Chez Roux at The Langham


If you’re one of the many diners mourning the recent closure of Le Gavroche restaurant in Mayfair after 56 years, you may be cheered to know that the legendary chef Michel Roux Jr has just put his name to a new restaurant. Located at the five star Langham Hotel on Portland Place, with whom he has worked and collaborated for many years, with Roux at The Landau running from 2010 to 2023 (the space is now home to Mimosa restaurant), the new Chez Roux is designed to offer diners a sentimental culinary journey exploring both Michel’s French heritage and his childhood years in rural Kent during the 1960s, with à la carte and tasting menus featuring the dishes he remembers most vividly from his past. Portraits of Michel Roux Jr and his father Albert are positioned at the entrance, and judging from the number of customers Chez Roux has already welcomed since it opened last month, fans of this culinary dynasty are eager to sample the latest venture.

“I have such fond memories of growing up at Fairlawne, where my father spent 7 years cooking for the Cazalet family. From relaxed lunches to extravagant dinner parties, it’s safe to say everyone ate very well! Dad had to learn the great British classics but used all his French technique and skills to cook for the family and esteemed guests. When my parents had to cook dinner parties, the wife of the head butler, Mrs Bradbrook, would babysit, introducing me to the wonders of great British desserts such as crumble and custard, and steamed puddings.”

Open every evening, The Langham’s iconic Palm Court is the home of Chez Roux, one of the most impressive dining rooms in London, with high ceilings, mirrored walls and its own bar. Just as soon as the last afternoon-tea-goers have departed, the space cleverly morphs into a romantic dining room which resembles something from a grand hotel dinner and dance venue of the 1920s. The lights are dimmed and the stage is set for a trip down memory Roux. The only thing slightly out of kilter is the 1950s American diner soundtrack with high tempo hits by Little Richard. If they changed this for a more calming dinner jazz the atmosphere would be a lot more in keeping with the elegant décor and food; music being something that is often overlooked but can so easily clash with the intended tone.

Meanwhile, Chef Michel’s curation of dishes that we all know and love certainly hits the right notes. As he says in the menu introduction, “Many of the recipes that graced tables in the 1960s have faded into obscurity, yet the essence of those dishes holds a special place in my heart.” Try Michel Roux’s take on British classics such as a Welsh Rarebit, heady with stout and Montgomery Cheddar, the Lamb Chops Reform inspired by Alexis Soyer’s recipe from the 1830s, or one of Chef Michel’s own favourites, grilled lobster with garlic butter, frites and béarnaise. But when the tasting menu is such remarkably good value as £80pp (£140 with wine pairing) for six courses, it would be churlish not to go the whole nine yards. The Langham is one of the best hotels for alcohol free alternatives, from pretty much any cocktail under the sun available as non alcoholic and both premium alcohol free sparkling wines we were offered, Oddbird and Wild Idol, paired extremely well with each course.

If the term ‘tasting menu’ conjures up a series of ‘innovative’, practically bite-sized morsels in your imagination, then rest assured that you won’t go away hungry here, or be faced with myriad ingredients you don’t recognise and don’t especially want to eat. This is the kind of food our parents would have recognised as fine dining back in the 1980s, with a first course of salmon rillettes with Jersey Royal and leek salad with buttermilk dressing offering just the pleasant, well-balanced opening you should expect of Chez Roux, and putting me in mind of dishes I’ve been served on luxury train journeys, delightfully familiar and old-fashioned. The same could be said of our attentive waiter, who put our mind at ease regarding our allergens the whole way through and was keen to know if we were happy.

The next course of Cornish Lemon Sole “Meunière” with lemon, capers and brown shrimps would have been a perfect dish if the fish hadn’t been a tad over, however, they pulled it back with the main course of Buccleuch beef fillet with VSOP Cognac peppercorn sauce, served with colcannon mash and green beans ‘amandine’; a wonderfully rare and tender piece of beef prepared majestically. The duo of cheeses, Stichelton and Pitchfork Cheddar, with damson jelly and celery was pleasant if simplistic, and they could easily offer a gluten free alternative to the oatcakes, but it was the cold vanilla rice pudding that proved my low point – made with lashings of cream and dolloped onto the plate tableside for some reason (it wasn’t in the least theatrical), accompanied by a redcurrant coulis and crystalized pistachios. Fortunately my husband, who’s never been a fan of this school pudding and had asked to change his for chocolate mousse, kindly invited me to share this more decadent finale.

There is much to love about Chez Roux, from the culinary nostalgia to the beautiful venue, but with so much of the menu emphasising Michel’s love of simple ingredients cooked to perfection, there is no place to hide. With courses arriving at the table with barely enough time to catch your breath, there is a feeling of catered wedding food. It’s early days and I have no doubt that, with a few tweaks to the menu (and the playlist), they could offer something truly exciting, as the concept of a restaurant serving signature dishes from Michel Roux Jr’s career, alongside his own favourite food is a good one, and as proven by the rollickingly good main course.

Chez Roux at The Langham. Open daily. For more information and reservations please visit the website.