Food & Drink Life

The Game Bird St James’s Place

  • February 13, 2023
  • 4 min read
The Game Bird St James’s Place

The Game Bird Restaurant at the Stafford Hotel, in St James’s Place, London, is a truly exceptional dining experience. From the moment you step into the elegant dining room you know you’re in for a special treat. The décor is beautiful, with rich wood panelling, comfortable seating, and subtle lighting that creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. The peacock print fabric is a nice touch too and denotes a slight  air of eccentricity that leaves you wondering what to expect as the night unfolds. Expect the best, as from the moment you arrive the service is impeccable, with attentive waiting staff who go out of their way to ensure you have a special experience.

The menu at The Game Bird is a real highlight. Taking into account the pedigree of the chefs, Jozef Rogulski and Lisa Goodwin-Allen (the latter having recently joined the team in September 2021 from Michelin-starred Northcote in Lancashire) it is a relief to see that the prices are reasonable. 

As the name suggests the main focus of the menu is on game dishes and prides itself on using seasonal vegetables, and fresh fish and meats, sourced directly from the fields and seas of Britain. At £24.50, the Crispy North Sea Cod, with Tartar Sauce, Lemon & Parsley starter set the tone for what was to follow. The cod was sweet, mild and tender, as it should be, and an excellent contrast with the lightly crisp coating. If you have a penchant for a classic meat starter, try the Hand Cut Grass Fed Beef Tartar with Worcestershire Sauce & Charcoal Mayonnaise (£20). I have yet to find a beef tartar that beats The Game Bird’s for its mouth-watering flavours and texture.

For the main course, expect a few surprises. My son, who accompanied me, was set on the Whole Maple – Glazed Quail, Crown Prince Squash, Toasted Seeds (£41). When the Quail arrived, it was everything that was promised; sweet succulent and elegantly prepared and presented. The Crown Prince Squash, had fabulous honey undertones and paired nicely with the nutty flavour of the toasted seeds and caramelised maple syrup. The accompanying vegetables are also well-executed and added to the overall enjoyment of the dishes. We can recommend The Honey-Glazed Carrots (£7) and Black Garlic Cabbage (£8) which were tender and worth the little extra expense. I selected the Free-Range Chicken Kiev, Truffle Butter & Potato purée (£36), which sounded intriguing amid the traditional game menu. It did not disappoint, and as we had predicted on our arrival, a little ‘Game Bird’ eccentricity followed. While one waiter served up the perfectly presented Chicken Kiev, another followed with a leather bib, which looked as if it had been recently crafted by Gabriel Oak, in a tannery somewhere in the deep depths of Dorset. A lovely touch and practical too. Don’t let the crispy chicken exterior fool you. One prod of the fork and the delicious buttery juices are set to ruin your outfit for the evening. 

The wine list at The Game Bird was also impressive with a great selection of bottles to compliment the dishes. We left our sommelier, who was very knowledgeable, to make recommendations based on our choices from the menu. I particularly enjoyed the intense and full mineral flavours of the Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘En Virondot – 2019 (White Burgundy), which paired nicely with the Chicken Kiev, whilst the cherry fruit notes of the Morgon Guy Breton – 2021 (Beaujolais) brought out the overall tastes and rich flavour of the Quail.

Although we had little room for a further course no special occasion is complete without dessert. The Game Bird Pudding Menu offers a varied selection of sweet treats and there is an impressive cheese board included for those with a less sweet tooth.  The Duck Egg Custard Tart, Nutmeg and Raspberry (£14) caught my son’s eye. The pastry base seemed quite thick and dense but this was lifted up by the befitting rich filling. The selection of British Cheeses, with Quince Jelly, Homemade Chutney and Cheese Crackers (3 for £12.50 or 5 for £18.50) sounded too good not to try, followed by an excellent coffee which brought us a satisfactory end to a lovely evening. 

If you are looking for the very best of British cooking then The Game Bird at the Stafford Hotel is the place to go. We highly recommend it as a special dining experience and whether you’re a fan of game dishes, or just looking for a memorable night out, this restaurant is sure to impress.  

About Author

Emma Trehane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *