Restaurant Gordon Ramsay ***

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (24 of 30)
Prestige and class at Gordon Ramsay

History and Background:

Three Michelin Star

I think this blog is no stranger to Gordon Ramsay chains, having reviewed Maze, and Savoy Grill (and an upcoming post on Bread Street Kitchen). Gordon Ramsay Restaurant is deemed to be one of the best, if not, the best restaurant to serve quality dishes represented by its 3 Michelin star rating. Expect prices to be as high as Mount Fuji but quality, plating, service to be at the highest standard. Clare Smyth, made Head Chef is the first and only female chef to run a 3* restaurant. (Also made partner of the GR group 2013.)

It first achieved it’s Michelin rating in 2001 having opened as Ramsay’s sole restaurant in 1998. With a seating capacity of 45, it can take up to three months to book your table. Located quietly on Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, there’s even a bodyguard or security guard watching over its front doors.

The meal: Seasonal Inspiration Menu £195 per person

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (16 of 30)
The lighting wasn’t actually that great but here’s my final selection of photos!

So it’s taken me a while to get this post up on the blog, I think the excuse stems from the fact that overall, between the 3 of us, we took about 400 photos… please see below a mixture of photos from friends Amy, Poyee and I. (One of whom runs an IG blog under thefoodforker, check it out!)

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (8 of 30)
Starting off with amuse-bouches, the delicate quail scotch eggs
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (9 of 30)
Mini Truffle Buns – fragrant and soft
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (6 of 30)
Gourgeres (in the background) were heavenly, ethereal choux filled with cheesey bechamel perfected with precision
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (11 of 30)
Baked Potato Mousseline, smoked egg yolk and topped with a sliver of Perigord truffle served in a delicate egg shell
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (12 of 30)
Really exquisite use of truffle and designed so elegantly, its hard not to take a photo
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (10 of 30)
Salmon Sashimi topped with roe and wrapped with seaweed, an amuse-bouche significantly different from the others
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (23 of 30)
Another truffle dish, a recurring theme in all my posts recently!
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (4 of 30)
Ravioli of Lobster, langoustine and salmon poached in a light bisque, oscietra caviar and sorrel veloute

Dishes were on the small side, but when leaving your taste buds so satisfied, it’s hard to give a unbiased judgement to the courses. Poyee opted for the lobster ravioli over the wagyu beef, (below).

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (3 of 30)
Scallop tartar with cauliflower, coastal herbs, nage and white truffle
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (5 of 30)
Fruity wine was ordered alongside our tasting menu
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (17 of 30)
Fillets of Dover sole poached with parsley milk, purslane and beurre noisette
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (20 of 30)
Kagoshima Wagyu Beef with English Wasabi, pickled grelots and shiitake
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (19 of 30)
One of the highlights of the evening, wagyu beef cut so finely, and tasted tender, and yet had a crispy coating, complemented with fragrant sauces
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (18 of 30)
DOUBLE FOIE GRAS

We swapped the deer loin for the Roast Pigeon with fennel, sauteed foie gras, lavender, honey and orange dish. When it came, we fell in love with the sauteed foie gras, and subsequently requested an extra main (+£35) but to have an extra foie gras topping instead of the roast pigeon…(I know you don’t need to tell me…we’re gluts.)

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (26 of 30)
Roasted Roe Deer loin with smoked chestnut, Williams pear and Tasmanian mountain pepper
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (25 of 30)
Green apple and lime sorbet, with shiso, avocado and eucalyptus

This was so intricately designed, truly an art of plating demonstration from the GR kitchen. I think we all know I have a thing with cleansing palettes, I tend to prefer them over the actual dessert, this was done on par with Granita and Icelandic Skyr at Texture, if not, done better.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (28 of 30)
Pink Grapefruit Cheesecake with Brillat Savarin sunflower seeds and sorrel sorbet
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (30 of 30)
Lets not forget the petite fours. not so sure on the Turkish delights but the peanut brittle was amazing. Chocolate slabs used to scoop up the peanut brittle finished off the Inspirational course on a high.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay (29 of 30)
Clementine ice-cream covered in white chocolate served in bowl overflowing with dry ice

Service: What you expect from a 3*, 12.5% service charge. Front of House staff show a level of professionalism like no other.

The bits and bobs:

  • Coat room service
  • It’s a bit of a far walk from the nearest station (15 minutes)
  • Tasting menus available

Price: ££££

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Tokyo Diner

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Sushi from 2 Newport Place, if you’ve ever been in Leicester Square, you’ve definitely gone past it. Unmissable!

