As a passionate food enthusiast, I recently embarked on a culinary adventure at Grill 88, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the city. Set to be a sophisticated new spot on historic Grosvenor Square, Grill 88 at The Biltmore Mayfair offers guests and visitors the highest-quality steaks and seafood in an intimate setting ideal for celebrations as well as everyday relaxed dining.
Evoking the glamour of times-gone-by with its sleek art-deco inspired interiors, the restaurant’s ambiance is serene yet sultry. With just 32 covers, an open-plan kitchen and live cooking, Grill 88 promises personalised and intimate dining experiences. Sage green tones are complemented by cool white marble surfaces and brushed brass metalwork. The early evening sunlight flows in at dusk, thanks to large sash windows overlooking Grosvenor Square, and highlights the abstract hanging artworks by La Viola. With its contemporary décor, warm lighting, and a touch of understated elegance, Grill 88 provides the perfect setting for an intimate and memorable dining experience.
The menu, designed by Executive Chef Luis Campos, celebrates the highest-quality ingredients, from outstanding aged Lake District Sirloin Steaks to Japanese Wagyu, Australian cuts, and the finest Kelly and Gillardeau oysters. Chef Campos said: “To me, cooking is a lifestyle. It gives you not only what you need to stay creative on a daily basis, but also something special to share with your family, friends and community. When designing the menu, I looked back on my travels around the globe and aimed to bring not only some of the world’s highest-quality meat cuts, but also experimental flavours, to Grill 88 and Mayfair”.
Intrigued by their tantalizing menu, I eagerly anticipated an exceptional dining experience. And let me assure you, Grill 88 exceeded all expectations, captivating my taste buds with their exquisite dishes and impeccable service.
Dishes are prepared using the specially-sourced Holm Oak charcoal, rich and earthy with peaty notes, that adds an underscore of sweetness to the menu. Grill 88 offers a variety of prime beef cuts, including grain-fed Japanese A5 Kagoshima Black Breed Ribeye Wagyu, and large cuts to share including a Full-Blood Wagyu Chateaubriand or Butcher’s Platter. For convivial celebrations and a touch of ceremony, guests can enjoy steak cooked at the table on Himalayan salt or a lava block, including a Black Pork Iberico Presa.
The restaurant’s signature cocktail list celebrates the local Mayfair neighbourhood, with specialty drinks, such as the ‘Mezcal Mews’ and ‘Grosvenor Affair’ served alongside classic cocktails.
A Divine Introduction of Homemade Bread & Flavoured Butter
At Grill 88, even the humble bread basket becomes a delightful masterpiece that sets the stage for an exceptional dining experience.
As the basket of warm, freshly baked bread arrives at the table, it becomes evident that this is no ordinary bread. Each variety, meticulously crafted and bursting with unique flavours, promises a journey of sensory delight.
The first temptation, the Marmite Bread, captures the essence of umami and savoury indulgence. Its subtle yet distinctive flavour, born from the infusion of the legendary Marmite spread, leaves a lingering satisfaction on the palate. The robust and bold notes of Marmite are expertly balanced, ensuring that every bite is an explosion of flavour that delights even the most discerning taste buds.
Next in line, the Potato and Thyme Bread showcases the harmonious combination of earthy ingredients. The gentle aroma of thyme infuses the bread, while the potato adds a delightful texture. This bread pays homage to the comforting flavours of rustic simplicity.
Completing the trio is the Crispy Sesame Bread, an enchanting creation that provides a wafer-thin crunch to the bread basket.
To accompany these artisanal breads, Grill 88 presents a duo of flavoured butters that elevate the indulgence to heavenly heights. The homemade unsalted butter serves as the perfect canvas, allowing the flavours of the three breads to shine through. Served alongside, sumac-flavoured butter adds a tangy and citrusy dimension, enhancing the already remarkable bread selection. Each slather of butter melts effortlessly, accentuating the flavours and creating a symphony of taste that lingers on the palate.
Scallops That Melt in Your Mouth
Under the “Starters” section of the menu at Grill 88, the Gratin Orkney Scallops in the Shell with pancetta and black olive crumb, and lashings of black truffle truly stole the show.
Served on a scallop shell in bed of creamy truffle delight and emboldened with flavours that deeply comforted the soul, each bite was a harmonious blend of the bounty from the sea and the land.
