Jan 21 2013

Gordon Ramsay at Claridges


I had never been to any of Gordon Ramsey restaurants before despite loving food and reviewing restaurants for many months now, so it was kind of overdue for me and I was very excited to go there (funnily enough on this week I went to 2 Gordon Ramsey restaurants so I now have had a mini overdose). I booked Gordon Ramsey at Claridges, even though this is his restaurant that probably gets less attention and praise than his other ones, but the location was good for me and I also love Claridges. I booked a table on the day (it was a Monday), which shows it is not that popular these days, but then again my table was at 18.00 which is not the most popular time for dinners. Claridges is one of the most beautiful hotels in London and in the world and Gordon Ramsey restaurant is located in one of the rooms on the ground floor and the dining room is very beautiful and grand, done in a Baroque style but does not feel pretentious or stiff and it feels rather welcoming. The restaurant serves classic French food using British seasonal ingredients and the Head Chef is Luke Rayment and his signature dishes include Lobster ravioli, Beef Wellington and Pan fried Monkfish tail, 2 of which we ordered. You can either order the tasting menu or a set menu of a starter, main course and desert for £70. I definitely did not want the tasting menu and I also did not want any desert on the 3 course fixed menu, so I asked the waitress if I can skip that, and the waitress in a unwelcoming way told me she does not think that is possible but that she will check with her manager. She came back and she told me I did not have to have the desert, but in the end they did add £70 to my bill and had not taken the desert off, so I thought service and attitude was quite bad at times, and it is just awful to force people to eat more than they want. As a starter I had the “Seared yellow fin tuna and tartare with baby fennel and coriander salad” and this dish was extremely average, it was just good quality tuna on a plate and the few leaves or the oil did not make this dish exciting or delicious. I love tuna, but I would expect some culinary skill in a Gordon Ramsey restaurant and considering I am paying so much. My friend Remy had the “Ravioli of lobster, shellfish and salmon with lemongrass and chervil velouté”, which is one of this restaurants signature dishes, and whilst the ravioli was quite nice (I tasted it), it was not amazing, and if you have a signature dish in Claridges you would expect to remember it for a while, but this ravioli was nothing special. For the main course I ordered “Roast breast and confit leg of duck with Jerusalem artichoke and cider glazed foie gras”, and this was another below average dish, the presentation was ok, but you would expect them to make a bit more effort like in other expensive London restaurants, the duck was average, once again there was nothing on the plate that would have made you go wow, and I could have easily received this dish in a much cheaper French chain restaurant Brasserie Blanc. My friend Remy went for another one of their signature dishes “Pan-fried monkfish tail with celeriac, lobster, braised lentils and Madeira” and I did not try it but I can’t say they had spent much effort trying to make it look pretty. I do think we probably should have gone for the famous beef wellington, as tables next to us were ordering this which came on a trolley and was enough for 2 people and this looked much more interesting and appetising than the food we had, so if you do go to Gordon Ramsey, which I am not telling you to do at all, but if for some strange reason you end up there do try the beef wellington. After our main course we were given a complimentary citrus fruit sorbet type of palette cleanser and I did enjoy it. As I said I was not eating desert but Remy ordered “Cold Valrhona chocolate fondant with poached cherry flambé” and it was very cool how the waiters light it up and it was flaming for a while. I did try it a bit and it was just very strong chocolate flavour fondant. After our meal we got some petite fours, 2 marshmallows and 2 chocolate sweets the latter of which I did not try but the marshmallows were nice, although usually you would get more in terms of quantity and also more interesting petit fours, and these were just safe and boring. So in the end I am absolutely stunned how in such a beautiful environment you can offer such average food, and no wonder this restaurant lost their Michelin star in 2010. Not only was there no creativity in the dishes, the presentation was extremely average and the taste of the dishes did not make them memorable in any way. Claridges definitely deserves a better restaurant in that beautiful dining room

Price for 2 without alcohol and no service charge: 195.25
Date: 21/01/13
Location: Mayfair

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Gordon Ramsay at Claridges
45 Brook Street W1K 4HR
United Kingdom
Gordon Ramsay at Claridges Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2