Test Drives

We are firmly in game season and, more particularly, grouse season. But while previous years would have seen us solely covering where you can enjoy grouse around town, this year we thought we'd reflect the new normal and cover two ways to enjoy it - either in a restaurant or at home.

To that end, we went to the heart of St James to try grouse in its most natural London setting - and also tried an at-home DIY kit. Here's how we got on.

 

Grouse in town

45 Jermyn St is becoming one of our go-to places to try grouse when it's in season. This St James restaurant has close links to Scottish grouse moors and prides itself on being one of the first to have grouse on the menu on The Glorious Twelfth itself.

This year, they have three grouse specials on the menu, and we tried two of them:

grouse londonGrouse and Foie Gras Pie, Blackberry Jam and Malt Gravy (£28.50) - a vision of beauty as far as pies go, with loads of malty gravy poured all over it. The grouse itself is from Lammermuir Hills on the Scottish borders.

grouse londonGrouse Breast, Liver Parfait on Toast with Girolles and Poached Figs (£21.50) - warned this was quite a small portion, we felt it was so rich it was just the right size as a main, particularly when paired with loads of the restaurant's uber buttery mash. Perfect if you don't fancy hacking away at a whole grouse, although that's the third option and comes with the usual trimmings of game chips and bread sauce. 

Of course, when you're at the restaurant, it's not ALL about the grouse. Lots of the dishes here are prepared tableside - and we had to give the caviar trolley a go.

grouse londonThere's a choice of three caviars - we opted for two, Siberian sturgeon and golden oscietra from Belgium. The former is £2/g, the latter £3.20/g and you need to order a minimum of 10g for the table. But it also comes with blins, baked new potatoes and scrambled eggs, prepared by the waiter at the table after he's measured out your caviar.

Overall thoughts: If you're minded to head into town for your grouse fix this season, we can't think of a better place to enjoy it. The service here has always been on point and, as you can see from the picture, they're taking all the necessary Covid precautions with table spacing increased and all waiters wearing masks.

Where is the restaurant? 45 Jermyn St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6DN

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @45jermynst

 

At home

Restaurant Kits is a new post-lockdown company delivering restaurant dish and drink kits. One of its most recent additions is The Glorious Roast grouse kit from Mac & Wild. The dish in question is actually a European take on a grouse dish - roast highland grouse on all-butter brioche boast served with red peppers, spring onions and chicken jus.

The kit for two is £39 and for that you get two British Game Alliance approved grouse - so you'll know the shoot was operating to the highest ethical and sustainable standards. There's a brioche loaf for slicing and buttering plus the various sides. sweet red peppers, chicken jus & green onions. As well as the ingredients, each kit includes a step-by-step recipe guide and is made to serve two people.

grouse londonThe finished dish - we were pretty pleased with this. 

Overall thoughts: Instructions are extensive and clear - but there's no getting away from the fact that you're dealing with quite a bloody raw bird, so this may not be for the seriously squeamish. But the end result was pleasingly professional and if you need your grouse fix but aren't all that keen on going into town, this would be just the thing for you.

How to order: Order online from Restaurant Kits UK

Find out more: Visit Mac and Wild's website or follow them on Instagram @macandwild

 Hot Dinners dined as guests of 45 Jermyn St and were sent the Glorious Roast Grouse Kit as a gift. All prices correct at time of publication.

 

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