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252 High Holborn, Chancery Court Hotel, London WC1V 7EN
- Chancery Lane Station (<0.1 km)
- Holborn Station (0.3 km)
- Contact us:
020 7829 7000
- Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Monday – Saturday 6.00pm – 10.00pm
Monday – Friday 11.00am – 11.00pm
11 reviews of pearl in English
Pearl is a feast for all of your senses - the description on the website marketing it as a "sensual dining experience" is pretty much spot on.
But don't worry, you won't have a quivering olive rubbing itself against you to the point that you blush.
I was taken here for my Birthday meal by my parents and we had a wonderful meal that was all about little layers and elements. I also liked how attentive the staff were throughout the meal and as it was my birthday I was given a complimentary glass of champagne.
Fortunately I didn't get as drunk as I have done on previous years so I have a higher comprehension of my dining experience this year around.
My visit was greeted well firstly by friendly staff but also by a rather keen bull like erstwhile gent keen to make me try all the wines. I am not referring to the sommelier but to my father!
We tasted some wines whilst we waited for our partners from the wine on ta system. He had a rather dry and crisp Riesling whereas I sampled one of my new favourite wine discoveries of late and that was a Albarino. It has relaced Condrieu and Montrachet in my preferred whites.
Still after we were joined by both of our beloved ladies we then sat down at a table that had lots of space and was subtly lit. The dining room itself was of nice space between the tables. There was a pianist playing in the background too who sang very well and didn't make me want to slit my wrists before the amuse bouche arrived.
To start with I had some scallops which were absolutely sensational. Served with squid everything wored well and there was a vast array of colours and textures dancing together on the plate in a way that can only be described as ballet having a fiesta.
It was elegant, well seasoned and everything on that plate worked well with one another.
It was also decorated in a way that would have made Jackson Pollock very proud.
To follow this I opted for what I saw as a slight experiment on a classic and that was to have a lamb wellington. This has a small rib with it too and some little vegetables and cauliflower. It was simple, yet the reduction in the sauce was like a gentle flavored lubricant which made putting everything else in the mouth a more sensational and flavoursome experience. It just glided down the gullet making me want more and more.
Yet like all wonderful plates of food it does have to end, but at the same time there was exactly the right amount of everything on the plate.
The fish dishes also looked equally tempting, but lamb wellington was getting the better of my curiosities.
To end with I opted for a hazelnut parfait and yoghurt sponge which was light, flavourful and imaginative in presentation. I would have that again, but there was also a lot of other things on that menu I would want to sample. It is hard to visit this place the once, I feel it will be a place I shall plan to return to.
I really salute the skills of Jun Tunaka as his cooking is contemporary yet very sophisticated at the same time and doesn't leave you feeling so full that you want to hibernate for a year.
I have had several lunches here and it has always been equally outstanding.
Firstly, although a very refined restaurant, it offers good value.
The service is extraordinary and the food equally great.
I would always recommend it. Great for a business lunch or for a romantic dinner.
My visit to Pearl on Valentine's Day was nothing short of superb. From the moment we were greeted to the time we walked out the door some 3 hours later I enjoyed every second.
The surroundings are plush and despite the huge size of the restaurant space, the decor, furnishings and settings are such that it feels pretty intimate.
The staff were courteous and accomodating, explaining each of the courses on the vegetarian taster menu with care and detail. The sommeliers (all French...always a good sign!) did the same with the wine and the sancerre we had was probably the best i've tasted. Although for £60 a bottle you'd expect nothing less.
However the old adage "you get what you pay for" rings true for Pearl. Yes it can be pricey but the surroundings, the staff and critically, the food, are all top notch. Our vegetarian taster menu was a treat - for the record it consisted of:
- perigord truffle custard, a la grecque winter vegetables
- warm salad of honey roast parsnips, celeriac and broccoli, walnut pesto, roquefort dressing
- herb gnocchi with crisp parmesan, confit ceps with roast shallots and japanese artichokes
- tortellini of ricotta and butternut squash, chestnut puree, brown butter with pine nuts and semi dried grapes
- 5-piece desert
- Complementary petit fours (choice of up to 5) and tea/coffee
Overall Pearl is a sublime restaruant, great for a treat or indeed lunch with clients due to its central location.
