Having welcomed the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Oscar Wilde, and Frank Sinatra over the years, London’s Savoy Grill has been a mecca for those seeking a taste of culinary history for over a century.
Though it has seen slight tweaks to its menu over the past 125 years, many dishes have stood the test of time in one form or another: the arnold bennett soufflé (inspired by the classic omelette, packed with smoked haddock and Montgomery cheddar) and Duck a l’orange (with endive, picked orange and spiced jus), to name but a few.
Yet, among its distinguished menu of oysters, caviar and more, a surprising dish continues to reign supreme as diners’ favorite: the humble Beef Wellington.
I’d been told I “had to” try the dish for years, but never booked in to do so. As someone who has spent a good amount of time perfecting my own Beef Wellington recipe, I was dubious.
While, on one hand, it is a technically-challenging dish, it is also a dish that gastropubs have been slapping onto menus for decades. In what world could the Savoy Grill’s version possibly warrant cult status—or a £65 ($81.50) price tag?
Intrigued by the restaurant’s recent refurbishment, I booked in and bit the proverbial bullet.
My comeuppance, of course, was clear the moment I took a bite.
The Savoy Grill’s Beef Wellington is a flawless rendition. The fillet extraordinarily tender, seared to perfection, encased in a thin, flavor-packed layer of duxelles, and packed into golden, flaky pastry.
The kind of dish that makes a person wish they could time travel and taste-test every version the restaurant had ever seen.
(Or maybe that’s just me…)
As I passed my compliments on to the chefs (many of whom dedicate their entire time in the kitchen to Beef Wellingtons alone), I almost felt as though I’d stepped through time.
And I think, all things considered, that’s why its legacy endures.
The Savoy Grill’s Beef Wellington is neither trendy nor Instagram-friendly: it’s just phenomenal cooking. Timeless. Meticulous.
The kind of cooking that struggles to survive in today’s hyper-competitive restaurant landscape yet, here, continues to captivate diners and defy expectations.
It stands, surrounded by a confit Roscoff onion and red wine jus, as a delicious testament to the lasting power of culinary tradition—and if that’s not worth a luxury price tag, I’m not sure what is.