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Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road


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Actually, it's exactly because the Michelin guides are always very diligent about noting the existence of tasting "Menus" (as they're distinguished in the guide from the "Carte") and prices that I noticed the omission for Gordon Ramsay at RHR. 

For example, I'm looking at the London Michelin profile of 1 Lombard Street (1 Michelin).  It lists a "Menu 39/45GBP - Carte 54/62GBP."

I thought Michelin used "menu" in the French way i.e. simply a set menu of 3 courses - starter, main and dessert (table d'hôte). As they say in the guide the lowest price is usually the set lunch.

A tasting or degustation menu is usually a multi course extravaganza 7, 9, 11 or up-to 30 courses. I didn't think Michelin used these in the price categories because they are so variable (in terms of size and scope) and therefore you can't assess the relative value.

The ALC price is again for a three course meal and the range indicates the cost of a simple ALC choice to a more elaborate (expensive) choice.

Your example of 1 Lombard Street would tend to confirm this i.e. the set 3 course meal would usually be less expensive than a ALC choice and it is in the example. A degustation or tasting menu is usually more expensive than ALC.

Then this must be a practice used for the Michelin London Guide Rouge only. In the ones for the rest of Europe (at least in my experience) - Paris for example - the prices generally do include the "degustation" tasting menu prices.

For example, from the Paris Michelin Guide 2008:

Pierre Gagnaire: Menu 95E (weekday lunch), 250/350E - Carte 230/449E

Le Cinq: Menu 75E (lunch), 135/210E - Carte 136/360E

I know for a fact (you can verify by going onto their websites) that the first set of numbers (following "Menu") are for a 3-course lunch, then a 5-course "degustation" and a 7/9-course "degustation." The numbers following "Carte" are an approximation/range for a 3-course meal chosen a la carte.

I'm not trying to argue with you. I'm just trying to clarify a point, which, I think we've done successfully.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gordon Ramsay at RHR reclaims its No. 1 spot on Zagat London (not that anyone cares).

But this makes me want to know who Bruce is.

*Heading over to Chez Bruce thread now.*

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Ramsay and Wareing aren't the only ones duking it out over the split.

I don't wish to sound cynical, but what else is going to get the new Harden's guide headlines?

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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  • 3 months later...
So, finally I made it to a Gordon Ramsay Restaurant. And I chose to start with the big one.

I ordered the menu prestige and this is what I thought:

Dinner at RHR

Oh, goodie, we can compare notes.

Here's the end, and a nice summary of my experience and take-away:

In getting to the heart of the matter, a dear British friend of mine asks in summary of a meal: “Was there any there, there?”

Nope. Not here.

The food was flawless. The overall arc of the tasting menu was nicely pitched. The service was attentive and, indeed, impressive. The hospitality and generosity were great. There wasn’t a single disappointment.

But there wasn’t any soul, either.

Does membership in the highest Michelin constellation require soulfulness?

I’m not sure that it does. RGR at RHR certainly isn’t the first soulless Michelin three-starred restaurant I’ve visited.

Could RGR at RHR be London’s per se? (Or, per se be New York’s RGR at RHR?)

Maybe RGR at RHR (and other three-stars like it) is a three-star of a different stripe, one who’s greatest achievement is its ability – and, perhaps even more significantly, its willingness - to function as nothing more than a classy, seamless, and tasty backdrop when the occasion calls for it. This occasion did, and Ramsay made it work.

For all of his bluster and bother, Ramsay’s ego manages to stay guardedly out of the dining room and the food.  There are few chefs who are confident enough to understand and practice this.

There’s something to be said for a sure-footed and high-caliber meal without misstep or risk. But the trade-offs are, all too often, adventure, the hope for discovery, and the wonderment that keeps people like me sitting on the edge of that next reservation.

RGR at RHR was worth the price of admission.  But I, for one, need more emotion from a dining experience.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Just read food snob's review, about to read ulterior's. From the former, I really get the feeling that theres a star (or two?) about to go missing.

"But perhaps the blame lies with me - I expect too much. For me, three stars still mean magic, still mean wow. Or I think it should. Then again, I am a naïve, fairly-fresh foodie. Maybe I must grow up…."

Three stars should mean magic and wow, I don't think that any blame lies with you in expecting a restaurant judged by michelin so highly, and with such a price, to be a quite incredible experience.

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Thanks for the comment, Calum.

I would agree that a star could be revoked, but extremely doubt it will (which seems to be the common feeling).

Andy Hayler (Michelin-bagger extraordinaire) has a useful analogy - that Michelin stars are "sticky". Very difficult to get, and almost as difficult to lose.

RHR has been running at 2* level MAX for a number of years now as far as I can tell, but the outcry and controversy involved in stripping them away has meant they've long outstayed their welcome. Same can be said of the Waterside Inn apparently, though I've never been myself.

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Thanks for the comment, Calum.

I would agree that a star could be revoked, but extremely doubt it will (which seems to be the common feeling).

Andy Hayler (Michelin-bagger extraordinaire) has a useful analogy - that Michelin stars are "sticky". Very difficult to get, and almost as difficult to lose.

RHR has been running at 2* level MAX for a number of years now as far as I can tell, but the outcry and controversy involved in stripping them away has meant they've long outstayed their welcome. Same can be said of the Waterside Inn apparently, though I've never been myself.

Exactly. There are quite a few restaurants "stuck" at the 3-star level, I'm afraid.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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That would mean that the only "real" three star restaurant in this country is the Fat Duck.

Vice versa, have we got places that SHOULD have *** but have not? I feel it would be time for Le Gavroche to step up to that level again.

