Caxton Grill is one of very few restaurants in London to feature a Josper Grill (the second ever in town according to the folks there), thus providing all sorts of omnivorous excuses to pay an empty stomach visit to this restaurant located within the four star St Ermin's Hotel.
Of Spanish origin and all the rage with a number of US chefs at the moment, the Josper is a charcoal based “closed barbeque operated by a system of adjustable draughts” that cooks super fast at incredibly hot temperatures and (as the argument goes) more thoroughly than any other option as the heat is distributed evenly from above, below, left and right of whatever's been placed on the grill. And at £17,000 per grill, it's an expensive piece of kit.
A list of some of London's Josper owning notables includes Bistro du Vin, Gordon Ramsay's Maze and Jamie's Oliver's Barbecoa. It's safe to reckon Caxton Grill offers as good a meal as those with much less aplomb and probably at much better value for money. A 200g fillet of Aberdeen beef (£30) with mustard rub served rare from the grill is gorgeous with a char-grilled, almost bacon-y exterior and a cooked through and through yet still rather dark pink interior. A range of other steaks, burgers and meaty mains suggests the restaurant's putting its Josper to good use. Pescos and veggies aren't left in the cold though. Caxton Grill uses the Josper for about 75% of its dishes. 300 degree oyster mushrooms (£4) are a savoury delight. Wilted spinach, chilli and anchovy is an equally tasty dish.
Nifty kitchen appliances aside, there's still plenty of reason to visit Caxton Grill: a particularly steak friendly but nonetheless quality all rounder wine list, personable service (some might say a bit too much) and an attractive and comfortable “grown up” setting for relaxed and elegant dining. And for all the big grill raving in this review, Caxton does dainty quite nicely too. For example, “baby beetroot textures” with Hampshire mozzarella (£6) is an especially pretty dish for those seeking depth and complexity of flavour without having to bite into a chunk of beast.
When you go, make sure to pass through the hotel's lobby to see what an 18 month, £30 million renovation can do to spruce things up. The place is absolutely gorgeous. And winding down with a drink at the hotel's becoming bar wouldn't be a terrible way to end an evening. A variety of wine and whisky flights (from £13) on the drinks menu offer a bit of tippler intrigue.
Caxton Grill is located at 2 Caxton Street, SW1H OQW with its own street entrance and is also accessible from the lobby of St Ermin's Hotel.
Disclaimer: Londonist visited Caxton Grill upon invitation of the restaurant.