Thursday, 1 September 2011
Roux at the Pembury, Westminster
When their lengthy recess is not being interrupted by revolting peasants, our overlords are off poncing around villas in Chiantishire, building duck houses, or doing whatever MPs do in summer. Where they’re not, tonight, is at the new upstairs bar at Michel Roux Jnr’s restaurant opposite the Foreign Office. We drink alone, attentively ministered to by Liam, a Mark Ronson manqué in sharp black Mod whistle teamed, oddly, with bmi-baby-blue socks. Liam shakes sexy swallows from a list gratingly broken down into ‘hors d’œuvres, plats principaux and désert.’ For around the cost of a bath plug and a two XXX movie rentals, how about a ‘hang the calories!’ fit for our former gormless Labour Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith? Bristol Million (Cuervo blanco tequila, spiced syrup, lime, banana and chocolate truffles) costs £9.25. Me, I’m more of a William’s Tipple man (a Tanqueray 10, ginseng and bitters martini) served tonight with pork scratching popcorn (£2), char-grilled mini chorizo, and feta-stuffed peppers. I recall Marina O'Loughlin, in her METRO review of Rou,x describing its new bar as 'personality-free.' She's not wrong. My date, a designer routinely consulted by smart money out to open starry watering holes, doesn't fancy it much either. We agree that top ‘tails deserve better than a palette of deep vein thrombosis tones, lumpen seating groups, flat lighting, naff vases, stereo Ikea-esque paper floor lamps, and tacky globe drinks cabinets. Is it an attempt at postmodern irony, or just rubbish taste? If Margaret Beckett did interior design…. or, come to that, David Blunkett and his guide dog. Either way, nice drinks, shame about the Shire Counties MP shite drawing room chic. But my readers must ultimately judge for themselves. To which end, a pic.
Roux at the Pembury, RICS Great George Street, SW1P 3AD 7334 3737