Tucked away on a side street off Sloane Street, the Rib Room may just be London's best-kept secret. If you're looking to get away from braying Hoxtonites discussing property prices and the size of their trust funds, or City boys boasting about their latest mega deal, then the Rib Room makes the perfect choice for a first date or to catch up with an old friend. You won't be interrupted or find yourself having to raise your voice to be heard above the din.
Diners have a choice of sitting at the bar or in the main dining area. On the night I went - a Wednesday - there were less than a dozen people in a restaurant that can comfortably accommodate significantly more than that. Perhaps that's why staff were so attentive. I suspect the Rib Room is chiefly visited by guests of the hotel and local businessmen, which is something of a shame.
We sat in the bar area, which was a bit more intimate. Here, the menu is not extensive but includes a selection to please most palates. I have a gluten intolerance and the chef was happy to accommodate me. I chose the sea food spring rolls, followed by fish fingers with fries, accompanied with homemade ketchup and pea mayonnaise (all delicious, by the way), while my friend was well pleased with the minute steak. There are also tiger prawns, chicken wings, mini burgers and oysters on offer, all reasonably priced from £11 a dish.
A member of staff arrived promptly to take our orders and the food was served without delay. The rather masculine decor makes The Rib Room feel like a private members club but without the snootiness, I hasten to add. Dining out in central London can often feel like an endurance test (will a waiter deign to serve us? Will we actually get what we ordered?), and I'm glad to say, The Rib Room avoids these metropolitan cliches of supercilious staff and indifferent service.
With Harvey Nichols, Harrods and a host of chic designer stores, people may be drawn to Knightsbridge for the shopping, but The Rib Room at the Jumierah Carlton is well worth bearing in mind for a quick pit-stop between shops perhaps, or even an intimate tete a tete - after all, the restaurant does come with a hotel attached. Shopping or not, I will definitely go again.
The Jumeirah Carlton is at 2 Cadogan Place, London SW1 9PY. For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7858 7250.