For our first restaurant in London we choose to dine at Gordon Ramsey’s flagship outpost: a 3 Michelin Starred restaurant called Restaurant Gordon Ramsey. I was intrigued to see how good a restaurant like this could be. I’ve always wondered how involved someone like Gordon Ramsey is with this, or any of his restaurants. The restaurant has held on to its 3 Michelin stars for 15 years through at least 3 different head chefs. Which I find very impressive.
The entrance is a long dark corridor with the hostess waiting at the end. Upon entering we were greeted and told our table wasn’t quite ready, we were 20 min early, so we sat in the lounge to wait.
I had a glass of champagne while waiting for our table to be made ready. They had a vast number of champagnes on offer by the glass. I finally settled on a glass of Bollinger Rose 2005.
Shortly after being served my champagne the table became ready so we moved to the table and they took my glass to the table, which was beautifully set. The dining room was dark but not too dark. They played well with unobtrusive spotlights on each table. I personally prefer a well lit dining room as I’m there mainly for the food but I understand that I’m in the minority.
The first few bites were the canapés they brought when we sat down. They were the most international thing we ate. Steamed bun with caviar on top, salmon eggs wrapped in nori and minced scallop with seaweed flavor.
We were then offered our menus, which consisted of 3 options. A la carte and two tasting meuns: menu prestige and seasonal inspiration. All 3 options were in between one and two hundred pounds. So we choose the one we thought we would enjoy the most and would best represent the restaurant. So we settled on the menu prestige which was the smaller of the two tasting menus.
The next dish was also off the menu and consisted simply of tomatoes in a cold tomato and rose water broth. There were cherry tomatoes and ripe green tomatoes. Very good although I’m not partial to rose water so I didn’t drink the broth.
They offer 3 different types of bread which I had one of each. Two different sourdoughs and a brioche. All were really good. And of course the butter is just as good in the UK as it is in France.
The first real course was a pressed foie gras with green apples, smoked duck, watercress, and turnips. The flavors paired with the foie perfectly and I really loved the dish. I love foie gras in just about any way and this was no exception. Sometimes 3 Michelin starred restaurants get stuck just ticking all the boxes to maintain their stars. Although the formula is more apparent in NYC this dish, however good, feels like its there becasue it’s supposed to be.
The second dish was a lobster ravioli which was probably the best lobster ravioli I’ve ever had. Why? Becasue in the ravioli was the whole claw meat, simple right? I loved it. The flavors in the sauce which had langoustine and oxalis which I had to google to find out that it’s an edible plant.
Next came a perfectly poached piece of halibut. This dish was not ground breaking in any way but it was perfectly executed. Plus it had a little piece of king crab on top.
The last main course was lamb 3 ways. We did have the option here if we wanted the lamb or a roast pigeon to which I picked the lamb. It was roasted lamb chops, braised and confit lamb shoulder and shank. If you love lamb as I do then this was terrific. The chops were great but the braised and confit lamb were better as there was amazing stronger lamb flavor there. Having had a similar lamb dish earlier in the day at l’Arpège I can say that this was the one dish that was better at Gordon Ramsey’s than at Arpège.
I next opted to have the optional cheese course from the trolley. I wasn’t disappointed to find a trolley packed with over 15 cheeses. It’s so hard to choose!
I settled on 5 cheeses and my friend choose a different set of 5 and we split them down the middle. This gave me 10 different cheeses to enjoy. I was in heaven. The Taleggio was my favorite although they had a British cheese very similar to Camambert from Normandy. This was probably my second favorite. Although I loved the blues which I find hard to compare to other cheeses as they are so different so I don’t know which I enjoyed most.
to acompany my cheese plate I had a small glass of 1985 Vintage Fonseca Port. Vintage port is king among the many types of port and this one was quite good. Sorry for the blurry picture.
The last dish, or so I thought, was a lemon tart with a lemon honey brittle overtop. This dessert was so beautiful I didn’t want to eat it. Plus I always laugh when there is gold on my food as I find it to be the most pretentious form of decorating food, second would be flowers (at least becasue I don’t like the taste of them at least gold is tasteless). Once I did crack the golden lemon honey brittle circle and took my first bite I was blown away. The dessert was so light and fresh. I have really grown to love lemon desserts and I’ve always loved honey. This was a perfect combo. The little ball in the middle was a sheep’s milk yogurt which was the perfect combo.
And then after all this we were brought some English Breakfast Tea Sorbet balls. These were quite good and fresh.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsey is one of London’s best. I really enjoyed the experience. The service is top notch. They were using the best ingredients money can buy and the execution is excellent. I did find some of the middle dishes however to be lacking creativity. Restaurants that earn their 3rd Michelin Stars sometimes stop evolving out of fear of losing them. I have a feeling that this is doubly true for a restaurant like this where a chef is cooking under Gordon Ramsey’s name and the fear could be two fold. I don’t want to be too harsh becasue I really loved it but having had lunch that same day at l’Arpège, my favorite restaurant in Paris and probably Europe, it’s hard for anyone to please. One thing I’ll mention in it’s favor is price. Although one of London’s most expensive restaurants, as a 3 Michelin Restaurant they are well below the average for other 3 starred restaurants in Europe and the US.