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Steve Plotnicki

Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road

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Well if a restaurant says they'd prefer it if we came at 8.15  instead of 8 then that is reasonable. However Macrosan said he wanted a table at 1.15 and was told it would have to be 12.30pm. He was then told that they would "make allowances" if he was a little late.

Not the same thing at all. Apart from a 45 minute differential he wasn't being asked if he minded coming earlier. Basically he was being told you come at 12.30 or not at all. And if you're late beyond the time we will "make allowances" for then you needn't bother turning up (at least that was the implication as I read it).

Maybe none of it all matters if you're going to have a fantastic meal but I just get irked at the idea that a restaurant can get into a mindset whereby it feels its doing you a favour by allowing you to dine there.

Normally I would steer clear but poor old :wink:  Sam needs a couple of old codgers to accompany her to GR on the 28th to make her feel less bad about hitting 30,and Fahro and I drew the short straw( well someone's got to do it) However as far as I know (Scott?) our table is for 8.30 with no limit, so that's something.

Tony,

I mostly agree with you. If you want a table at 1:15 and there isn't one - when do you expect to be seated????? 12:30 is what they have = what they have. There isn't any reason to argue that point is there? if they are full, and they must be close, they don't have a table for a party that sits down at 12:50.

As for a table at 8:30 - well things can't be as good as they used to be :smile: it can only be a good thing, that you can have the table the whole time.

As for £200 that's just bullying you into thinking you don't have a choice, similar in nature to a service charge, the legalities are very different to the niceties.

If you have entered into a contract, that you intended to be bound by (!), then perhaps they could charge something - certainly not a median bill that suits them. You would struggle to argue successfully that you intended to enter a binding contract at GR's, especially since it is industry standard to have no shows.

If you rang your card service provider and declined to honour the charge GR would struggle to have the charge upheld - IMO.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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If you rang your card service provider and declined to honour the charge GR would struggle to have the charge upheld - IMO.

I think you're right, Scott. I'm delighted to say that I haven't reached an adversarial stage with GR (or any other restaurant) where I might test the theory :smile: And I hope not to do so. I'm happy with the principle of what they're doing, I just wasn't overly impressed with the way they put it across.

... and yes, I did believe I was entering into a 'contract' by which I was content to be bound :rolleyes: and I thoroughly enjoyed the results thereof.

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However as far as I know (Scott?) our table is for 8.30 with no limit, so that's something.

Yep - 8.30 is the booking and when I requested that we wanted the table for the whole evening they said no problem. :smile:

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ROYAL HOSPITAL ROAD

RAMSAY: A SUITABLE CASE FOR TREATMENT

I have to say that when I was invited to have supper at Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin three star place in London, I approached the event with some trepidation based on the risible showing of his eponymous restaurant in Claridges and my own dislike of the man himself.

I am pleased to say that while the meal itself was not perfect, it went a long way to explaining to me why the man is held in such high regard.

Robin and I arrived some 20 minutes before our other dining companions and took a seat in the small bar area. We ordered two glasses of Lillet which arrived with a tray of exemplary canapés. Small dishes containing a rich cream cheese infused with truffles and an eggplant puree with basil. Both were served with superb game chips.

When our friends arrived, we were shown to our table and while we looked at the menu, two selections of pre amuse were brought to us. The first was a small cornet of brandade with salmon and caviar. It was excellent, but not close to as good as the second, a sandwich made of two game chips with a rich foie mousse between. A fine start

We ordered from the set menu ( £65 for three courses ) and before our meals arrived an amuse of White onion soup was put in front of us. This is the sort of soup one could eat a huge amount of. Infused with a rich stock and laced with truffle oil, it was sublime.

The first courses were a mixed bag. Three of us ordered Pied de Couchon, three slices of pig trotter stuffed with sweet breads and topped with hot seared foie with a fried quails egg. I liked it a great deal but found the celeriac remoulade and green beans that came with it did not offer enough of a counter point to the richness of the dish. Another of us had a signature dish of Langoustine ravioli. Unbelievably good.