History and Background:

Tokyo Diner’s motto: Please come again, and bring your friends

Set over three floors, the narrow but central establishment can be found opposite an ‘award winning gay bar’ (I don’t even know what the bar is called, but that’s what it says plastered all over its exterior.) Tokyo Diner has been open since 1992, and focuses on a green and environmental way of serving. Always actively looking for sustainable sources of supply, they do not source and serve tuna due to the issue of over-fishing, see their website for an explanation.

It’s website says it’s open 12pm-12am everyday for 365 days…impressive.

The meal:

Tokyo Diner
Udon £7.30

Offering Japanese food at one of the most competitive prices in London, it’s fair to say you can easily get your bargain’s worth of food for less than a tenner. Bigger portions are free at Tokyo Diner, ask for Oomori and they will top your plate up with more rice. They have word-heavy descriptions of each dish so there really isn’t a need for me to rephrase it all here. A menu for the tourists really.

Tokyo Diner
Gyu Don £9.30

Everyone usually gets the katsu curry here, since it’s dirt cheap for a massive portion, trying something different, I went for gyu-don. A bit of a disappointment, see below…

Half of my gyudon was soaked in soup/ juices from the beef. Unimpressive
Tokyo Diner
Nigiri Set is £12.20
Tokyo Diner
Decent sushi. Not bad but not great, a bit rice heavy but I loved the sweet shrimp.

Service: Sub-standard

Bits and bobs:

  • Can get busy, and may take time for you to order
  • No tips allowed, following the Japanese formalities
  • If you’re sat downstairs it can get claustrophobic with the low ceiling

Price: £

Tokyo Diner on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Gaylord (New Menu)

Gaylord (7 of 27)
General Manager Sameer and his team showcase India’s finest with the new menu at Gaylord

Intro:

I was invited to a Food Bloggers dinner to review the new menu Gaylord recently rolled out, you may recall that I have visited Gaylord just once before, for a friend’s birthday so therefore this post will need no introduction! (Review found here).

The meal:

Warning: A few more photos than usual, sorry for the JPEG spam, we ate nearly everything!

Gaylord (3 of 27)
A welcome drink is given upon arrival! Sharabi Saffron Thandaior Virgin Paan Mohito
Gaylord (4 of 27)
One of Gaylord’s signature dishes, the Golgappa Shot

We saw the Golgappa shot being served to others in our previous visit, and wondered what this was, little did I know that I would be lucky enough to try this at the meet! Traditional Mumbai Street food gives a little kick to your taste buds to start off the evening.The liquid is poured into a delicate hollow puri before you pop it in to your mouth. See more of the amuse bouches below:

Gaylord (5 of 27)
Mini Bhelpuri Cone
Gaylord (6 of 27)
Aloo Tokri Chhat

Murg Malai Tikka, Zaffrani Chicken Tikka, and Murg Gilafi Seekh dishes were also tried, giving us a variety of Chicken to taste!

Gaylord (9 of 27)
Starters: Tandoori Tiger Prawns – Saffron and tandoori masala marinade, chargrilled
Gaylord (11 of 27)
A favourite: Crab cakes Dakshini, made of curry leaves, southern spices, sesame seeds, mustard cress, and sugarcane stick
Gaylord (13 of 27)
Tacos Galore! Spicy Rajma, with red Kidney Beans, or Lamb Seekh Kebab.

The tacos were Gaylord’s twist of the evening, an Indian take on Mexican tacos, can be fiddly since you crunch your way through the crisp texture, but it was worth the effort.

Gaylord (14 of 27)
Lamb chops Anardana
Gaylord (18 of 27)
Prawn Coconut Curry: Delicate coconut curry with kaffir lime, mustard seeds and aromatic spice mix
Gaylord (15 of 27)
Butter Chicken, a classic favourite, consists of tandoori chicken strips, and their signature Makhni Sauce
Gaylord (16 of 27)
Dal Bukhara, signature lentils cooked overnight
Gaylord (17 of 27)
Palak Paneer, fresh home-made cottage cheese, pureed spinach and fenugreek
Gaylord (19 of 27)
Anar and Cucumber Raita – Pomegranate and cucumber yoghurt with roasted cumin
Gaylord (20 of 27)
Slow cooked lamb, fiery red onion, plum tomato curry and Kashmiri red chilli
Gaylord (21 of 27)
Tokri, an assortment of Tandoori baked breads, fresh from the Charcoal oven, Bhutara
Gaylord (22 of 27)
My plate… I tried to make it look pretty * hehe *

I was so full I’m not sure I tried everything, I knew I had to leave space for dessert and I was not disappointed! Unfortunately food bloggers sitting near me, selenatheplaces, foodycatAlicia, theyoungdomesticgoddess and londonkiwi had to leave early, so I took the opportunity to wolf down the rest of the carrot pudding (Gajar Halwa). (They have amazing blogs by the way, so please check them out!) The carrot pudding dessert was so good I could have eaten two portions!

