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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

50 B4 50-Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

At last the day had come to enjoy one of our belated Wedding Presents to Matthew & Kayleigh. Any present is of course best shared, so we had decided to go along too.

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The day did not start great, as the heating and hot water broke. However, my wife must have liked me a little bit this day, as I was not directly blamed for her cold shower!

Soon we were on the train to Clapham Junction, then a short taxi ride to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea.

I have to be honest, my expectations were not too high, as it seems the 'Ramsey Brand' has become somewhat confused, also having taken a look at the menu on-line it had not jumped out at me.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay holds three Michelin stars, and is one of only four in the country to have this accolade. Today the Chef Patron is Clare Smyth MBE, and it was nice to hear she was actually in the kitchen creating her modern French cuisine for this lunchtime service.

The restaurant is small, but beautifully decorated, and there was a clever use of the space to generate a grand effect. The greeting was warm, and everyone of the many staff went out of their way to smile and say hello as we were taken to our table.

At the perfectly laid table there was a 'handbag stool', and nice touch for the ladies - and so French!

We had opted for the Menu Prestige, effectively the eight course taster menu. As we were offered drinks, the wine list also arrived, it was thicker than 'War & Peace' and the weight of a paving slab!

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I was drawn to a South African wine simply called 'The Chocolate Block'. Jan Kontezki, the head sommelier explained that it was a mixture of Syrah, Grenache & Cabernet, - and that name came from the concept 'that once opened you couldn't stop until you had finished!' The bottle was a magnum, but with four of us it was worth the treat.

As the feast started we were all waiting in anticipation. Then as the courses flowed we were not let down, indeed everything just seemed to be an exquisite new experience.

Over the four hour meal, we were busy enjoying both each others company, and the ridiculous conversations we were having. The girls were delighted to be facing the full restaurant, as they could also do plenty of 'people watching' and report on the activities taking place on the tables we could not see. It was obvious who were people like us having a very special treat, and those that were used to dining like this most days.

When we arrived at the main course we knew the previous courses of Foie gras, Ravioli of lobster, Isle of Gigha halibut must be almost impossible to beat. But no, the pigeon was the best ever, and the jus must have taken days to create judging by its amazing depth and richness. There was no doubt we were having one of the ultimate dining experiences.

The Hot Towel 'Chicken'
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The two sweet courses and cheese board continued the excellence, and the wine had been flowing nicely. So, when the hot towels arrived, we decided to do out party piece and make them into a 'chicken', - which we then sent into the kitchen with the 'diners compliments.' Not sure this happens every day, but the waiting team smiled, - either through amusement, or embarrassment!

Throughout the meal the deep and exotic flavours, were combined with perfectly matched ingredients and textures. It was also impossible not to notice that great thought had gone into all of the crockery, ensuring each dish also became a work of art to please the eyes as well as palate.

The whole experience had been as wonderful as it had been unexpected, and the numerous waiting staff had pulled off the difficult trick of providing formal attentive service with an informal air. The Maitre D', Jean-Claude Breton was friendly and chatty, and it was clear he was watching every corner of the dining room to ensure that everyone got the ultimate service experience to go with the sublime dishes.

Before visiting, we thought we had a clear Top 3 restaurants, - however Restaurant Gordon Ramsay has now thrown our list into turmoil!

Menu Prestige

Baked potato mousse with bacon in egg shell with black truffle
~
Pressed foie gras with green apples, turnips, watercress and smoked duck
~
Ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon poached in a light bisque, oscietra caviar and sorrel velouté
~
Isle of Gigha halibut with Atlantic king crab, finger lime and ras el hanout infused broth
~
Cotswold lamb and winter vegetable “Navarin”, braised shank and confit breast
or
Roast pigeon with fennel, sautéed foie gras, lavender, honey and orange
~
Selection of cheeses from the trolley or Mango, jasmine and passion fruit soup
~
Cucumber sorbet, salad burnet, lemon verbena and mint
~
Lemonade parfait with honey, bergamot and sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet
or
English peppermint soufflé with bitter chocolate sorbet
Coffee &  Petit Fours


Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
68 Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HP
www.gordonramsay.com/royalhospitalroad

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50 B4 50-DINING CHALLENGE

Michelin Stars Collected So Far: 67


3 Michelin Star
London: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
London: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester**
Berkshire-Bray: The Fat Duck

Berkshire-Bray: The Waterside Inn
Belgium-Bruges: De Karmeliet

2 Michelin Star
London: La Gavroche | Dinner by Heston Blumenthal | Hibiscus | Marcus | The Square
Berkshire: Michael Wignall at The Latymer**
Buckinghamshire: Hand and Flowers**** (Hand and Flowers at Harrods)
Oxfordshire: Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

France-Paris: Georges V Hotel

1 Michelin Star
London: Outlaw's at The Capital
Pétrus Social Eating House** | Pied a Terre** | L’Autre Pied | The Savoy Grill Hakkasan (Mayfair) | Lima (Fitzrovia) 
London (Indian): Benares | Quilon | Gymkhana | The Cinnamon Club | Tamarind | Veeraswamy | Amaya | Trishna 
Cornwall-Padstow: Paul Ainsworth at Number 6
Hampshire: Terrace Restaurant at Montague Arms | JSW Restaurant
Surrey: Drakes**

Surrey: The Tudor Room at Great Fosters Hotel
Sussex: Ockenden Manor
The Netherlands-Ubachsberg: De Leuf

**
Visited Twice  | ***Visited 3 Times or more!
*To read the review on any of the above restaurants, put 'restaurant name' in this blog's search box.

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No Michelin Stars, but restaurants visited since July 2013 that are worth a mention:

London | Street XO - www.streetxo.com
London | Mere - www.mere-restaurant.com
London | RAC Club - www.royalautomobileclub.co.uk

Cornwall: Padstow |  The Seafood Restaurant (Rick Stein) - www.rickstein.com/eat-with-us/the-seafood-restaurant
Devon | River Cottage HQ - www.rivercottage.net/hq 
Dorset: Mudeford | The Jetty - www.thejetty.co.uk
Hampshire: Farnborough | The Aviator - www.aviatorbytag.com
Hampshire: Brockenhurst | The Pigwww.thepighotel.com
Hampshire: Lymington | The Mill at Gordletonwww.themillatgordleton.co.uk
Hampshire: Lymington | The Elderflower - www.elderflowerrestaurant.co.uk
Hampshire: Lymington | The Haven - www.havenrestaurant.co.uk
Hampshire: Lyndhurst | Hartnett Holder & Co - www.limewoodhotel.co.uk/hartnett-holder-and-co
Hampshire: Milford on Sea | Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant www.verveine.co.uk
Hampshire: Milford on Sea | La Perle - www.laperlemilford.co.uk
Hampshire: New Milton | Vetiver (Chewton Glen Hotel) - www.chewtonglen.com/restaurant
Isle of Wight: Yarmouth | The George - www.thegeorge.co.uk
London | The Ivy - www.the-ivy.co.uk
London |  L’Escargot - www.lescargot.co.uk
London | Dishoom - www.dishoom.co.uk
London | J Sheeky Oyster Bar - www.jsheekeyoysterbar.co.uk
London | Franco's www.francoslondon.com
London | Winter Garden (Landmark Hotel) - www.landmarklondon.co.uk/en/marylebone-bar-restaurant/winter-garden  
Surrey: Guildford | Brittens - www.brittensrestaurant.com
Surrey: Ripley |Toby Cottage - www.tobycottage.co.uk
West Sussex: Brighton | A Taste of Sahara - www.atasteofsahara.com
West Sussex: Brighton | 64 Degrees - www.64degrees.co.uk


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