For a truly special occasion, there is no other place in the whole of London that could make your evening as unforgettable as Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. It has it all – a selection of exquisite dishes that go far beyond just making your taste buds dance; exceptional service from every member of staff; and a calm, relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for whiling away the hours over a bottle or two of excellent wine.
Chef Gordon Ramsay established Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – his first wholly owned restaurant – in 1988 when he was 31. By 2001 it had been awarded three Michelin stars, which it still holds today. Clare Smyth was appointed to the position of head chef at the beginning of 2007. The restaurant is surprisingly small and understated, able to seat around 45 diners. The interior is minimal, sleek, stylish and elegant, having been created by designer David Collins.
The three Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Photo courtesy of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
If you choose to visit Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in the evening, there are three dinner menus to choose from. The Menu Prestige offers seven courses for £125; the Seasonal Inspiration menu allows you to indulge in seven amazing courses for £155; and the three course A La Carte menu is reasonably priced at £95 each.
My guest and I both opted to pick from the a la carte menu, but to say we got three courses only would be unfair. Sipping from a glass of pink champagne, we were unexpectedly presented with three tiny, beautiful amuse-bouches: a miniature cone filled with avocado puree and seafood, a soft breaded quail's egg, and a savory bun. Following these delights was a tomato consommé. The offering of bread just kept on coming throughout the evening, with a choice of rosemary, brown or sourdough with salted or unsalted butter.
Amuse-bouche: softly poached quails' eggs. Photo courtesy of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
First up were the starters. I opted the pressed foie gras with smoked duck, rhubarb and blood orange, while my guest chose the braised pig's foot with ham knuckle and poached quail's egg. If fish is more up your street, there's plenty of choice with seafood ravioli, scallops or poached lobster tail, to name but a few.
Not only were the dishes delicious – my guest disclosed to our maître d' that it was the best meal he'd ever eaten – but they were presented so beautifully that part of me was reluctant to tuck in. Obviously portions are small, but not once was I left feeling hungry or wanting more.
My main course was best end of Cotswold lamb with confit breast and braised shank, spring vegetables and vitelotte potatoes. Essentially meat and veg, albeit the best meat and veg course I've ever indulged in. How beautiful could it possibly look? The answer is very. The main part of the lamb was pink and succulent, laid out across the middle of the plate in all its glory. I happily chomped my way through, finding other parts of the lamb hidden underneath vegetables and at the back of the plate. I was being taken on a treasure hunt, discovering mouth-watering meaty gems along the way.
On the opposite side of the table my guest was embarking on a similar journey with his oven roasted pigeon, grilled polenta, smoked ventrèche (a type of bacon), braised shallots and date sauce.
A main course of roast pigeon. Photo courtesy of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Contently full, it was time for a palate cleanser – a cucumber, melon and basil drink – before dessert. It was a difficult decision. Some of the dishes that were on offer were lemonade parfait, tarte Tatin, and bitter chocolate cylinder with coffee grainité and ginger mousse. In the end I ordered the smoked chocolate cigar with blood orange and ice cream, while my guest chose the impressive-sounding banoffee pie soufflé with a banana and salted caramel crumble. To say it had risen well was an understatement.
I ordered the smoked chocolate cigar for dessert. Photo courtesy of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
But the surprises just kept on coming. Full to bursting, we were then presented with chocolate-covered sorbet balls set within a dry-ice filled bowl, along with other sweet goodies. And if that wasn't enough, my guest was treated to a quenelle of raspberry sorbet with a candle in it to celebrate his birthday.
The bill came and it was my treat. Happy birthday indeed!