Gordon Ramsay is perhaps the most contradictory Michelin restaurant in London. Many new restaurants have raced ahead with cheaper and better dishes, leaving Gordon behind in its own race of legacy. The negative reviews of overpriced and not top quality had all stemmed from the mountain high expectation of its long held three star Michelin status. If you forget the choking price tag and the Ramsay status, then food is not the worst in London.
Still considered as one of the most difficult restaurants to book, its mere 15 table sitting couldn’t care less. At the heart of Chelsea but a down to earth exterior, it’s made for the local crowd. Food quality is mostly towards the lower spectrum of the Michelin competition today, Le Manoir (two stars) has a more relaxed ambiance matched with exemplary food for the same price tag.
If you are into tasting menus, Gordon Ramsay has two available, seasonal and prestige. We went with seasonal (priced at £135) because of the pig trotter.
Scotch egg, crisp bread (kind of) with salami
An interesting snack. Scotch eggs were crispy, dense, with a tingling taste of fish. Each elements of the crisp bread with salami failed to help each other, like eating each separately than a sandwich.
Embarrassed to say I can’t remember what this dish was. A prawn with something…
Poached Scottish lobster tail with lard di colonata, vegetables a la grecque and coral vinaigrette
The lobster was tender and simple, not heavily seasoned. The wrapped vegetables followed this lead to refresh, not a dramatic entry.
Cep sandwich with Serrano ham, spinach, aged parmesan and a light game consommé
Mini sandwich with ham was rather unusual for fine dining, especially considering how it’d be too filling as a starter. Like a toastie with crunchy edges but nothing available to bind the mushroom and chicken together. The intention of the soup was also unclear, whether to drink first or to wash off the toast crumbs. However, thumbs up for grating some earthy mushrooms at the table for fine dining and flavour.
Pig trotter stuffed with veal sweetbread, parsley, Dijon mustard, warm apple sauce and ‘Waldorf salad’
The trotter skin was too sticky and hard to cut. The veal sweetbread filling matched well to add some depth while the apple sauce tried hard to balance the oil content. After the memorable pig trotter at Koffmann’s, this failed to compete.
Roasted grouse with foie gras, savoy cabbage, Scottish girolles, liver pate and bread sauce
Wrapping the foie gras with cabbage was a balanced act while the creamy cabbage and smooth girolles heavily enriched the dish with cream. One of the better dishes of the menu.
Livarot wrapped in crispy potato with smoked duck, endive and caper salad, truffle sauce
Filled with hot cheese, this crispy ball was both delicious and not too oily.
Green apple, basil and lime sorbet, wild strawberries
This sorbet felt extremely icy after 4 hot dishes, though the fresh apples were great at cleaning our palates.
Bitter chocolate cylinder with coffee granite and ginger mousse
The ginger flavour was quite strong, which matched the even darker chocolate. The only dish I finished everything on the plate!
Truffle ice cream, rose water Turkish delight and chocolate truffle
A dramatic ending to this tasting menu. The truffle ice cream was beautifully placed on dry ice to create a luxurious platform. The Turkish delight with rose water was light, refreshing yet rich in rose flavours like it had been sprayed with perfume.
Overall, a decent tasting menu that focused on seasonality as well as artistic plating. On the downside, it couldn’t match other Michelin restaurants like Le Manoir for both food and ambiance. None of the dishes stood out to the extent I could vividly memorise the look and taste. The tables were too close together making this boutique place rather clattered and noisy.