The scallops has a succulent, melt-in-the-mouth texture while remaining tender on the inside. This dish was a flawless testament to the culinary mastery of the Grill 88 kitchen, led that night by Chef Costas.
Tuna Tataki – A Symphony of Freshness
Continuing on this culinary journey, I continued into the realm of the “Seafood Specialties” and discovered the Bluefin Tuna Tataki with Sesame served with Moai caviar, seaweed salad, tempura enoki and wafu dressing. The seared tuna, delicately sliced and presented with precision, was a visual delight.
The vibrant pink hue of the fish was complemented by the vibrant flavours of the seaweed salad and caviar. The perfectly balanced tastes and textures of the dish contrasted the tender tuna with crispy tempura enoki mushrooms. This awakened my taste buds and left me craving for more.
Bone Marrow – An Indulgent Prelude
Transitioning towards meat for your starters at Grill 88, the Bone Marrow with Ox cheek, crispy shallot & country bread is a luxurious treat for the senses. Served alongside fabulous country bread, the luscious and buttery marrow is topped with ox cheeks which effortlessly melted in my mouth.
The delicate richness of this dish was perfectly balanced by the generous sprinkle of crispy shallots creating a symphony of flavours that left me yearning for what was yet to come.
The House 88 Beef Tartare – A Symphony of Flavours and Textures
Continuing my culinary journey, I had the pleasure of experiencing the House 88 Beef Tartare, a dish that showcased the artistry and creativity of Grill 88’s kitchen. The plate arrived revealing a visually stunning presentation with finely diced beef, that was pleasantly chunkier than the usual beef tartare, artfully arranged and adorned with an array of accompanying ingredients.
At the heart of this culinary masterpiece was the White Soy Cured Egg Yolk. This unique element brought a touch of culinary innovation to the dish which added a creamy and velvety richness to the beef tartare. The cured and aged egg yolk, carefully blended and mixed together with the beef, created a sublime paste-like consistency that bound the flavours together in perfect harmony.
The Devil’s sauce with its bold and tangy profile, added a delightful punch, accentuating the natural flavors of the beef while providing a subtle heat that tantalized the taste buds. The addition of black truffle and Parmesan snow elevated the dish, imparting a luxurious and decadent essence. Each bite was a taste adventure carried by a symphony of textures and flavours that unfolded with each mouthful.
Served with country bread, the House 88 Beef Tartare invited diners to engage in a process of creation. By combining the components, blending the aged egg yolk with the tender beef, and spreading the resulting mixture onto the bread, guests are encouraged to experience the art of crafting their own handmade taste sensation. The final result is a sensory delight that transcends traditional boundaries, inviting guests to immerse themselves in a truly unique and interactive dining experience
Butchers Block – The Epitome of Steak Perfection
Now, onto the pièce de résistance of the Grill 88 experience, the “Butchers Block” menu beckoned with a plethora of premium cuts of steak. With expert guidance from the knowledgeable chef, we embarked on a culinary journey through three very different cuts of meat – each offering a unique and distinct flavour profile.
35 Day Aged – A Harmony of Depth and Tenderness
The Lake District 35 Day Dry-aged Native Beef Fillet showcased the culinary finesse of Grill 88. Tender, succulent and bursting with flavour, this cut boasted a subtle complexity that only time can deliver. The robust, well-marbled meat delighted my palate, leaving me with a newfound appreciation for the art of aging.
100 Day Aged – A Symphony of Intense Flavours
For those seeking a more daring and intense experience, the Lake District 100 Days Dry-aged Sirloin Steak provided an explosion of flavours. The prolonged aging process imparted a remarkable depth to the meat, infusing it with earthy and nutty notes. Each bite was a revelation, an indulgence for the senses that made me marvel at the expertise behind the grill.
Japanese Wagyu – A Meltingly Divine Experience
As I explored the pinnacle of steak perfection, I encountered the legendary A5 Kagoshima Black Breed Ribeye. Renowned for its exceptional marbling and unrivaled tenderness, this cut epitomized opulence on a plate. With every bite, the buttery meat dissolved on my tongue, releasing an umami symphony that evoked pure bliss. The Japanese Wagyu at Grill 88 was a culinary masterpiece, an experience that left an indelible mark on my gastronomic journey. A garde 12 on the meat scale it is truley steak to experience at least once in your life. Far more filling than you realise 200g is more than enough to leave you pleasantly saited as the Grade A5 marbling is very filling.