For full article, see: http://wp.me/pwXBH-u5
Pearl by Jun Tanaka – Pretty…Average
Summary: Pearl is a feast for the eyes – the interior is very attractive (if a bit corporate) and the food is presented beautifully. Unfortunately, on my first visit the flavors were generally muddled, imprecise and didn’t create something memorable in the mouth. While not a disaster, I certainly haven’t had a burning desire to return in the few months that have elapsed since my meal there.
Thring for my Lunch
I must say at the onset that this is quite a belated post. It was one of those meals I wasn’t sure if I should write up (hint, hint), and has been in my back-log of posts for ages. For whatever reason, I’ve decided to do a little piece on it now.
I was quite excited about this meal, as I would be dining with fellow food blogger Oliver Thring (twitter: @oliverthring), whom I had met briefly a few weeks earlier at the a screening of Julie & Julia. After a bit of tooing and froing, we eventually decided to lunch at Pearl by Jun Tanaka, as it was strategically positioned smack bang in the middle of our work places, and as I had followed Tanaka’s career for a while and always wanted to try his food.
If you’ve never been, it’s worth noting that the restaurant is loosely connected to the Renaissance Chancery Court hotel. If you’re facing the father long facade, the restaurant is on your left and the hotel is on your right side.
Ollie turned up and we entered the rather empty restaurant. We were promptly led to a nice little table in the back corner and I thought it was quite a pretty space overall, though despite their best efforts, it still retains that part-of-a-flash-hotel feeling. I did like the decorative plate settings, though.
The menus soon arrived and a lot of it sounded appetizing and interesting. It was my first proper meal with another food blogger, which was great because it turned out that we were both very happy to share and try a bit of each other’s dishes.
We decided to have some wine by the glass with our meal and I was a bit shocked to see that only one of the reds and one of the whites were under £10/glass. Having dined at many hoity-toity restaurants as of late, I can’t remember seeing this anywhere else and really don’t consider it good form.
Compounding the problems in Pearl’s wine department was the fact that Ollie’s glass of Gruner Veltliner (£11/glass) was definitely corked. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a corked wine, but I would say that (a) the sommelier served the wine to us in a full glass – implying he had tasted it and was okay, otherwise he should have asked us to do so – and that (b) I don’t think it was the first glass they had served of that bottle, which is all the more unsettling. Wine diatribes aside, the food was coming and it certainly looked appetizing.
Starter 1: Venison – Spiced Venison with Beetroot & Plums, Elderflower Vinaigrette
I was justifiably excited about my starter. I mean, just read the description, and the presentation...it was so bright, colourful and elegantly served. Unfortunately, it really didn’t hold up to what it had promised visually. The beetroot flavor was overpowering and there was almost no hint of venison to be tasted. While the fruits looked nice, they also didn’t quite fit in and the whole thing kind of merged into something that was pleasantly edible but not particularly tasty or memorable. Sigh. 5/10.
Starter 2: Haddock – Brandade & Egg Yolk Raviolo, Smoked Haddock Veloute, Watercress Dressing
Déjà vu with Ollie’s starter: it looked the business but failed to deliver in the flavor department. I must say that from the bite I had, the pasta had been perfectly cooked and the golden egg yolk spilt out perfectly upon being broken with the fork (a trademark of this dish). I just wish there had been some oomph to it. If I am being kind, I’d say that its subtlety and cleverness were lost on me, but this was a growing trend and I was beginning to think that nothing would stand up and grow some balls. 6/10.
Main Course 1: Plaice – Cornish Plaice with Artichoke Gnocchi, Caramelized Chicken Wings, Girolles & Baby Artichokes
The mains came and they were two more lookers. Actually, looking at them now, they were very similarly presented. My dish of Cornish plaice was again pleasant and slightly better than the preceding dishes, though not by much. The little chicken wings were by far the winners, and the veggies were flavorsome, but although the fish had been delicately cooked, it was all just rather ho-hum. Nothing was out of step, but nothing enlivening my taste buds either. 6/10.
Main Course 2: Pork – Pork Belly ‘Pot Au Feu’ with Raviolo, Borlotti Beans & Ravigote Sauce
I got a taste of my companion’s main, which was a good deal better. The pork was really well cooked – moist and full of flavor. The little sauce had a nice zing of acidity, which held everything together. The textures worked too, with the pasta and beans offering chew and the greens providing crunch. I was finally happy, and Ollie was kind enough to offer me have the rest of his dish. I politely declined once, but when he insisted I didn’t say no a second time. 8/10.
