“ Address: 252 High Holborn / London / WC1V 7EN „
In September it was one of my best friend's birthdays and as we are all turning 24 in consecutive months we decided to do something different and go to a really posh restaurant up in central London and live a little bit!
It was 3 of us and we settled on the Pearl, which is a Brasserie restaurant in Holborn in Central London and part of a bar and restaurant adjoined to the Chancery Court Hotel. It was easy to find upon arriving at Holborn tube station it was about a 3 minute walk to find the restaurant.
Upon entering we were greeted promptly and courteously as we had booked a table for 6pm, and trying to set a good impression we arrived at 5.55pm. We were walked to our table and given the lovely service as the waiter pulled out our chairs and put our napkins over our lap. We were given a wine list and I asked for a cocktail menu as I had examined the menu for days before hand trying to decide what I wanted and had read of a chocolate liquer and strawberry cocktail.
I was very disappointed as the waiter informed us that the Menu online was actually the old menu from the Summer and they had now a new menu for the Autumn period so what was online should have been updated. I informed him I had been on the website that morning and had seen the cocktail available but as I had bad signal in the restaurant I was unable to actually go on page on my phone to show him as he wanted to see so he could inform the senior manager of the inaccurate information online. Nevertheless he was polite and apologetic and I chose the Pear Te cocktail as an alternative.
I had a Pear Te which cost £10.50 and was made with Vodka, Pear Juice, Cinammon and other ingredients I cannot remember! It's odd as it is not listed on the website but was really nice and quite strong! I could only consume small sips at a time so it lasted me throughout my entire meal, as we were also given water on the table which I sipped in between so I didn't get too tipsy and fall off my chair!
My friend who's birthday it was had a Chelsea flower show cocktail which is created especially for the chelsea flower show. It was a floral mix of Tanqueray gin, kwai feh lychee liqueur, cranberry juice and orange bitters, finished off with rose champagne. I sipped a small amount of hers and it was really soft and floral and nowhere near as alcoholic as mine! She gulped hers down in about 3 minutes as she drinks like a fish, and afterwards she had water also.
My other friend was a bit of a party pooper and didn't drink alcohol so sipped water at the restaurant until we hit a bar afterwards and we poured a few cocktails down her throat!
Preceeding the starters we had complimentary bread and butter on the table which was warm and soft and extremely filling. I ordered the crabcakes which cost £15.50 and it was literally THE BEST CRABCAKES I HAVE EVER HAD. There were 3, and they were quite large and filled with lots of crab meat and seasoning which tasted really good. They were served with sliced avocado and a mango relish which I thought was an odd mix but the condiments complimented each other immensely and it was sweet and savoury all at the same time and I couldn't get enough! My friends ordered different starters but all wanted to eat mine! I shared a bit but my starter was much better than theirs haha!
My friend had Chicken Liver Parfait served with brioche. I am not fond of any kind of liver (lol!) so I didn't try any but she did say she has had better. The brioche was warm and filling but the chicken liver she said was a bit bland.
My other friend had salmon and prawn cocktail, which was exquisitely presented. Weirdly again I am not fond of cold prawns so I didn't try any but her words were "it's nice". I think secretly they were quite jealous and wanted my crabcakes as they were really good and they kept asking to try mine but I wasn't interested in trying any of theirs!
As mentioned before the dinner menu in the restaurant was different to what I had read online and so we were all a bit disappointed at the variety. There was a section called "home comforts" which had dishes like Chicken Tikka Masala, Fish and Chips, Burger and fries, Sweet and Sour Chicken and rice etc. We felt a bit ripped off as we wanted to pay more for fine cuisine and it didn't sit well with me to spend £25 for Fish and Chips or Burger and chips when I could go somewhere else and get grubby greasy food for much less! After much deliberating over the menu we all reluctantly chose dishes which seemed a bit more interesting from the grill section.
My friends wanting to be different both chose the Roast pork belly with Potato, whereas I chose the Lemon & Garlic Poussin with a red wine mushroom sauce and mash potato. There was a choice of sides like onion rings, chips, garlic bread or salad but wanting something not so 'fast food' stereotypical I opted for the mash. My main cost £22 and their main was about £26.
I absolutely loved my chicken (yep I went for the safe option!) and the sauce was sooo good, I really want to learn to make it! It was so tasty I could have licked the plate clean but trying to maintain some dignity I decided not to! My friends did both love the pork belly, my best friend ate hers literally in about 2 minutes, one blink and her plate was empty!
We didn't have any dessert as we were all satisfied and none of the desserts really tickled our fancy disappointingly. We were in the restaurant in total for 2 hours, I felt this was due to us taking a while to decide what to eat after realising the menu in the restaurant was different to what we looked at online and also I felt the starters took a while to arrive. Once we finished our starter, the time for our main to arrive was reasonable and didn't feel too long which was good.
The service was outstanding and at 6pm on a saturday evening the restaurant was particularly quiet, more than we had anticipated. The ambience was still lovely and quiet, we didn't really need to book a table but we were glad we did in any case.
I was really happy with our dinner, we left about 8pm but I have to say by 10pm I was hungry again! This could have been due to the fact that I didn't really eat much all day except burger king at 3pm in the afternoon so I didn't blame the restaurant too much as I am quite a pig and could eat all day if I could afford it lol!
I would definitely go back again, maybe not too soon as there are loads of other restaurants I would like to experience, hopefully one day a Michelin Star one (here's to planning!) but nevertheless I would 100% recommend The Pearl to anyone.
252 High Holborn
London WC1V 7EN
020 7829 7000