Can you guess which meat is which?
The far left is the 35 day aged, the far right is the 100 day aged and in the middle is the Japanese Waugh. Were you right?
Perfectly Paired Accompaniments
No steak experience would be complete without the perfect accompaniments. At Grill 88, the sides are not an afterthought but rather a harmonious complement to the star of the show. The comforting Charcoal-Grilled Cheesy Corn and Jalapenos was an interesting option to pair with a steak. Each bite offered a symphony of textures and a tantalizing play of sweet, spicy and savoury notes.
As I perused the sides portion of the Grill 88 menu, the King Oyster with Wild Garlic Butter caught my attention, and it proved to be an extraordinary side dish that surpassed all expectations. The plate arrived, presenting perfectly grilled King Oyster mushrooms, glistening with a luscious coat of Wild Garlic Butter. The aroma wafting from the dish hinted at the explosion of flavours to come.
With the first bite, the tender and meaty texture of the King Oyster mushrooms delighted my senses. The natural umami of the mushrooms combined harmoniously with the rich and aromatic Wild Garlic Butter, adding a savory depth to the dish. The delicate hints of garlic and herbaceous notes danced on my palate, accentuating the earthy essence of the mushrooms. This side dish was a delightful revelation, a celebration of simplicity and expertise that perfectly complemented the main course.
Additionally, the Dauphinoise Potatoes a classic French indulgence, were a heavenly accompaniment to the steak. Thinly sliced potatoes, layered with cream and cheese, were baked to golden perfection, resulting in a velvety texture and a rich, comforting flavour.
The creamy and savoury nature of the Dauphinoise Potatoes provided a delightful balance to the robustness of the steaks, creating a harmonious marriage of tastes on the palate.
Sauce Pairings – A Delicate Art
Just as a sommelier expertly pairs wines with various dishes, Grill 88’s understanding of the art of pairing extends to their steak sauces. Each cut of steak at Grill 88 can be elevated to new heights by the addition of a carefully selected sauce, enhancing the flavours and creating a symphony of taste sensations.
The Peppercorn Sauce, with its bold and aromatic notes, elevated the 35 Day Aged steak, harmonizing perfectly with the robust flavours and adding a delightful hint of heat. The creaminess of the sauce mingled with the natural juices of the meat, resulting in a decadent and satisfying combination. It also paired well with Chef’s Spicy Sauce.
For the 100 Day Aged steak, any of the four flavoured butters would be an ideal companion. There was a choice of Cafe De Paris, Bone Marrow, Wild Garlic and finally Horseradish. The rich flavours of the butters complemented the intense and nutty undertones of the aged meat, creating a symphony of complexity that danced on the palate. The marriage of the velvety butter and the tender steak was a match made in culinary heaven. The choice of butter is truly a personal preference. This steak was however so good you could eat it on its own.
Lastly, the A5 Kagoshima Black Breed Ribeye with its unparalleled tenderness and melt-in-your-mouth texture, was perfectly complemented by a simple yet elegant Ponzu Sauce. The luscious, tart citrus and salty flavours of the sauce enhanced the natural richness of the Wagyu, elevating it to an ethereal experience that transcended the boundaries of taste.
Impeccable Service and Atmosphere leads to bespoke client experiences
Grill 88’s commitment to excellence extended beyond the culinary creations on the menu. The attentive and knowledgeable staff guided me through the dining experience, offering insightful recommendations and ensuring that every aspect of my visit was impeccable. A particular mention to Jolanta Dinnadge and Chef Costas need to be made.
Jolanta Dinnadge – Head Sommelier at Grill 88
Jolanta Dinnadge, Grill 88’s knowledgeable Head Sommelier and so much more, embarked on a mission to find the perfect alternative to champagne, realising that many guests desired a sophisticated non-alcoholic option in Dry January. After extensive wine tastings and careful consideration, she discovered the Wild Idol Alcohol-Free Sparkling Rosé, a remarkable choice that would elevate the dining experience for all patrons.