The other two had the weakest of the starters, a roasted tranche of Foie with a sauternes sauce. I loved the sauce, but the roasting had created a tougher texture with the foie than I, and those who had it would have liked.

For the main courses, three of us went for beef and ordered a fillet with sweetbreads and yet another fried quail egg ( yes another, they must have gone long on quail ) on top. It was served with a reduction of the juices with red wine and truffles. While the beef itself was fabulous, the dish as whole did not work for me and I found it to similar to the starter and one note. The others fared better, a three way duck ( rare breast, confit and ravioli ) was served with an exceptional consommé with beetroot. Another of our party had a rare roasted Bresse Pigeon breats that shone with flavour. The star dish for me was the pan fried John Dory with a smoked haddock veloute. This worked on so many levels, that I wish I had ordered it.

A pre dessert of Panna cotta enriched with rum came with a sliver of star fruit that had been marinaded in grenadine. It made a welcome diversion from the main meal

Desserts were, to my mind anyway the true star turn. Two of us shared a signature Tarte Tatin which was light anf flaky with an intense flavour and served with a great cinnamon ice cream. Others had a coffee soufflé which I did not try and a parfait of orange dusted in almonds ( I think ) which I had rather a lot of.

Two of the party had the dessert selection which did exactly what it said on the tin with a small version including a perfectly formed little soufflé being brought in order. A treat

While we mulled and turned down coffee, we had more treats popped in front of us. Caramel truffles which I disliked, strawberry ice cream in white chocolate and orange and almond paste finaciers which I didn't dislike.

We asked the sommelier to suggest wines for us in the £40 range and he did, though not altogether successfully. A Fixin proved to be too thin and acidic, but a Merlot Planeta was much better and held up well to the rich main courses

Service was at all times efficient, friendly and attentive.

The bill for six of us came to just over £600 inc which for the standard of food and the quality service is very good value indeed

So now I understand better what he has been doing with all that time since he left Rangers.

8/10

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rockin' good simon. good to see the foul mouthers continue to thrive. a nice big bowl of fuck you onion soup for the vegetarians. i'm going to eat that man's food soon. gotta pay the french laundry trip off first.

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Thank you simon :smile:

It was a wonderful evening, with wonderful company.

(Just coming to terms with the Three Ohhh thing now :angry: )

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Simon’s done a fine job of echoing my sentiments on the early part of the meal. Canapés and the Amuse were excellent. I found the choice of bread - white, brown and tomato slightly limited and also found it to be quite dry.

Ordering was extremely difficult as every dish sounded enticing. We discussed throughout the evening whether ordering two rich, meaty dishes was a mistake especially as the accompanying items tended to be the same or similar. Consensus of opinion was that it probably was, but then you don’t eat at GR every night.

I was an orderer of the Roasted Tranche of Foie Gras and though immaculately pink throughout it had taken on too much of a liver texture for my taste, not the gooey centre and Foie flavour I prefer. Accompanying Endive chutney and Sauternes sauce were outstanding companions, though on checking the menu later the listed Potato Galette was missing.

I chose the John Dory for main. Three roasted fillets atop some braised Cos lettuce, new season Asparagus, roasted baby Onions and a sensational Smoked Haddock veloute poured around. One of those dishes that had so many levels of sophistication and flavours, a real winner for me.

Pre dessert Panna Cotta also had the table umming and aahing though I think the rum was unnecessary as the Panna Cotta was so good.

Sam and I ordered the Assiette of desserts and this was a little portion of all the puds. From the top a Crème Brulee with Prunes macerated in Armagnac, a Chocolate Fondant with Milk Mousse (mousse excellent and quite different), Orange parfait, two individual Tart Tatin with Cinnamon ice cream, Pineapple and Mango ravioli, and two individual Coffee soufflés. I think that speaks for itself.

The chocolaty extras were almost sugar overkill, but overall possibly my finest meal and if I was scoring – 9/10.

Service was very professional throughout, at one time we thought they were going to fail the napkin test but the sommelier came through with half mast colours, and portion sizes were very reasonable for a restaurant of this nature, something we all commented on.

