The Coral Room is truly a ruby in the heart of Bloomsbury. Designed by the acclaimed Swedish interior architect Martin Brudnizk, It reflects visions of the early 1920’s and the grand salon bar is an exquisite country house transported to the city. The mix of deep rouge walls, high ceilings and gold finishes, take you immediately away from the hurly burly of central London.
As soon as I entered the main bar area I was struck by how lavish yet simplistic the Coral Room’s design was. Long elegant shimmering chandeliers hung over polished marble and red leather bar stools. The Art Deco style high walls, also brushed a deep red and covered with early 20th century art, perfectly complimenting the large dining area. An active fire place with accompanying large armchairs took it from being somewhere you wanted to eat and drink; to somewhere you would happily waste away the day reading one of the large fine art books that could be found dotted around the adjacent function rooms.
I was greeted by Joel, who unbeknown to me at the time would soon become the most helpful, professional and charismatic waiter I have ever encountered in London. We were soon shown to out table and after some spring water and mulling over the simplistic yet robust menu.
We ordered the ‘Seared Tuna with wasabi mayo’ and the ‘Severn & Wye Smoked Salmon’. The tuna came served in layered square cuts, seared to perfection; tender and rare. The dressing was sweet pink pickled slices of daikon radish with red baby leaves and coriander. This was all served on a bed of creamy wasabi mayo that was well balanced and didn’t over power the flavour of the meat. An attractively presented starter that you would expect from The Coral Room.
The smoked salmon came served folded, dressed in Crème Fraîche, wild capers and cress, served with Guinness brown bread and a lemon portion wrapped decoratively in a light linen parcel. The salmon was perfectly tender and the lemon juice accented the sharpness of the capers. A delicious way to start the meal and generous portion for such fine lunch time dining.
For mains we chose the ‘Grilled Organic Salmon’ accompanied by sweet potato fries and ‘The Bloomsbury Burger with relish, Imokilly Mature Cheddar and Cured Bacon’. The Salmon came medium grilled with a parsley and sweet vinegar reduction that just melted in the mouth. The under skin was salted and crispy. This dish also came with a decorative lemon segment wrapped in fine linen. Drizzled over the salmon, it was a delight. The sweet potato fries were light, fluffy and fairly think cut. A perfect accompaniment to a fish dish like this!
The Bloomsbury burger was served in a traditional brioche bun with sweet onion relish placed separately on the plate. Despite the house rules of the burger being cooked through to well done, the beef maintained its moistness and remained full of flavour. Combined with the smokey cured bacon, warm mature flaky cheese and pickled gherkins on the underside; I was very glad to have ordered this dish. A classic beautifully presented burger.
We were shown the dessert menu by Joel who during the whole meal, had been amazingly helpful with choosing courses. His dessert recommendation was ‘The Morello Cherry Scone’ created by Head Pastry Chef, Chris Dodd. The pretty yellow slice came served with clotted cream, raw honey and home made Jam; topped off with fresh raspberry halves. The pasty surrounding the scone was very light and crumbled nicely into the clotted cream and jam. I soon realised why Joel had recommended this dish. The sweet flavour of the cherry and the sour of the raspberry with the cream got better with every mouthful.
In conclusion, I couldn’t recommend The Coral Rooms enough. If you want to disappear from the smoke and hustle of Bloomsbury, you would do well to wander into this relaxed and sophisticated oasis. Dont forget to ask for Joel…
Address: 16-22 Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B, 3NN
Written by Luke Mandie