Test Driving Siren at The Goring - Nathan Outlaw opens the hotel's first new restaurant in 100 years

roomJust having a lovely dinner by our their back garden...

What's changed at The Goring?

The Belgravia hotel is renowned as being a place that the Queen sometimes dines in and they even keep one of the Queen Mother's favourite dishes on the menu of its Dining Room restaurant. But now things are changing gears with Siren, the first new restaurant to be added to The Goring in over 100 years. The bar has had a huge overhaul too. 

So they've added a whole new restaurant? How exactly have they managed that?

Quite ingeniously, it has to be said. They've taken a bit of the bar, all of the terrace and a small bit of the garden to create an entirely new space at the back of the hotel. Surrounded with glass doors, it can be opened to the elements if the weather is clement, or shut to give you the benefit of air-con/heating - but still with a lovely view of one of the best back gardens in Belgravia. 

The restaurant has been designed by Russell Sage studios with some very floral upholstery. We know this hasn't been to everyone's taste, but we actually thought it was a good match for the room. 

roomCocktails in the bar - that Garden Gimlet on the right cost £18 but was an outstandingly well crafted cocktail featuring Beefeater Gin, Italicus bergamot liqueur, Earl Grey & tonic cordial, green strawberry bitters, Champagne and a rose sugar rim.

And how has the bar changed?

Quite significantly. We visited the bar about a year ago and while we've always had a soft spot for it, we did think that maybe it was getting to be time for a revamp. They've now done a cracking job of that. The room is much brighter than before (the dark wallpaper has gone), all the furniture has been updated and the whole thing feels much more like a 21st-century bar (while still retaining the classic elements). Apart from losing a little bit of space at the back of the bar itself to the restaurant, the overall space is generally unchanged. 

So yes, you'll want to leave some time before or after your meal to grab a drink here (unless the weather is glorious, in which case a drink beside the lawn may be a better bet). The cocktails are still excellent and properly boozy too.  

So what's Siren all about?

The new restaurant sees Nathan Outlaw, whose previous London restaurant was at The Capital, taking over. That means that the menu has specific seafood leanings, as indicated by the glass lobster-pot lights on the ceiling. Fish is delivered from Cornwall (where Outlaw also has restaurants) and there will always be seafood specials on the menu. 

Where should we sit?

Definitely in the main conservatory area (there are a few spillover seats outside it, but you really want a seat in there) and we think the best seats are by the window, where you can gaze out on the lawn pretending that you own the place. Which we did (see pic at top). 

What should we order?

The menu is a standard starters, mains, desserts layout, with an extra section for market specials, where you're going to find a lot of the catches of the day. If you're after the freshest, seasonal fish, pay attention to that section, although we've already seen the main menu shift seasonally only a few weeks after opening.

Is it pricey?

Yes it is - but that's to be expected in this hotel. Here's what we went for.

roomThe bread course (brought to all tables) is something to behold. Not only do you get a mini St John loaf and some seaweed butter, but there's an enormous helping of truly excellent smoked cod's roe. We'd happily have had this on its own for a starter - it's bloody good. We also covet their crockery. 

roomCuttlefish Black Pudding, Apple & Kohlrabi (£16) - yes that's black pudding with little bits of cuttlefish throughout. The kohlrabi was a good match for this, not sure about the apple ketchup though. 

roomLobster & Pea Tart (£22) - almost too pretty to eat. Almost. This was absolutely stuffed with lobster meat.

roomFrom the market menu, the lobster, grilled over fire with herbs and garlic (£56). Tremendously messy, in a very good way. 

roomTurbot, baked on the bone and served with roast fennel and a seaweed hollandaise which was a nice update on a classic (£42).

roomSiren's sides game is pretty strong. The portions are generous, and these crispy potatoes with garlic and parsley (£5) were excellent - essentially Siren's alternative to chips (get these with the battered hake for what should be an excellent fish and chips supper). 

Anything else?

Much as we'd like to - we can't order everything - but there were a few other things that we'd fancy trying on a second visit:

  • Battered hake, herbs and warm tartare sauce (£26) - pair this with the "chips" above
  • Seabass, devilled shrimp butter (we'd order it for this alone) and chicory (£40)
  • And if you're not fancying fish, there's a dry-aged steak, tarragon and anchovy sauce with mushrooms (£36). 

And how about dessert?

You should definitely try to make it to the dessert section - we were very happy with our choices:

roomThe No 1 choice, Raspberry Choux Bun, Dark Chocolate Sauce (£14). The top is filled with raspberry cream and there's extra chocolate sauce on the side (as well as some raspberry sorbet). 

roomStrawberry Tart with (tucked in behind it) a lovely scoop of yoghurt sorbet  as a perfect foil to that overflowing mound of sweet strawberries(£16)

How about drinks?

There's a good selection of wines by the glass, and your entry point here is £9.50 a glass/£34 a bottle for a "2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine du Peras" on the white side and "Les Vignes de l’Eglise, Grenache, Merlot, Pays d’Oc, France, 2018" for red. Or hey, why not splash out for a "Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, 1er Cru Classe, Pauillac, France, 2000". That's yours for £2900. 


We'd read a couple of differing reviews before coming to Siren so weren't sure what to expect, but we absolutely loved the place. We think the room looks just gorgeous and it's an amazing achievement to have carved it out of the limited space they had. Nathan Outlaw's menu is strong and seems the right match for this setting. On a summer's day, it's just a lovely space to eat, gazing out onto the back lawn. it took them 100 years to get around to opening this restaurant, but we think it's been worth the wait. 

Hot Dinners ate as guests of Siren. Prices are correct at the time of writing.  


More about Siren at the Goring

Where is it? 15 Beeston Pl, Westminster, London SW1W 0JW

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Twitter @thegoring

And read all about our recent overnight stay.  


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