I think £65 for the a la carte is outstanding value, especially when compared to the price of other restaurants in London and Europe and I certainly won’t be waiting three years until I return the next time.

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at one time we thought they were going to fail the napkin test but the sommelier came through with half mast colours,

I did not give full marks for The Napkin Test. The folding had no artistry and the placement lacked precision

4/10 - one of the weaker elements of the meal


Edited by Simon Majumdar (log)

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a nice big bowl of fuck you onion soup for the vegetarians.

Actually I don't think the vegetarians would have fucked the onion soup as I'm pretty sure it was made with chicken stock-and a damn fine chicken stock at that.

Come to think of it, the others may correct me, but I don't recall anything on the menu at all for veggies, at least not in the main courses.

I agree with the above comments. Odd to criticise foie gras for being too much like liver because of course.....it is liver, but the tranche was more like the texture of fine calves liver rather than the melt in the mouth goo that you can get from sauteeing (as opposed to roasting) it.

The food was all very intense , beautifully presented, very heavy on sugar at the end with pre dessert, a whole panapoly of amazingly rich desserts, chocolates and little cakes at the end with coffee etc.

I really enjoyed it but it reconfirmed my feeling that I could only eat this kind of meal once every....oh I dunno....two days?

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a nice big bowl of fuck you onion soup for the vegetarians.

Actually I don't think the vegetarians would have fucked the onion soup as I'm pretty sure it was made with chicken stock-and a damn fine chicken stock at that.

Come to think of it, the others may correct me, but I don't recall anything on the menu at all for veggies, at least not in the main courses.

I agree with the above comments. Odd to criticise foie gras for being too much like liver because of course.....it is liver, but the tranche was more like the texture of fine calves liver rather than the melt in the mouth goo that you can get from sauteeing (as opposed to roasting) it.

The food was all very intense , beautifully presented, very heavy on sugar at the end with pre dessert, a whole panapoly of amazingly rich desserts, chocolates and little cakes at the end with coffee etc.

I really enjoyed it but it reconfirmed my feeling that I could only eat this kind of meal once every....oh I dunno....two days?

That's what I meant. He didn't give a minute of thought to the vegetarians obviously. What was his concession finally when pressed to respond to the vegetarians cries of Ramsay's poor judgement? I can't remember...didn't he don a PETA cap at a celebrity event or something? I know, I know, there's a thread on that subject...I just forgot where it was.

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Excellent reports, sounds as if you had a great time and I look forward to hearing more about your visit this coming Friday. I liked the sound of the Pied de Couchon, and the Three way duck especially.

Oh and Samantha, welcome to the club !

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I still dream of Ramsey's tart tatin. It is the most delicious thing i have ever put in my mouth.

BTW, El Bulli FAILS the napkin test. They just leave it where you put it. Shocking, really.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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BTW, El Bulli FAILS the napkin test. They just leave it where you put it. Shocking, really.

I am shocked. I thought they would replace it with a new one of a different colour each time you went to point percy at the porcelain

S

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I thought that any effluent was carefully catheterised in order to avoid flow problems.


Wilma squawks no more

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Nice report, people. Of course Andy will tell you off for not tagging it onto the other Ramsay thread, and quite right too :laugh:

Obviously the menu is the same for lunch and dinner, but I can now reveal the difference between the two. At lunch they don't give you as many amuses and you don't get the "Caramel truffles, strawberry ice cream in white chocolate and orange and almond paste finaciers" (I think we just had a few fancy petits fours ?) :sad:

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"Caramel truffles, strawberry ice cream in white chocolate and orange and almond paste finaciers"

Funny. Until that meal I always thought finaciers were people who shouted at each other all day in the city and then went out and drank bucketloads of champagne and then shouted at waiters in Indian restaurants. :blink:

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Obviously the menu is the same for lunch and dinner, but I can now reveal the difference between the two. At lunch they don't give you as many amuses and you don't get the "Caramel truffles, strawberry ice cream in white chocolate and orange and almond paste finaciers" (I think we just had a few fancy petits fours ?) :sad:

I had heard that there were people who could only afford lunch there, but until now had never encountered one

Very sad Macca, to live a life without strawberry ice cream in white chocolate.