The WILD IDOL Sparkling Rosé is a vibrant and handcrafted creation that brings a touch of elegance to every sip. As it gracefully pours into the glass, its twilight pink hue catches the eye, accompanied by delicate bubbles that dance on the surface. The wine’s aroma is an invitation to indulge in its fresh and aromatic fruit notes, creating a harmonious symphony for the senses.
What sets the WILD IDOL Sparkling Rosé apart is not only its alcohol-free nature but also its meticulous craftsmanship. It is carefully created using wine-making techniques and a masterful blend of Müller Thurgau and Merlot grapes. This superior combination results in a non-alcoholic wine experience that is both authentic and satisfying, ensuring that guests who choose not to consume alcohol can still enjoy a premium beverage that aligns with their preferences.
It’s worth noting that while we had the pleasure of experiencing the Sparkling Rosé, WILD IDOL also offers a White variant, expanding the options for guests who prefer a different flavor profile while maintaining the elegance and sophistication that Grill 88 is known for.
Throughout my dining experience at Grill 88, Jolanta’s exceptional service and expertise shone brightly. Her dedication to providing a welcoming and knowledgeable atmosphere was evident in every interaction. From guiding me through the menu with passion and precision to recommending the perfect wine pairings, Jolanta’s warm hospitality made me feel at home. Her depth of knowledge regarding the wine selection and the menu as a whole added a layer of sophistication to the dining experience, elevating it to a level that exceeded expectations.
Jolanta’s careful selection of this elegant beverage showcases the dedication and high standards set by Grill 88 to providing a memorable dining experience for all.
Chef Costas – A Culinary Maestro Extraordinaire
At the heart of Grill 88’s exceptional dining experience resides a culinary genius, Chef Costas. With his remarkable talent, he possesses an uncanny ability to not only craft exceptional dishes but also anticipate the desires of his guests, as if he could read our minds. Chef Costas is a visionary leader who has set the bar impossibly high, challenging not only his own team but also other chefs in the industry to reach new heights of excellence.
From the moment I took my first bite at Grill 88, it was abundantly clear that Chef Costas is a master of his craft. With every plate that graced our table, he transported us on a gastronomic journey like no other. Each dish was a testament to his unwavering passion for food and his relentless pursuit of perfection. The flavors, textures, and presentation of his creations were nothing short of breathtaking.
Chef Costas’s culinary artistry is only surpassed by his leadership prowess. He leads his team with an unwavering dedication and an infectious enthusiasm that permeates the entire kitchen. His high standards and meticulous attention to detail inspire his fellow chefs to rise to the occasion, pushing the boundaries of their own abilities. Under his guidance, the kitchen at Grill 88 operates like a well-oiled machine, where every dish is crafted with precision and love.
Menu Highlights at Grill 88
For those who prefer alternatives to steak, Grill 88 offers a tantalizing selection of mains that are equally enticing and sure to satisfy diverse palates. The Dover Sole on the Bone, accompanied by brown shrimps meunière, coriander, and finger lime, presents a delicate and flavourful seafood option. The Grilled Native Lobster, served with curry hollandaise and sea herbs, promises a luxurious and indulgent dining experience. The Josper Grill Spatchcock Poussin, infused with lemon, garlic, and accompanied by watercress and cherry tomato, offers a succulent and aromatic poultry choice. If lamb is preferred, the Grilled Welsh Lamb Chop, paired with goat’s curd, tzatziki salad, and Argentine chimichurri, showcases a fusion of bold flavours. Lastly, the Spinach Tagliolini featuring wild mushrooms, ricotta cheese, and basil provides a satisfying vegetarian option that combines freshness and richness. Each of these mains showcases the culinary prowess of Grill 88, ensuring a memorable dining experience for all guests.
Grill 88 – High-End Service With A Touch Of Ceremony
Grill 88 is a dining destination that showcases the artistry of grilling and the appreciation of exceptional ingredients. From seafood delights to the tantalizing array of steak cuts, including the 35 Day Aged, 100 Day Aged, and the unforgettable Japanese Wagyu, each dish presented a symphony of flavours that left us in awe.
With their exceptional cuisine, impeccable service, and inviting ambiance, Grill 88 stands as a beacon of culinary excellence. A visit to this hidden gem in London’s Grosvenor Square is an opportunity to indulge in a gastronomic journey that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for the art of grilling and fine dining.
The Biltmore Mayfair
44 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HP
020 7596 3200