68 Royal Hospital Road
London,UK SW3 4HP, CA
020 7352 4441
020 7352 3334 (Fax)
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Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road is Mr. Ramsay’s flagship fine dining establishment, having earned 3 Michelin stars in 2009. It is the only restaurant in London to have earned 3 stars. That puts it on par with Per Se and French Laundry.
Having seen him on TV, it was time to see what all the hype was about. Mr. Ramsay has trained with some of the industries’ best, including Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon. This location was his first independent venture. Since 1998, Gordon Ramsay has been serving up fine French Cuisine with A la Carte and Prix Fixe menus. They also have a vegetarian menu. Our meal consisted of one Menu Prestige and two of the three course A La Carte menus.
Decor, Vibe – Small restaurant with about 15 tables and a small bar area. Fine, elegant, understated, and formal decor. Lots of off white tones. Dress code is jackets preferred but essentially every male had a suit on. Most of the folks dining were in the 40 to 60 age range with many couples, some regulars, and a several business dinners occurring. Clearly, this is a special occasion restaurant unless you are super rich. The tables have 2 seating rounds during dinner.
Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)
A la Carte Menu
Amuse Bouche salmon, lobster, tomato confit
Amuse Bouche salmon, lobster, tomato confit, avocado mousse in mini ‘ice cream cones’ or cornets, were a delicous and fun way to start the evening. Reminds us of French Laundry. We also got one vegetarian style with just the avocado mousse and tomato.
Amuse Bouche Rack of crunchy Potato Tuile chips with subtle mozzarella and a tiny bit of a pesto-like sauce.
Beautiful cone of butter. Salted and unsalted available.
Pre starter – Langoustino with caviar in a chilled, light, but explosive tomato consumme.
Menu Prestige (£120):
Pressed foie gras with Madeira jelly, smoked duck, peach and almond crumble is a terrine style foie gras that we found less greasy than American versions. A healty sized chunk with lots of crunchy nuts and fruit crumble to balance the artery clogging goodness.
Ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon with tomato chutney, vinaigrette was one large textured won ton looking ravioli. A signature dish, this was cooked perfectly, and filled with several bites full of seafood wonderness. It could have used a little more of a sauce splash.
Fillet of turbot with braised baby gem lettuce, leeks and cep sauce had a small portion of the wonderful fish. Guess this is really a tasting menu! A champagne based sauce made a good match. This fish was superior to the pan fried sea bass dish.
Cannon of Cornish lamb with confit shoulder, ratatouille and thyme jus was slightly gamey but cooked perfectly to a medium rare. The au jus matched the meat, but the ratatouille was a little too strong.
Pre dessert – Armagnac Creme Brulee with an apple juice drink. We ate the sweet creme brulee, which has a nice carmelized top, and then washed it down with the sweet juice.
OK: Strawberry, Champagne and elderflower soup with vanilla cream was like a pseudo milk shake you drink with the straw and it has pop rocks. Straws in a top restaurant? Fun at least.
Bitter chocolate and hazelnut cylinder with ginger mousse and blackcurrant granité looked too good to eat. The chocolate was very bitter requiring the currant and ginger to soften it. Make sure you like these types of flavors before getting this dessert, not everyone will like this.
A La Carte (£90 each):
Sautéed foie gras with roasted veal sweetbreads, Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar and almond velouté. Having 2 foie gras dishes shows how big foie fans we are. This one was had massive pieces with tons of grams of fat. The almond foam worked wonders in concept with the high quality foie. This is one of the best versions we’ve devoured, until we hit Paris, later on the trip.
Butter poached Scottish lobster tail with roasted morels, Swiss chard, summer truffles and herb farfalle (£8 supplement) was a stand out dish. It reminded me of French Laundry and Per Se’s excellent version. Very tender, sweet, and buttery meat in every bite. A lite garlic sauce and low key veggies kept the spot light on the lobster.
Oven roasted pigeon from Bresse, France with grilled polenta, smoked ventrèche, braised shallots, baby beetroot and date sauce is another Ramsay signature dish. Cooked to a medium rare, the bird has a nice flavor, interesting texture, and the date’s sweetness added to all of it. Weird to have pork belly on this dish, but it was buttery smooth, just the thing to have after two hit of foie gras.
Pan-fried line caught sea bass with steamed charlotte potatoes, cucumber, oyster beignet and caviar velouté was also very good, but not as good as the Turbot. The cooking was fine but the quality of the fish did not match delicacy the other dish.
Pre dessert – Strawberry sorbet with a dried strawberry was excellent. Very light, not too sweet, and punchy flavor.
Cherry soufflé with chocolate sorbet, crystallized pistachios and mint. Light, fluffy, airy, very dark chocolate sorbet, equals one awesome dessert. A must get for fellow souffle fans.
Granny Smith parfait with blackberry foam, honeycomb and cider sorbet was a nice combination of fruity flavors. Nice and light after a big meal.
We ate a ton of food but managed to at least sample these fun treats. Perhaps we should have skipped dessert. No way!
Smokey dry ice and White Chocolate with Strawberry ice cream.
Chocolate truffles with silver dust. Delicious and out of this world display.
Jelly like Turkish delights. They are made from starch and sugar.
Did Gordon Ramsay live up to its 3 Michelin stars? We would have to say yes. Who said there isn’t good food in the UK? It was not as inventive as another 3 star: The Fat Duck but both the food and service was flawless, with just one or two klinkers. Food was on the light side with lots of colorful flavors, in contrast to most American restaurants. Servers were continuously circulating around the dining room. The wine sommelier even circulated around every once in a while.
Dinner can easily take here from 2.5 – 3 hours. If you are on a budget, try this place for lunch or visit one of his better and lower priced restaurants, Maze. How does this compare to top 3 star restaurants in the US like French Laundry? We would have to rank it right up there and slightly ahead.
Extensive 36 page wine list with high markup, bottles from £36. They take reservations 2 calendar months to the date, so wake up early, call, and have your credit card ready. Lunch is far more affordable at £45.00. 12.5% discretionary gratuity. Tube: Sloan Square – with a very long walk.