Gordon Ramsey, undimmed

London, Tuesday 20 March. If the little restaurant on Royal Hospital Road holds 50 diners, that's a lot. This remains the jewel in the crown of Gordon's empire and is the base from which he set out on his quest for world domination (culinary division). It was a special occasion place for us when we were kids, even though we couldn't afford it, and it's still a special experience and I still wouldn't dare call it affordable. This is where I should say that notwithstanding Gordon's reputation for irascibility, the dining room is an oasis of calm, charming and helpful staff, and happy diners.
           A pre-dinner glass of champagne was accompanied by tiny crisp cones of lobster salad, which vanished before I could line up the camera, and by these lovely little Parmesan cheese/herb pastries. There was a tempura langoustine for each of us, too. Then dinner began in earnest. The amuse-bouche was cauliflower cream in a lobster broth with flecks of Irish moss.
We try not to duplicate each other's orders, unless it's a tasting menu, but this time the same dishes spoke to both of us. In fact they spoke so compellingly that the starters were gobbled up without being photographed. For the record: our starter was a piece of seared duck foie gras and a piece of sweetbread, both cooked perfectly, PĆ©rigourdine sauce with fresh black truffles... what could be bad?

The main course was roast venison with chanterelles and a tiny side of mashed potatoes.

We admired but did not partake of the cheese tray - it was still early in the trip. Dessert, however, was another story. We both had the  "chocolate cylinder," which term simply doesn't do the thing justice. Is it just me, or have we backed off the tradition where the menu recites where every little thing and garnish on the dish was raised? That's a plus, but (as you will see in a later post if Blogger behaves), sometimes menus are a little too cryptic. The cylinder is filled with a gianduja chocolate mousse and accompanied by a little house-made ice cream.

The main dessert was followed by coffee and dessert-ish nibbles, of which my favorites were the white chocolate bonbons filled with (again house-made) strawberry ice cream.  They're hiding atop the dry ice in the silver bowl.
When we come for lunch, we usually stagger around the Chelsea neighborhood to "walk it off." This was dinner, so we staggered out to a taxi helpfully summoned by the charming receptionist.

4 comments:

  1. When I die, I hope to come back as you.

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  2. Hi, Raina, well, the food was heavenly.

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  3. It all looks so delicious. Idlove to visit thLondon restaurant. I think the outpost at The London is just fantastic. Apologies for the misspellings. If I try to move in th comment box using iPad blogger just freezes. Can't wait to see what else you're eating one this trio!

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  4. Hi, mommydearest, if there was one sour note on the whole trip, it was the constant spats between Blogger and iPad. I can only conclude that this must mean google is coming out with its own blog-friendly tablet.

    ReplyDelete

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