CLICK ON THE MAIN PHOTO ABOVE TO VIEW CAPTIONS IN GALLERY FORMAT
Image 1: So, here we are at the flagship restaurant of the Ramsay Empire. We were actually here a couple of years back, when we had the tasting menu, which was disappointing. This time, we’ve opted for the more affordable set lunch instead.
Image 2: On the first occasion we were here, Gordon himself was actually in the kitchen - but it was a very average meal all the same. Well below our expectations.
Image 3: Not this time, though. This time, we enjoyed every dish of our lunch in their redecorated dining room. The lunch menu is definitely good value for money.
Image 4: First up was cheese ravioli as an amuse bouche – it had diced carrot underneath and a slice of black truffle on top.
Image 5: Maitre'd Jean-Claude is well known in the industry as he’s been with Ramsay for almost 20 years now. As he carefully poured our "roasted potato" consommé, he explained in detail his thinking behind the ravioli dish. The consommé was exquisite, with a strong aroma of charcoaled potato skin. Very impressive!
Image 6: I loved the perfectly organized presentation! This was pressed foie gras, with a strip of Sauternes and camomile jelly in the middle, and decorated with pickled vegetables on the side. The richness from the foie, combined with the sweetness of the jelly and acidity of the pickled vegetables - everything blended beautifully together...
Image 7: ... on a warm, buttery brioche. Simply divine!
Image 8: A medallion of yellowfin tuna and swordfish tartar, surrounded by cucumbers and capers, then topped with a quail egg and a touch of Osetra caviar. Nothing beats fresh ingredients with precise seasoning! A wonderful dish!
Image 9: Fillet of Royal Daurade with artichoke, navet, carrot, radish, baby lettuce and chervil butter sauce. It was nicely pan-fried, with crispy skin and firm and tasty flesh. Not bad.
Image 10: And now a classic dish - roasted haunch of venison, sliced and fanned out, resting on a bed of creamed potato with red wine sauce. The meat was remarkably tender and the shin meat underneath was fully braised with an intense flavour.
Image 11: A very light dessert to start. Sitting on a layer of citrus fruit parfait was white chocolate ice cream with Earl Grey tea sorbet on top. The marriage of white chocolate and the Earl Grey flavour was exceptional, beautifully emphasised by the fruity-sweetness at the bottom. An amazing dessert!
Image 12: Beside an elegant painting by the pastry chef was a warm chocolate and lavender tart covered with toasted milk mousse, accompanied by milk ice cream. The contrast in temperature, coupled with the fragrance of lavender, and the sweet-bitterness of chocolate, made it a simply great finish to our meal.
Image 13: When Jean-Claude learned that we’ve been to more than 50 Michelin 3-star restaurants, he insisted on introducing us to Executive Chef Mark and Head Chef Clare. Mark in turn introduced us to his kitchen team, and gave us a detailed breakdown of their daily routine. We really enjoyed having a long chat in his kitchen.
Image 14: Back to our table for petits-fours - a futuristic tree of pearl-like chocolate truffles!
Image 15: And, finally - some deep-frozen spherical mango balls.
Image 16: In summary, it was a most enjoyable lunch, a much better and more affordable experience than the previous visit. Good ingredients, great cooking, friendly service, and we were even given a small Ramsay gift bag to take home!