Whatever happened to the days when men were men and rock gods ate live animals and drank anything with a whiff of alcohol? Wannabe Ozzy Osbournes can forget live bats and other conventionally inedible animals, because if this new restaurant and bar is anything to go by, it appears that the rebels of society have developed a taste of the finer things in life!
Launched by Iron Maiden’s assisting manager, Mark Fuller, The Sanctum Hotel has been created as a haven for rock stars; think expensive underwear and ½litre bottles of JD as standard in every room and let your imagination do the rest. However, on the Friday night that we visited, No.20 was a fairly subdued affair; with our table booked for 7pm, perhaps we were simply far too early for the nocturnal creatures that this place is aimed at.
The venue itself comprises an open plan restaurant and bar. With its glossy leather chairs, gold-rose wall coverings and striking pink ribbed columns, there’s a suitably cool and glam feel. The cocktail menu is a simple mix of classic with a few original creations, and my Singapore Sling proved to be a good warm-up act for the main event which was the food.
The meal too hit most of the right notes. Starters of Scallops, peas & bacon was a beautifully cooked version of this classic combo, with peas sweet enough to induce diabetes offset by the salty bacon; Bong Dan’s Morecambe Bay potted shrimps were too buttery, but flavoursome and well seasoned. My mains of Pan-fried sea bream, Dublin Bay prawns & cauliflower cream was near enough perfection on a plate; by contrast, the only off-key item on the evening was the Aged Longhorn rib eye which was accompanied an altogether disagreeable red wine butter. Desserts were good enough to deserve an encore, with an unbelievably light yet perfectly sweet Treacle tart with rich clotted cream, whilst Bongo Dan seemingly demolished his Strawberry Trifle before our waitress could put it on the table!
Overall, some seriously good food, a cool venue and decent cocktails; perhaps if you book your table at 11pm, you might even get to spot an elusive rocker settling down to his first meal of the day!
Dinner for 2 (excluding drinks): £60
No.20 @ The Sanctum Hotel
20 Warwick Street
Tel: 020 7292 6100