Hippodrome Casino , Cranbourn Street , Leicester Square, WC2H 7JH
WLC Rank : 291
Glass from : £ 6 (175 ml)
Heliot Steak House overlooks, from the Royal Circle, the Hippodrome casino’s three gaming floors, and is close to the in-house cabaret theatre and but one of the six bars.
Head Sommelier, Salvatore Russo, who is studying towards the WSET Diploma, adores his job, which he considers ‘rather extraordinary – to find a delicious tasting wine that’s unique and has a great story behind it is something special…’
Russo’s reaction to impending Brexit is uplifting. ‘As a positive consequence, we decided to list more English labels such as Hambledon’s sparkling wine from Hampshire, the phenomenal still Pinot Gris from Stopham, Sussex, and a spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon from London Cru.’ Indeed, Russo is evaluating whether, in terms of sparkling wines, to only serve English fizz.
Expect reasonably priced listings of Bollinger, too, and with reasonably priced USDA steaks, with a side order of Millionaire’s ‘Mac & Cheese’ topped with poached duck egg and black truffle, a relatively lightly marked up top vintage Ducru-Beaucaillou, which could be equally attractive to, respectively, the occasional tourist gambler who has saved for a night out, or, on a winning streak, habitual high rollers.
Given the proximity to Chinatown, lanterns of which are visible from the slightly unnerving two way windows in the bathrooms, there is Changyu Moser’s Cabernet Sauvignon from Ningxia. On that note, Russo reports his guests ‘love the diversity of the wine list and to try something new.’
Russo recalls the standout lunch hosted by Caroline Frey of the family behind Bordeaux’s Château La Lagune, and in the Rhône, Paul Jaboulet Aîné. ‘We had a vertical of La Chapelle and the 1985 vintage blew my mind. That day I fell in love with Hermitage. I would drink it at my last supper…’
NB. Every Monday, Heliot offers 50% off the menu. For non drinkers, mocktails carry somewhat risqué names, such as the ‘Safe Sex On The Beach’, incidentally…
By Douglas Blyde