Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

When planning my thirtieth birthday in London, food was always going to be an important part. I had spent a few days on TripAdvisor trying to figure out where I wanted to go, where I could get into etc etc.

I decided to try for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, one of only 2 three Michelin starred restaurants in the UK.  For more info on Michelin Ratings click here I couldn't believe my luck when I actually got a reservation for lunch on the day of my birthday.

Dressed in my new dress from Harrods and my gorgeous new heels, we headed off to Chelsea.

A glass of bubbles while deciding Billecart-Salmon Brue Rose £19
 I had perused the menu online several times, and hadn't quite decided it I was going to go for the 3 course a la carte or the Menu Prestige, which consists on 7 courses, but decided that I really had to try as many items as I could, because really, I will probably never be back here again.

A look at the Menu Prestige £125
 We were offered bread and salted or unsalted butter. The bread was amazing, my white with rosemary had such an amazingly strong scent that I could smell it while it was still on the tray. My potato bread was beautiful, moist and dense.

I also chose a Terravin Savaunon Black from New Zealand £52 for G and I to share with our meal.

 Amuse bouche: Pea veloute with ricotta and melon. This dish was positively stunning, not only to look at, but the flavours were - well everything an amuse bouche should be - something to warm up your taste buds for what lies ahead. Fresh and savoury, delicate and bold. It was utterly perfect! Not to mention aesthetically stunning.

Pressed foie gras with peppered madeira, smoked duck, rhubarb and blood orange. Another perfectly presented dish. My friend Miss K is a fois gras addict, but the closest I have got is slivers off her plate. This dish was served with toasted brioche. The flavours were intense- too intense for my fellow diner, but beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the balance of flavours by mixing elements from the garnish with the fois gras.

One of Mr Ramsay's signature dishes, and one that we were informed has been on the menu forever: Ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon. This was a perfectly rounded dish. The pasta was as delicate as silk, while still robust enough to be one of the centre-points of the dish. The filling was surprisingly mannish, um, I think I expected it to be a more feminine dish but there were good chunk of seafood inside. I liked it.

Halibut with king crab and cauliflower couscous.
I think, I was really surprised when this dish came out. It was one of the most theatrical dishes. Apart from how visually gorgeous it is, our waiter brought a jug of the broth and swirled it just into front of us so we could breathe in the Moroccan aromas. He mentioned that this is a fairly new dish, and wanted to know whether we believed it should stay on the menu.

When he came over to take our plates, I think he only made it half way over to us before I squealed 'YES YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT!' A definite highlight of my meal.

 Both Miss G and I had decided on the 'Suckling Pig' option for our main. Another of the more masculine plates. Pork belly, loin and sausage, each of the first two was perfect and stunning. The sausage did not quite do it for me. As quaint as I thought it was to serve -basically- bangers, mash and gravy at a restaurant like this, the texture of the sausage was a bit to chunky, or rough (I can't think of the perfect adjective here). The pork belly was divine though.

We had both decided on the cheeses from the trolly. I love when waitresses know their cheeses so well. I requested a goats cheese, a cheddar, and allowed her to choose 3 others for me, so long as the blue was a creamy and not a sharp.

 The blue, from Lanark was heavenly, the cheddar and the one that I can't remember (second from right) were both divine. The soft goats cheese I could not stomach, and the other soft I didn't really fancy at all.

 The decor of the restaurant was perfectly understated, but still elegant and welcoming. The tables were arranged around the outside of the room with all the chairs facing inwards. I'm still not sure how I feel about this set up.

Dessert: creme brulee with prunes, and apple juice served on the side.

I cannot describe this. I'm sorry. It was perfect. It was emotional. It was sexy. It was divine. It was without flaw. It was king.

 And then... the queen of desserts.

This was such a glamorous dessert, but such a perfect finisher. The lemony flavours completely cleansing the palate and soothing our full and weary stomachs.

 It was just... art.

I loved the waiters. They were so friendly, chatty and interested.

I've always known I have an overly emotive face, and I think everytime the waiters came past they didn't even need to ask how I enjoyed the course they had just served, they could see it, (and quite often would giggle at this). So we got to talking about if I am a fan of food and cooking... I believe my responce to this was along the lines of 'OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS??' (they may have thought I had tourettes, but if they did, they took it very well).

After more chat, they asked if I would like to see the kitchen.

This was such an unexpected treat. I felt so lucky, to see where the magic happens, to hear the stories, hearing about the roles of each of the people that work out back and front of house. The passion they share. The woozying perfection they are required to maintain. It was just- out of this world.

We were not rushed at all, through our seven courses, even having not sat at our table till 2.15, but at around 4.45 we were guided into the lounge for our petit fours and coffees.

This was a charming wee dish: served in a misty dish of dry-ice smoke, strawberry ice cream encased in white chocolate.

Oh and birthday treat and Ameretto.

 Rosewater Turkish delight and a dark chocolate-y thing with the texture of ganache. Yum.

So what makes this restaurant worthy of its stars? Worthy of it's reputation?

Food can only be so good, right? Right, the food here was great. What I will hold on to from this experience is how much I felt like the most important person in the room, how much the staff wanted to get to know me, as well as help me to know them, the restaurant, the chef and Gordon Ramsay's vision.

If nothing else THAT feeling will stay with me. Well done Mister Ramsay, you certainly made my birthday. This restaurant is without doubt worthy of everything it represents and is acclaimed for.

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca,
    This meal looked/sounded spectacular. How wonderful for your birthday. Highlights for me reading this were the cheese trolley and the signature ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon. Not so sure of the sculptural presentation of the parfait and sorbet, but if it tasted good, I would've enjoyed dismantling that 'sculpture'. Even better, you got to visit the kitchen. If I ever make it over there, I'll have this place on the short list. Happy belated birthday!
    PS. I used OpenID but it's doing something strange - my 'name' is probably coming up at something weird! xx TFP