The Langham, London has launched The Good Front Room, a modern Caribbean restaurant from chef Dom Taylor. The restaurant comes following the success of Five Star Kitchen: Britain’s Next Great Chef on Channel 4. This new TV cooking competition, filmed at The Langham and judged by the hotel’s culinary director Michel Roux Jr, sees the winning chef awarded their very own restaurant at the hotel.
Chef Dom Taylor was crowned winner of Five Star Kitchen in the grand finale that aired on Friday 14 July, and on Saturday 15 July, opened his first ever restaurant, The Good Front Room in The Langham’s Palm Court, showcasing his unique cooking style that combines influences from his Caribbean heritage and South London upbringing.
Born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, to a Jamaican mother and Saint-Lucian father, Dom was raised in South London, surrounded by the joyous cooking of the women in his family.The Good Front Room tells a story of these beloved childhood memories, and time spent flicking through cookbooks and saving money to prepare the dishes he earmarked. The name for the restaurant is inspired by Dom’s great aunt, Myrtle, who lived in a house filled with trinkets and keepsakes, a magical playground to explore as children. One room however was sacred, its entrance prohibited, always immaculately set up to receive ‘very special guests’ – this was The Good Front Room.
Drawing on his classical training, years of restaurant experience, love of travel, the arts and his family teachings, Dom is on a mission to recreate, modernise and ignite a new lease of life into Caribbean cooking. His food style, inspired by Caribbean flavours and a London upbringing, plays with classic dishes, remixed and delivered in both familiar and unfamiliar ways and showcasing some of the Caribbean's most celebrated ingredients, such as plantain, goat, rum and sorrel.
At The Good Front Room, guests can sample starters such as Jerk chicken, plantain jam, plantain crisp, and blackened sweetcorn dressing and Ackee and saltfish cakes, confit garlic and scotch bonnet aioli, pineapple and heirloom tomato chow and escallion oil. Main courses include Curry goat with fried breadfruit and roti; Dark rum-glazed pork belly, pickled raisins and cho cho, charred hispi cabbage and thyme salt crackling; and Banana leaf baked sea bream with lemongrass, pimento and ginger. For dessert, Dom’s menu features a take on the traditional Jamaican Bun and cheese, with toasted spiced bun, sweet blue cheese, sour cherries and spiced plantain chutney and Coconut soft serve with pineapple compote.
To drink, guests can enjoy Rock Leopard Lager and IPA, a selection of world wines, and cocktails that pair perfectly with Dom’s soulful Caribbean food. These include Piña Verde with Chartreuse, pineapple, coconut and lime; Sorrel Cosmo with Grey Goose Citron Vodka, sorrel and ginger; and Carrot Cake Punch with Wray & Nephew rum, Zacapa 23 rum, carrot juice, coconut, vanilla, nutmeg and clove.
Commenting on the launch, Michel Roux Jr. said: “With Five Star Kitchen, we set out to find a hidden gem of a chef with an original vision to revolutionise five-star dining and to launch an exciting new restaurant at The Langham. Dom’s concept is personal, it’s what makes it unique, and after many months of planning and getting everything ready for the launch, I can’t wait for the first guests to try The Good Front Room.”
Dom Taylor commented: “It is a dream come true to open a restaurant at such a prestigious address as The Langham. The modern Caribbean menu we are serving at The Good Front Room brings something totally new to the world of five-star hotel dining in London, and I’m excited to get cooking!”
For The Good Front Room, the interiors of The Langham’s Palm Court will be transformed daily, with a design befitting the modern Caribbean menus. There will be palm trees, dried flowers and artwork from Caroline Chinakwe, a Nigerian-born, mixed media artist from North West London. Telling a story of culture and diversity through the fusion and inspiration between Africa and the West, Caroline’s pieces merge pop culture images and bold vibrant colours, with a touch of Afrofuturism, to create a unique and futuristic depiction of contemporary black art.
The Good Front Room will be open for six months from Saturday 15 July 2023, Wednesday to Saturday, 6.30pm – 10pm, in The Langham’s Palm Court.