Greetings from London!
I was lazy out last weekend and was not in mood for anything but movies and family meals with my lovely sister, Bella. Anyway, last Friday, before making my way down to Cambridge to support my sister during her exam week, I met up with a high school friend and her mom. Her mom wanted to check out Gordon Ramsay restaurant, so I was recommended (by the host at Texture) to check out his “best” restaurant on the Royal Hospital Road.
There was a no jeans policy in the restaurant so I figured it must be a very posh restaurants. Turned out, it was smaller and cozier than I expected – very British I guess. It was not tranquil but rather an energetic atmosphere. The chief mousier was awesome, he was fun, warm, made joke and caring.
Initially I wanted to try the 7-course-chief-tasting but due to time constrain, I ended up with a 3 course, Please pardon for the picture quality because I did not bring my camera with me.
We started off with mint pina cotta with spring vegetables. This flawless presentation made me feel like I was having a whole little garden on my plate. I just wanted to look at them. I was not a fan of mint so did not spur my taste bud when I heard the name. Nevertheless, it was quite a show to indulge in. The taste: actually very similar to the one I had at Texture, minus the surprise of the ice.
My first course was Pressed foie gras with green apples, turnips, watercress and smoked duck, served with French toast. This was divine, clean after taste, smooth and buttery but not to fatty. I was impressed with rather the smoke duck as it definitely helped to bring out the terrine’s flavor. Again, 10 for presentation.
Next was Bresse pigeon with sautéed foie gras, smoked ventrèche, grilled polenta, braised shallots and dates. Just when I was jealous with my friend for her sauteed foie gras, mine came. While the other two dishes came artistically, this dish appeared with a very straight-forward message “you will get full”.
Nevertheless, the pigeon was perfectly cooked, tender and very juicy. Normally, they would cook this dish to medium rare, but if you are not comfortable with having pink meat, ask for extra cook time. While the pigeon was perfect (really was), smoked ventrèche was (again) salty for me.
I have learnt from my friend that the Brits seem to favor salty and milky taste so maybe that was why Gordon Ramsay created the dishes this way.
Pre-desert was on the house with mango and passion fruit mouse, topped with heavy cream. My friend and her mom enjoyed it while personally, I feel that the proportion of ingredients did not really work. I would prefer to have a little bit more of passion fruit, but well, that is just me.
Dessert came. I ordered Bitter Chocolate cylinder with coffee granité and ginger mousse. Presentation: perfect. Taste: I could not tell the coffee flavor, I thought it was an effort to make caramel mouse. The vanilla ice-cream was very nice, though, essential to balance out the sweetness of the whole dish.
In conclusion, I would recommend this restaurants for those who want to have a taste of the inarguable most famous chef in the culinary world history. However, if you are on a tight budget and want to try the best of London, I would prefer to stick to the list suggested by Time Out ;).
Have you tried other Gordon Ramsay restaurant yet? Tell me what you think!