed and roasted chicken crown, glazed wings, and mini shortcrust pies. There was no way just two of us were going to manage that so we stuck to the large plates instead, going for an excellent Cornish plaice with anchovies and warm tartar sauce, plus lamb ‘shepherd’s pie’ – the pie itself is served on the side of the main lamb dish and had a genius touch of a layer of mint sauce directly on the potato topping, which worked brilliantly. Don’t miss the chips with salad cream either – they take two days to make and they have one chef whose only job is to nail these crispy, golden, layered beauties.
Our only regret was that we stuffed ourselves so silly that we couldn’t fit in desserts. But there’s no doubt that the new Grill by Tom Booton is a brilliant restaurant and that Tom himself is one of the country’s best chefs. We can highly recommend a visit if you haven’t made it to The Grill yet.
53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA