The Sport Chicken restaurant assessment, The Stafford lodge, London

The Sport Chicken restaurant assessment, The Stafford lodge, London

Tucked away within the pristine St James’s Place, the historic Stafford London is the type of lodge I think about is supposed for many who wish to go to the capital whereas feeling they’re truly staying at a quiet, English nation manor. 

Its restaurant, The Sport Chicken, is all about showcasing the very best in British produce and supporting artisan makers. It opened in 2017, however chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen – of Michelin-starred sister property Northcote in Lancashire – joined the Stafford workforce in 2021 to work alongside govt chef Jozef Rogulski on a brand new menu, and the outcomes of that work are in. 

This “hidden gem” within the coronary heart of London is “effectively value discovering”, mentioned restaurant information Harden’s. And its “top-of-the-range” traditional British delicacies is “going from power to power”. In addition to The Sport Chicken, The Stafford additionally boasts The American Bar, personal eating rooms and dramatic 380-year-old working wine cellars.

The Sport Chicken restaurant assessment, The Stafford lodge, London

The interiors

The aim with the décor at The Sport Chicken, as with the remainder of The Stafford, appears to be to mix the traditional and up to date and meet someplace at a satisfyingly elegant midpoint. In most methods, the design manages to hit that spot very effectively. 

Painted a wealthy duck egg blue and lined in lots of, many mouldings, the room has an opulent really feel whereas dodging the ostentatious. It additionally manages to really feel fairly welcoming and unintimidating for the white tableclothed restaurant of a five-star Mayfair lodge. 

The partitions show artwork that may at finest be described as eclectic and at worst incongruous, however the dimly-lit eating room retains a comfortable environment. Whereas it’s truly fairly a big area, we loved how the restaurant’s form meant that quite a lot of the tables are tucked away in nooks and really feel quiet. If I had been visiting London and spending my days wandering across the busiest components of the town, I can think about trying ahead to a night cocooned at The Sport Chicken earlier than heading as much as mattress. 

This isn’t a kind of “fancy-schmancy” locations the place you “have to fret about whether or not you’re speaking too loud or utilizing the incorrect fork”, mentioned Sam Barker on Secret London. It’s definitely a “stylish institution”, however within the true sense of the phrase: “like an old-world gentleman.” 

Crispy North Sea cod with warm tartar sauce, lemon and parsley

The menu 

The guts of The Sport Chicken’s menu is the produce on provide. From hand-dived scallops and house-cured chalk stream trout gravlax, to chargrilled grass-fed steak and jersey royal dumplings, you gained’t discover a menu merchandise with easy elements like “potatoes” listed. What you can see, nonetheless, is recent British produce that has been meticulously curated. In case you’re nonetheless undecided what tone they’re attempting to strike, the truth that the meat and veg part of the à la carte menu is labelled “Hoof, Feather and Subject” ought to inform you every thing you have to know. 

The night kicked off with the butteriest brioche, selfmade with black onion seeds and thyme. For starters, we went with the crispy North Sea cod in breadcrumbs, which was deliciously recent and flaky and served with a tartare sauce with beneficiant chunks of gherkin and caper. The scallops with cauliflower, buttermilk and sea herbs had been additionally mild and flavourful, introduced in a shell precariously balanced atop heat pebbles.

The restaurant’s signature dish – the Sport Chicken duck pie – is excellent. The pie is tightly packed and wealthy as will be, but eminently conquerable. The duck breast is lined with Prosciutto di Parma, mushrooms, a type of stuffing, and topped with a drizzle of gravy. 

Dover sole meunière

We additionally tried the Dover sole meunière, which had a £58 price ticket to reside as much as. It was, nonetheless, a superbly ready and fairly huge piece of feather-light fish, drenched in lemon and caper butter. 

When it comes to sides, we discovered the triple cooked chips just a little oily, however the mixture of inexperienced and white asparagus – not simple to search out within the UK – was a beautiful shock. 

For dessert, the crêpes suzette made for a festive finish to the night. The waiter wheeled out a transportable hob, including the citrussy toppings in entrance of our desk earlier than setting the concoction aflame. The apple pie soufflé was additionally glorious and paired for us with a subtly candy dessert wine served in frosty chilled glasses – a beautiful contact. 

Classic crêpes suzette is flamed tableside

The wine 

The wine record is nothing in need of gargantuan – unsurprising whenever you realise The Stafford’s cellars maintain greater than 8,000 bottles. Constructed within the seventeenth century by Lord Francis Godolphin and used as an air raid shelter through the Second World Conflict, the cellars at the moment are the place the sommeliers host wine tasting and pairings. Nevertheless, our meal was paired for us expertly, so we had been left with no doubts that the workforce would be capable to present dependable recommendation for anybody overwhelmed. 

The Game Bird’s bar area

The decision

The Sport Chicken is a gem for these on the lookout for British custom and produce served at its most elevated, but accessible. The service is second to none and the employees are welcoming, educated, and attentive, whereas supplying you with area to truly eat your meal. In the event you’re staying at The Stafford or just on the lookout for advantageous eating in a quiet, velvety spot in Mayfair, it’s a superb alternative. 

Asya Likhtman was a visitor of The Sport Chicken. The Stafford London 16-18 St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NJ;