It’s worth it. Trust me.
Reservations for Labor Day Monday were made two months in advance. Unfortunately, dinner wasn’t an option, as the 14 table space was booked out for five months as of our booking date. Fine – lunch will have to do.
T and I dressed for the occasion – suit and tie for the mister, a work dress for me. Ever prepared, I wore my red trench coat in anticipation of London weather surprises. Mind you, always overdress for Mr. Ramsay. If the wait staff are better dressed than you, then there’s a problem.
At 11:40AM, we ordered an Uber Exec to chauffeur us to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. 45 minutes of high noon traffic later, we arrived, sweaty and hungry, since our Uber driver preferred to roll down his window rather than run the AC despite the humid day. The restaurant lighting was our saving grace. I could hide my shiny face, as the two recessed lights above our table were designed specifically to showcase our food, not our facial situations. C’est la vie.
Ah, time to breathe. The dining room quickly filled with well-dressed guests for the lunch hour. We were happy to have arrived early to be seated at a table alongside the left wall.
After we took our seats, the lead service staff member handed us menus for three options:
- Pre fixe lunch at £65 per person
- A la carte at £110 per person
- Prestige at £145 per person
Guests could select their individual meals from different menus, with the option to add in a wine pairing for an additional £110-£130, depending on the meal selection.
I opted for the A la Carte, while T decided to indulge in the Prestige, quite fitting for our ongoing celebration of milestones and achievements. We each enjoyed tastes of our respective meals throughout.
So, the show begins.
We were welcomed with a glass of Gonet-Medeville rosé champagne, a combination of chardonnay and pinot noir varietals, with a small portion of red wine from Ambonnay. Bread came around to each table; the salted butter was a nice touch.
The first course was a refreshing, cold tomberry tomato soup with a clear broth. The flavorful herbs were a reminder of summer about to pass – a delicious start to a memorable meal.
Cold pressed smoked duck foie gras came next, flanked with thinly sliced green apples, turnips, and watercress, served with a crispy piece of crustless toast. The creamy texture of the foie gras made it a dream to spread, and each vegetable added a unique flavor to every bite. This foie gras was served with a glass of zesty Wehlener Sonnenhur Auslese Riesling.
Then came individual third courses with the respective wines – a glass of sweet Cyprès de Climens for me and a glass of Weingut Knoll Riesling for T. Gordon’s signature lobster/langoustine/salmon/oxalis ravioli (a handmade work of art) was paired well with the Knoll; the delicate flavors of my sautéed foie gras were enhanced by my Barsac. The crunchy almonds were a perfect counter texture to the tender foie gras. Emulsified chamomile was an interesting touch to the dish.
A fourth course of Isle of Gigha halibut in a ras el hanout infused broth was delivered next, paired with a glass of South African Saskia. Atop the halibut was a piece of Atlantic king crab. The hot broth was served still swirling in a glass pourer, a flourish of herbs to catch the eye. The edible flowers were a nice touch.
Then came the mains: suckling pig for me and Herdwick lamb for T. I enjoyed a glass of New Zealand Syrah with my pork platter; T sipped a glass of Chateau L’Evangile pomerol with his lamb plate.
Our proteins were served four or five ways, all different cuts of the animal, along with respective sauces. T‘s lamb was served braised, confit, and roasted, all to medium rare perfection. My crispy belly, roasted loin, shoulder sausage, and chou farci were tender and fresh, with the spices complemented by the sauce. The reds really brought the flavors of the meats to the next level.
Now came a warm towel and a palate cleanser. We sipped lemon sorbet smoothies through glass straws, pausing to digest and enjoy our surroundings and each other.
Dessert came in three courses – the first being a dry ice-infused ground mint ice chip to coat a tasting of English breakfast tea sorbet. We’ve never experienced something so complex for something so simple, and yet the ultimate outcome still entertained. (Usually I’d have been annoyed by the amount of effort put in for so little output. A bit of Gordon Ramsay attitude …)
Finally, a sweet Arima was served with our lemonade parfait. The deconstructed parfait was served with a dollop of sheep’s milk yogurt, encircled by a nestlike ring of honey, topped with gold flakes and surrounded by bergamot gel drops.
We thought this was the end, until …
Balls of white chocolate were served in a dry ice encasement, along with herbal infused jellies and pistachio caramel chocolate “toffee.”
We enjoyed a cappuccino and darjeeling tea with this ninth and final course, now bursting at the seams. The varied temperatures and textures of each dessert were curious and offered that extra “oomph” to the meal.
We got to know a couple of our servers – Michael and Enrico. These classy guys never stopped smiling and had a bit of fun with the service, at least when it came to our table anyway.
The service here is impeccable, from coat check to cab service. There is always someone available to guide guests to and from the restrooms. As we paid the check, a cab was called for us, so as soon as we stepped back into the warmth of the day, we were shuttled back to our hotel.
Three and a half hours later, the adventure is over and we were much fuller. I’m incredibly glad we got the opportunity to dine at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – well worth it for the three Michelin star experience.