Flagship starred Gordon Ramsay restaurant based in the beautiful Claridges hotel. It calls itself an “established and iconic with a dining room that never fails to impress” but other reviews don’t always agree.
We were excited to discover that there was a three course lunch menu available for just £30 a head despite this being such a highly sought after venue and it being the week before christmas. I can’t remember exactly what everyone had, but it was all delicious and perfectly cooked, and definitely well worth the money. My pork rillette starter was excellent, and I really enjoyed the amuse bouche cauliflower soup which came as a little extra.
That said, special mention has to go to the desserts again, which were all the stuff of fantasies – especially the dark chocolate with a honeycomb sphere and milk chocolate sauce that was served at the table (and which embarrassingly four out of five of our party ordered). Also the lavender and white chocolate crème brûlée with lemon madeleines (especially because I managed to steal the madeleines off my date…). Most people at our table (read: everyone except me) were too full to try the truffles that came with the coffee, but I can vouch for them (all) being yummy.
The wine list comes on an ipad, which while a bit of a novelty at first, is a bit stressful if you don’t know much about wine or Apple products (ie. me). That said, once I’d handed over the technology to a more competent companion we happily got through two bottles of a very crisp (*relatively* reasonable) sauvignon blanc, which even my mother who doesn’t particularly like wine enjoyed.
Weirdly for a place of this calibre (or maybe testament to the fact that they must get a fair few non-londoners) they seem to put quite a lot of effort into making it a bit of an experience to visit. The maitre d’ spent a lot of time chatting to us at our table about our experience, and insisted on giving us a tour of the kitchen, which was a nice touch. The only slight disappointment is that the room in which the restaurant is, is probably the least impressive décor wise of the spaces we walked through in Claridges.
For £30 for three courses it’s definitely worth a visit and we had a really nice time – although Hakkasan and Bob Bob Richard, both of which we visited in the same weekend, probably trump it on the tasty* food front. It is quite a formal environment, so some would not find it particularly relaxing – when we got a fit of the giggles at the over zealous waiter who wouldn’t let me escape from my seat without pulling it out for me, we felt self conscious.
It’s a special occasion and you want to treat someone to a real experience without (completely) breaking the budget. The £55 taster menu includes matched wines, so is also a good value choice.
Don’t go there if…
Really fancy restaurants stress you out.
If you’re pretending to have been there don’t forget to mention..
The dress code is smart (jacket and shirt for men) so don’t rock up in your jeans or miniskirt.
For more information…
*And by tasty I mean tasty, not ‘technical brilliance’.
PS. apologies for poor photographs on this post – it didn’t feel like the kind of establishment where taking a picture of every course would be welcome!