Dessert: Prune - Poached Prune & Almond Crumble, Almond Ice Cream
After being offered a glimmer of hope, things were looking up for the puddings. For reasons I cannot now comprehend (20/20 hindsight, I suppose) , we both went for the same dish for our last course. Very un-foodblogger like of us indeed. Architecturally speaking, it was little short of a masterpiece. But we were back to the beginning of the meal with the flavors – nothing to write home about. Pretty, pleasant, platitudinous. 5/10.
Beauty but no feast
The name of the restaurant reminds me of our recent honeymoon, part of which was spent in beautiful Bali, where we went to one of the local pearl factories along the northern coast of the island. We learned that while pearls are ‘natural’, as a round sphere is stuck into the inner tissue of a mollusc and then gestates in the sea water, it is in reality something created by man for man to appreciate. This is much like food, in that we now often grow, manufacture or artificially farm the specific ingredients we wish to eat, although the growth that takes place is of course ‘natural’. In both instances, it is rare to find a pearl/food that truly stands out from the ordinary and captures your imagination. In this instance, the Pearl that rested inside the shell of the Renaissance Chancery Court was certainly beautiful to look at, but when you took it out and examined it more closely, and then laid it next to some other beautiful pearls, it began to fade into the crowd and became a bit average, a bit banal.
Yes, the food Jun Tanaka’s restaurant, while technically well cooked, tasted pretty average. The service was professional but a bit soulless. There were certainly some nice design elements lurking about, but the overriding feeling was that you were in a posh hotel. The combination of this led me to come away from the restaurant with a slight sense of disappointment and no real urgency to give it another go. This was saved however, by the stimulating and jovial company of a fellow food blogger, with whom I much enjoyed talking about what I love talking about best.
Wine: too expensive by the glass, plus my dining companion’s glass of wine arrived fully poured and was corked, indicating it had obviously not been checked beforehand by the sommelier.
For more about my rating scale, click here.
Note: I have dined at Pearl by Jun Tanaka once and it was for lunch.
Pearl looks stunning. The pillars of pearls against the modern spot lighting really create a feeling of class and sophistication. The service matches this. Very professional, attentive, not too friendly but still took good care of me and my friend. We started the evening with a Manhattan and house champagne cocktail, which was very nice, if a bit ‘girly’ for me. The meal started with four different canapés which were rich and full of flavour and accompanied with a glass of house champagne, setting things in motion for a enjoying, sensual evening.
You get what you pay for here, perfect service, delightfully presented and tasty good food. The atmosphere is good. One of the best cheese boards I have ever seen in England and a good choice of port. I think this venue would be a good choice for any occasion. The decor is fun yet sophisticated.
I was really amazed to see how lovely this restaurant/bar is. I like how the dining room is so expansive and large yet each seating area retains a sense of intimacy. And, check this out, they serve gourmet candy floss on Saturday nights. Now that's swanky. And with all the little stringed pearls everywhere (there are tens of thousands), it's a glamorous spot to slip in (of course a rez is recommended) for a hoity toity cocktail for elegant fine dining experience.
Posh restaurant in a posh hotel in holborn. It is not cheap (though I have seen offers on top table) you do get plenty of food (unlike some posh nosh spots) I would not class it as the greatest meal ever - the mixture of oriental and French did not quite do it for me. having said that it was very very nice. They have a ‘wine cave’ (which is more of a box) in the centre of the room to keep the vino at a perfect temp.
It was a little empty when I went but it should be fuller. The decor is pretty. Take your credit card. Over £200 for two with wine and bubbly to start.
I'm reviewing this place because they look after smokers. The ban has been rolled out across the UK now, and Pearl have decided to introduce the "Nicotini" cocktail! You can't smoke in the restaurant, but you can sip on this tobacco infused delight! Hopefully this should allay any punters nipping out for a crafty one between courses!
I was in Pearl for lunch this week; it 's the restaurant attached to the Marriott Renaissance hotel on Holborn. Decor is contemporary, quite neutral with some nice warm and fun touches (I particularly like the bead curtains).
Food is good, and presentation is above average. Good swift and attentive service.
And probably one of the best cheese platters I have seen for a long time - and I am a bit of a cheese person.
A very pleasant lunch experience; will use it again. It's perfect for business but relaxed enough for private lunches too.
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