Edited by ameiden (log)
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I ate at RHR in 2006, and it was by far (out of seven) my least memorable three- star meal (the others being the other two British places, Louis XV, two in San Sebastián and Dal Pescatore).

It was my least memorable three-star (food) experience out of 10 in 2008. (The others being Jean Georges, per se, Le Bernardin, The Fat Duck, Guy Savoy, l'Ambroisie, l'Arpege, Paul Bocuse, and Ledoyen.)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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That would mean that the only "real" three star restaurant in this country is the Fat Duck.

I would have to note that the frosty service we received at The Fat Duck in 2008 left a worst taste in my mouth than the boring food at RGR at RHR, which didn't leave a bad taste at all (it left no taste).

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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That would mean that the only "real" three star restaurant in this country is the Fat Duck.

I would have to note that the frosty service we received at The Fat Duck in 2008 left a worst taste in my mouth than the boring food at RGR at RHR, which didn't leave a bad taste at all (it left no taste).

Interesting - i had an excellent service when i went in August, the staff were engaging and really good to us

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  • 1 month later...

I had lunch here today, it was very pleasant. I've eaten at Marcus Wareing, The Square & GR all over the last week and its been very easy to get a table for lunch the day before. (I'm shortly off travelling for a while, so am trying to visit as many places on my list before i go!)

Service was impeccable. J-C Breton is certainly the slickest Maitre D (sp.) you'll come across in London. Though it says something about the clientele (birthdays & ladies who lunch) that he felt obliged to explain what a tartare was. Or maybe I was the one who looked 'simple' :)

A special mention must go to the bread - which I thought exceptional - a lovely crunch.

I ate from the lunch menu - £44 for 3 courses.

So I had the Tuna & Swordfish tartare with quails egg & caviar. It was a beautiful dish. Lovely clean flavours. I loved it.

This was followed by a braised shin of beef with horseradish & potato puree and breaded/stuffed mushroom. As expected, very well cooked with unctuous & fibrous strands. A nice size as well.

I finished with a cracking banana parfait with salted caramel ice cream.

the petit fours included a strawberry ice cream covered in white chocolate served with dry ice.

All in all a lovely lunch - very well executed dishes. But the place does lack a bit of sparkle/verve. It's all 'nice'. There's no real pushing the boat out, which i what i expect from a 3 star place, just like the above consensus.

Marcus Wareing when I went there last week is a restaurant that's trying to be noticed with some interesting combinations, whereas The Square knows what it's doing is good and doesn't seem to care about the attention.

regards

fergal

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

It's the troubles in his flagship restaurant that would worry me. Service that managed to be poor even with a restaurant crowded with waitstaff, poor table positioning (waiters constantly reaching in front of you), food that is average to overcooked (turbot), a total lack of excitement in anything. My comment was "Not the best meal I've had this year, not even the best meal I've had this week". Absolutely true as the week started at the excellent Purnell's in Birmingham which is currently better in any aspect you care to look at (well maybe not rare wines in excess of £500/bottle, but I can probably live without those).

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  • 2 months later...

We ate at the restaurant on June 9, 2009. The food and service were of excellent quality but ultimately extremely dissapointing given the hype and the expense.

One thing that was extremely maddening and probably affected our enjoyment of the meal was the timing of our meal. We had a flight the next day at 6 am and needed the earliest reservation reasonably available. We made the reservation nearly 2 months in advance and were told that the only reservation was at 10:30 pm. They made it sound as if we were extremely privileged to even get that reservation. We asked to be put on a waiting list for an earlier table and were never subsequently contacted. We called back on a weekly basis and were told there were no earlier times. We frequently dine at the Gordon Ramsey in West Hollywood California. We asked the manager there to call for us and that did no good. When we got to our hotel in London, we asked if the concierge could call. She called and were told there were no earlier reservations. The concierge whispered to us to just show up early and we would likely get seated. She obviously knew what she was talking about. We showed up at 9:30 pm and nearly half of the tables were empty. What a crock of sh!#. We obviously could have been seated earlier. This is the type of amateur stunt I would expect at a Hollywood nightclub, not a supposedly high end restaurant. And there were plenty of staff their to handle the empty tables, so let's not even entertain that excuse (which would otherwise be extremely valid).

We were sat down and everyone was very pleasant. I did feel however like we were on a ride a Disneyland and were in line for a ride with the the rest of the tourists when we ordered their big deal price fixe menu. The food was very good and the service friendly and personable, but ultimately the experience seemed only sterile and servicable. It didn't seem genuine. When they handed us our Champagne flutes as an apertiff, it felt like the Disneyland ride safety bar was lowering in front of us. The molecular gastronomical tricks they tried with the food are yesterday's news and hardly innovative. Nothing was surprising and nothing foodwise was truly memorable with the exception of a salmon ravioli, which I was told was part of their "classic" menu. One dish, no matter how good, does not make 300 euro per person meal. If there were any inspiration at this restaurant, it seems long, long gone.

I would remark however that the sommelier was extremely knowledgeble and did a really extraordinary job pairing wines with dishes and really listened to us about the wines we liked and opened bottles for many of the courses. He was extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to be served by. He was young, but impressive with his knowledge. Also, the cheese service was first rate and one of the few experiences at the restaurant deserving of the reputation and price. The Maitre D was also very professional and a great asset to the restaurant.

I would never go back and can't recommend it to anyone expecting a world class experience.

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That very late slot "stunt" was pulled on me, not here but at Corrigans.

Strange though it may seem I accepted the 10pm booking but had it in my mind that it was really 8pm :blink:

So we turned up at 8 and guess what?

Half empty.

We were seated without fuss, and enjoyed the meal.

I dislike eating too late at night, its unnatural

Whats going on, how much business do these people lose?

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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