68 Royal Hospital Road
London, UK SW3 4HP
Dining date: 11/16/21
I’ve been a fan of Gordon Ramsay’s food for a long time, and my 2014 lunch at his London flagship was one of my most memorable meals abroad. It’s taken me a while to come back here, but I’ve been wanting to have a dinner here ever since that first visit. An extended layover in London (en route from Portugal) was a perfect opportunity.
While an a la carte option is available, there’s also a six-course Prestige Menu (£170) and a Carte Blanche menu (£220). For this meal, we went with the Prestige Menu and added a seasonal supplement of white truffle risotto. Pricing is definitely on the higher side thanks to the name recognition, but the restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars since 2001.
Whipped Laredo Tart
Kingfish in Nori
Chips and French Onion Caviar Dip
Bread & Butter
Autumn Salad smoked duck, blackberry, beetroot, hazelnut
White Truffle Risotto
Ravioli lobster, langoustine, salmon, lemon
Cornish Turbot violina pumpkin, clementine, shiso
Roast Pigeon turnip, pistachio, cumin
Cumbrian Blue Grey cep, celeriac, parsley
Sorbet pear, vanilla, cider
Pecan Praline pedro ximenez, cocoa nib ice cream
Food-wise, this meal was excellent. The ravioli was a highlight full of sweet, plump shellfish and bathed in a rich shellfish stock. Both meats, the pigeon and the beef, were cooked beautifully and had a nice balance of savory richness with brighter vegetal flavors. However, the turbot fell flat. It was limp and mushy and much in need of some textural contrast.
Where this meal fell short was in the overall experience. The service was efficient but felt distant and impersonal. It seemed like the servers were saying the same exact things at each table, from menu descriptions to “spontaneous” chit-chat. And the meal felt rushed at times, going through 8-9 courses in about 2 hours, to then be uprooted from our table in the middle of the dessert courses and brought to the lounge to finish our meal. This left a really uncomfortable lasting impression. At most meals these things wouldn’t be notable, but I was expecting something more at a restaurant like this.