S


Edited by Simon Majumdar (log)

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No, Tony. Those were the financiers of two generation ago.

Financiers one generation ago went to Petrus, ordered expensive wine and ran up £00000 bills. They they got sacked for publicly embarrassing their banks.

Now, financiers just get sacked, without the wine.


Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Working in Her Majesty's Home Civil Service, not only can I afford lunch at GR's but I also get a half-day Maundy Thursday. What better opportunity ?

The set lunch menu offers great value (£35) and has a couple of choices at each of three courses but these didn't quite hit the mark, so it was dispensed with in favour of the a la carte (given we were doing our best to project an air of refined sensibility, the full tasting menu seemed a little excessive at lunch...)

Covered many of the same bases as the previous reports - Pigs Trotter, Foie Gras, Duck Three Ways and that sensational Tarte Tartin (for me the exemplary part of it was persuading each segment of apple to pillow out softly in emalution of the puff pastry that combined the right notes of crispness and indulgent stickiness...)

The wine waiter came through with a decent selection in the £50 mark (an Alsation Pinot Noir) that was a little cheaper than the Loire red I had been waving at.

However the absolute highlight of the meal - and one not covered in previous reports was Jessica's main dish of Milk fed Pyrenean lamb. This was exquisite, the delicacy of the lamb provided a blank canvas on which the flavour could be painted. The texture was melting and it was suffused with rosemary. Absolutely spectacular and an out and out winner of my Dead Animal of the Year Award.

Overall, 9/10 but the lamb gets a clear 10.

Total cost, including pre-drinks coffee and tip £120 a head. Since £120 a head equates to not going to the Admiralty twice, what better value could there be ?

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Dawn and I went for lunch a couple of weeks ago and can only really echo what everyone else has said. We thought about the lunch menu, but as we only usually get to the restaurant once a year, we wanted the a la carte.

Dawn had the scallops to start with, (which she has had before and I always forget to order), it must be the most generous allocation of scallops in London, with around 8+ being interleaved with potatoes and a dressing, sounds a bit dull but isn't. I had the roast wild salmon confit thing which was also really good, very lightly cooked, very tasty.

Although it was the main courses that really stood out, Dawn had the Duch, which I can say no more about than it was really intensely 'Ducky' I did not try much of it because I had the John Dory and it would have overpowered it. The John Dory was excellent or as Scott has mentioned the smoked haddock veloute, but the whole thing wotked really well together, subtle and light but with a really good depth of flavour.

The pre-dessert was a blodd orange veloute with a blood orange sorbet on top, quite light, very refreshing and very good.

For dessert we had the selection, which was really was a small version of evrything else (sometime you only get a few) including a mini tarte tatin (which was good because Dawn thought she had ordered that rather than the selection, although we always have had it before and this was really good.). Particular things to stand out were the cinnamon ice cream, the coffee souffle and the orange parfait. I thought the pineapple ravioli filled with fruit was also very good but very sweet, I would not have wanted a full size one.

We also got to see around the kitchen before coffee which was nice, didn't meet Gordon though, he was there at the beginning of service, but had left. We did meet Mark Askew he seemed very nice, very different to Gordon, fairly softly spoken, can't imagine him losing it. He is clearly very imprtant to the restaurant as he has a lot of involvement in choosing the menu etc, it was also interesting that he knew everything else going on within the group of restaurants, you get the sense that there is quite a team ethic (corporate?) amongst the staff.

Finally with coffee we had the full salted caramels, white choccies etc.

Overall this was excellent one of the best meals we have had (as to be fair it always is). Like some other three star restaurants I don't find that lots of dishes stand out rather the whole experience has been refined to as close to perfect as possible. (No messing about with tables at lunchtime either, we were there a very comfortable three hours).

