You probably know Michel Roux Jr – head of the world famous Mitcheli starred Le Gavroche restaurant, the perfection-seeking host of Masterchef: The Professionals.
Coming from a long history of chefs and restaurateurs – including his famous father of the same name – Mr Michel Junior has evidently always had both a love of food and business running through his veins.
That’s why in recent years he’s opened two more in London under the family name serving the French haute cuisine he is synonymous with.
I was recently at one of these restaurants – Roux at Parliament Square – for a visit to its brand new bar, Roux at the Pembury. It was a night of Ron Zacapa® infused cocktails created ‘off menu’ by the bar’s über skilled manager, Abdulai Kpekawa. Up for grabs were the ‘Zacapa Cerveza’ with lime, beer, honey syrup and a malt and nutmeg foam and the ‘Mayan Martini’, featuring Zacapa, gewürztraminer wine and orange, not to mention a variety of sophisticated little treats modeled on the dishes served downstairs.
With beautiful leather armchairs and bookcases galore, the bar has the feel of a sophisticated gentleman’s club or a private smoking room in the TV series Mad Men (though naturally enough, without the smoke). However, the secret here is the prices are really not what you’d expect. The snacks and light dishes are priced between £5 and £15 and the cost of drinks is not astronomical, considering the well-to-do surroundings. No doubt there’s definitely the option to spend a small fortune here if you want, but equally you could happily while away an hour or two with a couple of glasses of the house wine and some good company – provided you arrive looking the part.
If you’re after a spot to impress an out-of-towner after a touristy trip to the Southbank or Big Ben, then this could quite possibly be it. It’s tranquil, sophisticated and elegant – not entirely unlike the man himself. (Words: Aoife Moriarty, Photo: Paul Winch-Furness / www.paulwf.co.uk)
For more info, visit www.rouxatparliamentsquare.co.uk