London: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (***)

19 Jul

We chose to splurge our pounds on Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea for a gourmet meal in London. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is Gordon Ramsay’s flagship restaurant in his huge restaurant empire and it’s one of the two 3 Michelin starred restaurants in Central London. Prior to this meal, I’ve not eaten at a 3 starred establishment before, so to say I was excited about our meal was an understatement.

Since it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience, I went for the menu prestige (seven courses for £125) instead of the set lunch which my friend had (three courses for £45).

We were served a choice of french butter or goat’s milk butter to go with our bread so I had to go with the more interesting option. It was my first time trying goat milk’s butter and I liked it! The subtle goat taste gave it a kick and the texture was so smooth and creamy. But it’s definitely an acquired taste if u hate lamb.

Bread served was olive bread. I love olives and I love bread so double yums for me.

Our amuse bouche was langoustine with caviar in a chilled tomato consomme. This was okay, serving the consomme chilled made it refreshing.

The first course was ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon poached in a light bisque with a chervil velouté. It was a huge piece of ravioli and I liked the combination of juicy seafood in the filling. Perhaps I’m being too picky here, but I was a little disappointed they had used the same ingredient of langoustine in the amuse bouche since this a signature dish and the courses were served back to back. I know langoustines were probably in season, but I’m just saying.

My second course was pressed foie gras with peppered Madeira jelly, smoked duck, peach and almond crumble. It does look like a piece of cake from afar doesn’t it? Though the flavour was okay, the portion was a bit too much for me as I’m not a fan of pressed foie gras compared to pan fried ones. Perhaps serving it with some brioche toast would make it less overbearing.

The third course was roasted fillet of line caught turbot with morels. Simple but very well cooked. One of the better dishes.

The fourth course was roasted pigeon from Bresse with grilled polenta, smoked ventrèche and date sauce. This was also one of the better dishes, the pigeon was very good and I also liked the polenta and sweetish date sauce. I think I had a choice of either pigeon or lamb.

I could choose between a cheese course or a pre-dessert so I chose the pre-dessert since my friend got the selection of cheeses from the trolley (£10 supplement). Out came the cheese trolley – CHEESE GALORE – and the cute waiter wheeling it. 

My friend’s cheese platter.

The fifth and pre dessert course was Armanac prune crème brûlée with Granny Smith apple juice. Both were a little sweet and tart which make them good palate cleansers. I quite liked them separately, but I’m not sure if they were supposed to complement each other.

The sixth course and second pre-dessert was strawberry, champagne and elderflower soup and vanilla cream served in the cutest glass with a glass straw (classy!). This was a Wimbledon special since we were in town during Wimbledon season. Loved the flavours here and strawberries and cream is so quintessentially British!

And to end, the seventh and main dessert course was bitter chocolate and hazelnut cylinder with blackcurrant granité and ginger mousse. A chocolate course in any tasting meal seems compulsory and this was okay. What I did like was the ginger mousse which I thought gave the chocolate more oomph.

The petit fours in Restaurant Gordon Ramsay are not your average petit fours as they taste freshly made and have much thought and effort put into them. This was the dramatic looking white chocolates with a strawberry ice cream centre served in a bowl of dry ice. You could say I enjoyed this more than the dessert course even – strawberries were definitely in season and this was so delish!

And the real finale of the meal were the futuristic looking chocolate truffles served in silver dust. How pretty does that look? Between the two of us, we had quite a few bon bons each since they were generous with the petit fours.

Not too sure what possessed me, but despite the 7 course meal + many complimentary courses + wine, I still ordered a cup of earl grey tea to conclude our meal. The sugar cubes came in a really cool swivel container. By the time we were done with our very long lunch, it must have almost been 3pm+ in the afternoon!

All in all, I would say Restaurant Gordon Ramsay serves very competent classical French cooking. I didn’t have a bad dish and there were some small nice surprises but I didn’t experience anything particularly outstanding or memorable either. Perhaps I’m looking for a more wow-factor kind of place when it’s supposedly 3M stars. My tasting menu was more than double the cost of a set lunch but it wasn’t exactly that much more impressive than what my friend had (we shared all our dishes). Aside from the food, it’s a classy place that isn’t snooty (though I could definitely smell very rich and old diners in the room) and the service team – headed by the imposing French maître d – is very brisk and professional to the point of being almost clockwork like. It’s certainly worth a try in London especially for the more affordable set lunches. Just don’t go with ultra high expectations because of its 3 Michelin star tag.

Verdict: 7/10
Price: $$$$-$$$$$ (£45 for 3 course set lunch, £125 for tasting menu, additional 12.5% gratuity)
Location: 68 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HP

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