Paul

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The minute difference between the inexorable destiny of fate and the mercy of the great invisible combine of luck was promising enough for us to submit ourselves to the whim of that fuzzy notion of good fortune and call the restaurant only several days in advance in an attempt to secure a reservation. Perhaps it does rain on the just and the unjust alike or my consort's relentless charm overwhelmed the reasoning of the lady on the other end of the line, but we received a gracious offer to lunch at Gordon Ramsay at 2:15 p.m. one day the next week.

Strolling slowly along the swept and slightly prim corners of Chelsea after a spring rain, with the pavement flashing steel, reflecting the pure sapphire of the parting clouds and charming, dark-red brick buildings, with well-manicured yards exploding with silent but sweetly fragrant fireworks of spring flowers, a thought ran through our minds that to a Londoner in exile this quaint site must just set off an almost unbearable nostalgia that is both of the senses and of the mind.

The restaurant, with its discreet exterior camouflaged well among the rest of the buildings on its block, would not have stood out if not for an aubergine canopy, hailing bystanders to take a peek through the restaurant’s window. As we walked in, an unremarkable, narrow corridor, with a painted blue wall featuring playful male figures on one side and opaque overlapping glass panels separating the entrance from the main dining room on the other, seemed in retrospect to be incongruous with the artistic milieu of the restaurant. It led to a small foyer, with a bar at the back wall and three couches with a coffee table in the center, which rather reminded us of a waiting room in the dentist’s office.

Our table was not yet ready, so we plunged into the cushiony comfort of one of the eggplant-dark-brown couches, perfect for a night by the fireplace with a cozy blanket and fuzzy slippers, but a little too deep and low for a knee-length dress and high heels.

A tall, slender Maitre d', radiating an aura of dignified and distant though not stiff confidence, inquired into our comfort and presented us with the wine and lunch menus. Shortly, a little delight of garlicky cream cheese infused with bits of black truffles and toasted baguette rounds on the side appeared on the corner of our coffee table to help us while away our time.

“Right this way madam,” we heard a soft and welcoming voice beckon behind our backs, and soon we were occupying a cozy, round corner table to the left of the dining room entrance and directly across from the service station. The table location provided a nice view of the small dining area (with no more than twelve-to-fourteen tables) that seemed to express a restrained contemporary genre with a relatively low pyramidal ceiling and recessed lights and four wall niches hosting beautiful, large art pieces of multicolored glass of a face, two perfume bottles and a round plate, combined with the classical touches of the wooden wall panels and striped beige wallpaper. It was a comforting but not inspiring interior design.

Our choice was the Menu Prestige served for lunch and dinner, consisting of seven courses: two appetizers, two main dishes and three desserts.

The amuse of Chilled lobster bisque, mango and Granny Smith apples was a nice way to start our lengthy feast. Even the strong lingering taste of garlic and truffles from the previous amuse couldn’t suppress the intensity of the slightly cold, bright yellow-orange broth, which delivered a wonderfully rich lobster flavor without the heaviness of most bisques. It was served in a small white soup cup, with cubes of green apples floating atop, roofed by a nicely toasted, thin piece of bread saturated with lobster oil. It was an interesting twist on a more traditional hearty bisque made with roux and laced with cream, turned into a light and refreshing, smooth summer soup where the enduring oceanic bitterness of fish oil was offset by the delicate sweetness of the earthy apples, adding a crunch to the soft and tender shreds of lobster and langoustine meat dwelling on the bottom of the soup cup.

First Course: Mosaïque of foie gras with confit and smoked goose.

This was a very nice appetizer. A long, rectangular piece of foie gras terrine, with a light-beige and rosy-pink color, was nicely marbled with alternating horizontal and wavy, dark-brown veins of fig confit and thin sheets of smoked goose. Several tubes of crunchy green beans, marinated golden girolles, a parsley flower and two shavings of white truffle, which were drizzled with oil, were spread alongside the terrine encircled by a thin line of bittersweet balsamic vinegar reduction. The creamy but compressed foie gras had a very mild flavor, coating the tongue with its butteriness and velvet, serving as a foil for the paper-thin, soft and tender goose prosciutto with its much stronger, salty and smoky taste. The slight sweetness of the fig confit, on the other hand, was complementary and added a nice sharpness to the smooth flavor of the foie gras. The white truffles were disappointingly bland, lacking that penetrating scent redolent of ground and wood, but the balance of salt and sweetness, smoothness and sharpness in the foie gras was just wonderful.

