Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
My fiancé and I had the experience of eating at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay last night on Royal Hospital Road, London. We will do our best to describe what we ate but we may get some of it wrong so bear with us and please feel free to correct us.
We were a bit nervous when we first arrived, as this is by far the most expensive restaurant we have ever eaten at. We were put at ease straight away by the wonderful staff that seemed to get the measure of us very quickly (basically impostors spending much more than we can really afford)!
We sought the help of the wine waiter who, after we told him about how much we wanted to spend, recommended us a bottle of white, a bottle of red and a glass of sweet wine.
The first morsel to pass our lips was a canapé that was a cone (like a sugar cone but savoury) filled with layers of sour cream with a touch of caviar then guacamole then what we think was pureed aubergine at the bottom. It basically looked like a small ice cream. Neither my partner nor myself thought much of the actual taste of it but I guess we may not have the most educated of palates.
The second canapé was a small ball of two types of cheese in breadcrumbs; one of the cheeses was mozzarella. This was served on a little spoon on a bed of pesto. It was ok but really nothing special.
We were then served with the amuse bouche of a tiger prawn salad with iceberg lettuce, tomato, a tomato gazpacho and a small amount of caviar. My partner looked a bit worried as he is not a big fan of food served cold but actually was extremely impressed and liked it more than myself (but I am not a big tomato fan.)
We then moved on to our first course proper of foie gras. I thought I had eaten foie gras before, at a dinner party hosted by a work colleague, but this was totally different all together, making me wonder what I ate before! It was rich and silky, melting instantly in the mouth. This was served with pickled baby vegetables and focaccia.
The next course was scallops with octopus, pureed cauliflower and Parmesan velouté. Neither my partner nor myself was relishing the thought of eating octopus but it was served as a base underneath the scallops, cut into slices of small circles all arranged in a grid formation. The scallops were the largest I have ever seen and the tastiest, just the most amazing texture. The combination of the octopus and scallops was wonderful, although we thought the Parmesan was a little overpowering. The chef told us later that scallops take 20 years to grow to that size.
We had different fish courses of sea bass and halibut. The halibut was served on a bed of linguine with a pea velouté with a hint of lavender. I think this dish was a bit too subtle for us as it came across as a little bland. The sea bass dish, however, was outstanding. It was beautifully cooked, the nicest piece of fish I have ever had the pleasure of eating. It was served in a wild mushroom and vinaigrette sauce, which was wonderful. My partner thought the sauce was rich and flavoursome and complemented the fish perfectly.
We had different main courses. My partner had the lamb, which was served as two types, a lean cut and a piece that was textured like pulled pork. It was served with some kind of vegetables but to be honest we can’t remember anything aside from the meat! The web site lists a “Cannon of Cornish lamb with confit shoulder, ratatouille and thyme jus”, it could have been this but we’re not sure. Anyway it was very good, especially the pulled meat, but not as good as the beef. The beef is listed as “Roasted fillet of Northumberland beef, kohlrabi, horseradish cream, truffle and root vegetable infusion”, which we think sounds accurate enough. The infusion was served over the beef and also in an espresso cup on the side, to be sipped whilst eating. It was a true pleasure. There was a side of mashed potato with cream and nutmeg, which perfectly complemented and softened the beef and consumme.
We then had a palate cleanser of a glass of layers of cucumber, strawberry and then a mint infused cream foam, to be sucked up through a glass straw. In case anyone is planning to go and experience this dish we won’t spoil the surprise!
We then had different pre-desserts. One was a creamy coffee flavoured effort, served in what looked like a crumpled espresso cup. The other was a tiramisu textured layer on top of a raspberry fruit layer. This was probably my least favourite course and my partner was also not impressed with the raspberry layered one, which he thought was quite dull, but he did appreciate the creamy coffee dessert, especially the base, which he could only describe as a cool, sweet cream which was like nothing he had ever tasted before.
The dessert proper was a Granny Smith apple parfait with honeycomb biscuit, a chocolate straw, cream, coconut and raspberry coulis. Removing the biscuits revealed a layer of Granny Smith apple flavoured crushed ice. We ate this dish whilst sipping on our first ever taste of sweet wine and now appreciate why sweet wine goes with dessert. The wine waiter looked so proud that we liked the combination.
We then retired to the lounge for chocolates arranged on what looked like a small coat stand, coffee, more chocolates served in a box gushing out dry ice smoke and Turkish Delight.
After this we couldn’t help but ask to see the kitchen and the head chef, Simon, made our night by taking time out to ask us our thoughts on his tasting menu, which dishes stood out for us, any criticisms we had and was more than willing to answer our questions. Needless to say my fiancé was keen to know what was in the mash potato to make it so addictive. The food was excellent but the staff were outstanding. We never felt uncomfortable and were really listened to. We have had a once in a lifetime experience that we will never forget.
I couldn't resist reading your fascinating report because I watch Ramsay's shows on BBC America here on the other side of the pond. So glad you had such a memorable experience. It's good to know he does indeed deserve his two Michelin stars. He doesn't have his third star yet, does he?