You’d be forgiven for expecting the restaurants by Buckingham Palace to be rather, well, touristy. But, one lavish new opening, found just a stone’s throw from the palace, is bucking the trend in spectacular fashion.
TH@51 Restaurant and Bar, hidden in the five-star oasis of the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, and a short stroll from Buckingham Palace, St James’ Park and Big Ben puts a delicious global spin on dishes you thought you knew. The mission? To combine the myriad culinary influences of the capital, pairing popular flavours to create something unique.
Think: the Desi Scotch egg, which features crispy Mumbai-spiced lamb mince, egg, curried mayonnaise and mango chutney.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the combinations have been on our mind ever since.
Of course, the first thing which strikes you on arrival at TH@51 isn’t the eclectic menu: it’s the resto-bar’s impeccable style. Designed by Conran & Partners, the vibe is airy and bright, pairing elegant wood cladding against soft, luxe furnishings and an equally soft dusty pink and moss green colour palette – all at once cosy and Instagram-ready, if you’re so inclined.
Designed to “bring the outside in,” the natural inspiration from the courtyard in which the restaurant sits is clear – as well as making it a perfect al fresco location to keep up your sleeve for the summer. We’re also fans of the bar area with intimate booth seating, which happens to make this a great spot for cocktail catch ups alone.
We’re even bigger fans of the cocktails themselves though. A particularly creative drinks menu, designed by bar manager, Riccardo Lupacchini (who has previous chops from The Rosewood Hotel), the concept is based around the different “biomes” of the world, following the global theme with recipes and ingredients inspired by different regions.
For aperitifs, we tried the El Camino, a fruity serve of premium Casamigos Blanco tequila, pineapple, grapefruit, agave and mesquite seasoning, which, served in a campy Tiki glass (frankly the only way we would like our tequila cocktails), summed up the Mexican biome with aplomb, and the Copper Garden, a low-alcohol recipe combining Whitley Neil London dry gin, lemongrass, jasmine, rhubarb and apple juice – complete with decorative garden butterfly, and suitably refreshing.
The global inspiration is even better exemplified n the restaurant’s food offerings. Despite stylish surroundings, it’s the dishes on offer which have lingered on our minds long after visiting.
From the eclectic menu, we started with the Togarashi tuna, which arrived seared with wasabi samphire, dragon fruit carpaccio and a tangy ponzu dressing – decorated with edible flowers, naturally, and the Sabich tacos, which combine Indian flavours with aubergine, potato, pepper hummus, and pickled cabbage with taco-style warm pitta bread – a pleasant, moreish combination of spices and one which we recommend.
For entrees, we moved on to hearty British classics, each with a global twist. First, the Korean roast chicken, served with smoked peppers, sticky honey sesame potatoes and buttered kale. Though arguably where the restaurant excels is in its Indian and British influenced dishes (we must return to try the fish and chips, fried in spiced chickpea batter) this dish was a joy.
But, to the star of the show: the Paneer Wellington. It’s an invention we didn’t realise we needed – but which we can’t stop thinking about. Delicately spiced, buttery tikka masala paneer in a creamy mascarpone makhani sauce, baked into a golden puff pastry and served with garlic and baby spinach make this a standout dish.
Plated, it may not be much to look at. But what this dish lacks in high-end presentation, it makes up for in taste. Creamy and mild yet ever flavoursome, we simply can’t get enough. This is comfort food of the highest order.
You’ll want to try everything on this menu, but be sure to save some room for dessert. Finish with the apple mousse, complete with apple and cinnamon centre, spiced oat crumble, vanilla ice cream – essentially a deconstructed apple pie, and one which is stunning enough that it wouldn’t seem out of place in the palace itself – and you have all the makings of the perfect global feast.
Whether it’s for dinner at the end of a day trip to Buckingham Palace, or looking for a St James-adjacent location to catch up over cocktails, TH@51 has quickly risen to the top of our go-to dining spots – and a Paneer Wellington to the top of our favourite pasties.
Where to find it:
TH@51, 54 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AF, England.
+44 (0)20 7834 6655