Second Course: Ravioli of lobster and langoustine with a tomato chutney and lobster vinaigrette.

One large, plump ravioli with a wrinkled and medium-thick perky skin, looking like a ballerina’s tutu or a cheerful sunflower, was positioned in the center of the plate surrounded by several dark-brown, thin circles of lobster vinaigrette and was topped with a blob of bloody-red tomato chutney with a proudly inserted sprig of parsley. A stuffing of very fine cubes of lobster, langoustines and salmon mixed with herbs (chervil, tarragon and basil), bound by salmon mousse, was sweet and moist with a distinctly dominant but very delicate taste of lobster, and was wrapped in dough that was surprisingly silky and tender, considering its relative thickness. The tomato chutney added acidity and counterbalanced the sweetness of the meat, and the thick vinaigrette reduction provided saltiness and an intense and concentrated lobster flavor. Each element of this wonderful appetizer was well measured (dough thickness vs. stuffing; the amount of each ingredient in the stuffing) and flavors were balanced to perfection to create an ideal equilibrium of clear taste.

Third Course: Roasted baby turbot with asparagus and a smoked haddock velouté.

A roasted fillet of nicely browned turbot with a blob of pale celery mousse was set atop sautéed lettuce and crowned with several fried parsley flowers. The fish rested in a puddle of creamy haddock sauce poured at the table and sprinkled with flakes of chopped fresh parsley. Several transparent, crispy celery cubes were tossed around the plate for completeness. The fish was slightly overdone, so that the firm, glistening, white flesh separated into distinct, large flakes; that same overcooking also seemed to allow the full flavor of the turbot to be developed and concentrated the sweetness of a generally delicate and subtle fish. The creamy haddock sauce with small oily pools was intense and complemented the fish well. The mousse echoed the creaminess of the sauce though it differed in texture, where the heaviness of the mousse was enriched by the freshness of celery and the lightness of the cream by the intensity of haddock fumé. It was a nice dish, but it left me a little cold.

Fourth Course: Roasted cannon of Cornish lamb with confit shoulder, Provençal vegetables and thyme jus.

A small piece of roasted red pepper rested on a hill of eight overlapping medallions of lamb shank gathered in a circle and set atop lamb shoulder confit. Three large black olives, two halves of cherry tomato, two whole roasted shallots and four green beans were carefully positioned around the lamb edifice. A dark-brown vegetable jus, upon being poured at the table, released a wonderful thyme aroma and permeated the senses rapturously. The lamb medallions were rare inside which was manifested in the beautiful dark-pink color in the center that changed to a lighter tone closer to the edge. The moist and tender meat had a very mild taste and was only lightly seasoned to let the vegetables express their flavor in full. Indeed, the brightly red and perfectly ripe mini-tomato, shaped like a teardrop, just burst with flavor filling my mouth with tangy sweetness and the whole bouquet of earth, garden and Spring perfume, which triggered the most pleasant childhood memories of my grandmother’s garden, and which I wasn’t able to recreate in the US. This dish was subtle, done perfectly, and I certainly enjoyed it.

Fourth Course: Fillet of Scottish beef with onion Lyonnaise, fried quail egg and an Hermitage sauce

This dish was the most memorable and enjoyable of the whole evening. The contrast in the intensity between the lamb and the beef dishes (the subtle motifs of the lamb and the exploding flavors of the beef) was dramatic. A bulky round cylinder of beef glistening with moisture, resting on a bed of off-white onion confit and surrounded by two halves of small roasted onion sat in a medium-thick wine reduction sauce with sautéed white(?) trumpets and was topped by the brightly yellow eye of the small quail egg cooked sunny side up. The meat was simply unsurpassed with its outstanding intense flavor, succulence and tenderness and had a perfect balance of fat and lean. It was cooked medium-rare and was almost rare inside so that the juices were released as the knife reached the center of the fillet. The sweetness of the onion confit nicely counterbalanced the slight bitterness of the wine sauce enriched by the peppery and nutty flavor of the trumpets. I didn’t care much for the quail egg. The dish was simple and simply perfect.

