Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG, 020 7300 1400
Underground: Oxford Circus
The scene: A West-End haunt for the suave and chic.
Glide past the hotel’s long, bright bar into a dimly lit restaurant that evokes a sort of Oriental allure. You’ll impress a date right off the bat, especially if you mention that Amy Winehouse once ransacked a room in the celebrity-frequented hotel.
The food : Fancy Malay ate small dishes to share. Amidst the lip-smacking menu are green curried Welsh salt marsh lamb with curried lentils, sweet and spicy coconut milk chicken skewers and crispy soft shell crab.
Every dish is impeccably presented, but the food falls short of unreasonable expectations for flavor. The tender lamb crumbles with a fork, but the curry is sorely lacking in bite. The savory rice cubes accompanying the chicken skewers are a surprise delight, but something tells me that was unintentional.
Behind the bar: The cocktails are divine. Hit your socks off with a Vesuvio – a mix of vodka, lychee, lemon and chilli.
The bill please: Dishes cost between £10 and £30.
Verdict: A totally cool place just to be, with refreshing and unpretentious staff.