We drank a bottle of 1998 Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru Domaine Drouhin-Laroze.

To refresh our palates, before our desserts, we ordered a cheese course consisting of five different kinds selected from the cheese cart rolled to our table. It was the most sublime experience. Most unfortunately, I couldn’t locate my notes and therefore can only generally rhapsodize on the exquisite and remarkable freshness, incredible richness and ripeness and taste and texture of all the cheeses we tried and would insist that one must not bypass the cheese course at Gordon Ramsay as it delivers merely the best. Besides, after all, “a dinner which ends without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye." (Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin)

Dessert 1: Rum pannacotta with red fruits.

This dessert was not very interesting. Off-white pannacotta in a bright-red berry soup was decorated with a caramelized, dry, thin slice of star fruit. The dry piece of star fruit still maintained its original flavor that was a cross between an apple and a grape, but mostly played an ornamental role. Though the pannacotta was creamy and airy, with a refreshing eggy taste, and the berry soup, with its dominant flavor of strawberry, provided a nice sweet and sour counterbalance, there was not enough flavor to offset the relative blandness of the pannacotta, in our opinion.

Dessert 2: Caramelized pineapple with natural yoghurt.

A tall, narrow glass was half filled with dark-yellow pineapple purée and the other half with snow-white yogurt and topped with pineapple chip crowned by caramelized parsley. A coriander tuille leaned against the glass. The pineapple chip was sweet and acidic and left an aftertaste of bitterness and spice. The yogurt had no sweetness at all and had to be eaten together with the other elements: Just take the coriander tuille and scoop the yogurt with the pineapple purée. It’ll taste just wonderful. This was a light, moderately sweet and rather refreshing dessert.

Dessert 3: Chocolate partfait with milk ice cream and raspberry sauce.

This was a nice dessert. A dark chocolate cylinder dusted with cocoa powder was topped with an oval scoop of unflavored ice cream and a thin dark chocolate straw balanced on top of the structure. Two perfect raspberries, a blob of raspberry sauce and a thin, artistically curled chocolate line drawn on a plate completed the composition. The surprise came when my fork plunged into the chocolate cylinder revealing that under the dark chocolate robe dwelled dense but airy, white chocolate mousse. The ice cream had a little salty counterbalance to its light sweetness and the raspberry sauce’s acidity complemented the chocolate very well.

Petit fours of orange madeleine(?), two white chocolate balls filled with raspberry ice cream and chocolate truffles filled with salty caramel sauce brought our fête galante to an end. Aside from one more table of the cheerful young crowd, we were the last ones to leave the restaurant. A silent choreography of waiters in black and white, performing their well-rehearsed dances while cleaning and preparing tables for that night’s round of “carnival,” was light and elegant. Just outside this respectable establishment the casual took over. We saluted a couple of young waiters who, only five minutes ago, flew around the room on their tippy toes and now were casually sipping coke on a sidewalk. The weather outside tempted one with its caressing sunshine, promising a long, pleasant walk.

Conclusion:

After having been overwhelmed by the Modernism of Gagnaire’s cuisine with its new vocabulary of flavors resting solidly on the eternal and the immutable, and the Rayonism of Blumenthal’s approach with its premeditated use of the uncustomary in which the forms, ingredients and elements are the result of rigid intellectual application and selection, Ramsay’s clear and unpretentious approach, with its inherent qualities of harmony, symmetry and balance, where the dissonant always resolves into the consonant and dishes are never strident and bring out the flavors of each ingredient to its ultimate, lent calmness to our senses and steadiness to our minds.


Edited by lxt (log)

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