Gaylord (24 of 27)
Dessert came in an intricate ornate box
Gaylord (25 of 27)
Gajar Halwa, carrot pudding served hot (contains nuts)

So I was taken by surprise by the second dessert, Gulab Jamun Flambeed, it was similar to taking a vodka shot due to how strong the rum was infused into this cup. A very eye-catching dessert though. All in all, if you love your curry, and you love your alcohol, pop by to Gaylord off Mortimer Street. There’s no excuse. It’s in Oxford Circus, it’s as central as it can get!

Gaylord (27 of 27)
Gulab Jamun Flambeed with Spiced Dark Rum

Service: Given that there was a near dozen of us, service was more than satisfactory, attentive, friendly but not intrusive. Sameer, the general manager was constantly on the side to help with any specific queries.

Bits and bobs:

  • New menu also includes a grand Thali dish available for lunch only, it looks pretty epic so have a look!

Price: ££

Gaylord Indian on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Yashin

Yashin Sushi
Starters at Yashin with Daisy and Eunis

History and Background:

Just off the main road in High Street Ken you’ll find Yashin Sushi Bar at the top of Argyll Road. Described as a Kensington Jewel by timeout, it’s certainly hard to disagree with them after a visit. Can I please name drop that Stanley Tucci and his wife were sitting at the table next to us (on a table less than 20 centimeters away from me!) I spent most of the evening trying to eavesdrop (oops).

Opened in Autumn 2010 by two renowned chefs, Ikeda and Mineno, previously head chef at Nobu. The small but elegant sushi bar is actually maintained by non Japanese people. This is rendered irrelevant since they welcome new arrivals in Japanese, and upkeep Japanese dining formalities to sustain the authentic feel. Sushi at Yashin is known to be done first class and is marketed to eat without any soy sauce. Some sushi eaters believe that to taste every part of the sushi, it is best done without any soy.

The meal:

Once again, apologies for photography… camera troubles.

Yashin Sushi
Octopus Carpaccio, on ice cakes and picked fennel/ black ink
Yashin Sushi
Unagi and Autumn Truffle, so delicately put together

You can tell that from the first two dishes, Yashin loves to use truffles, which is great for me! Truffle aroma comes out really strong for these dishes so avoid it if you don’t like that smell.

Sushi
Omakase (eight pieces) £30.00
Yashin Sushi Bar
A selection of sushi served with roll of the day. Put together very beautifully, and very satisfying for the taste buds
Sushi
I am a bit of a sushi lover… so here’s a third photo
Yashin sushi
Watarigani £9.80 deep fried soft shell blue crab with sweet soy
Yashin
Take me back please!
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Yasai Maki £7.00

There isn’t as much on the menu as you would see elsewhere but the selection of sushi/ choices you see are really top notch. Below is a signature dish I would highly recommend. The tuna was so soft and SO GOOD. (Again, they do like to use truffles and ponzu jelly!)

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Tuna with Truffle Infused Ponzu Jelly £11.00
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Ebi Ten – Prawn Tempura and french beans with chilli ponzu jelly £7.50

Service: Nothing special to mention, but no complaints!

Bits and bobs:

  • Booking recommended, the restaurant isn’t that big
  • Better to sit at the bar and watch the itamae team in action

Price: £££

(Apologies for missing pricing in some dishes, they change seasonally, but expect a solid spend between £25-45 per person – of course depending on what you order)

Yashin Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

OnTheBab (Covent Garden)

On The Bab (1 of 26)
It’s here! Another place for after-work drinks! #drinkswithsteph
On The Bab (2 of 26)
You can’t miss it…. there’s a sign

Second Branch of OnTheBab Shoreditch, (review can be found here), thus no introduction needed!

Opened on the 10th April offering a one day 50% soft launch (dishes here are shown full price), I took the opportunity to try some new things from the menu. Again the focus is on Korean Anju dishes, that is, food that is served well with alcohol, similar to a Japanese Izakaya, but the Korean version.

The meal:

There are a few things new on the menu, such as new flavours to the Yangyum Chicken, Sweet Spicy with Garlic Topping, and Garlic and Mayo.

Muffins are also new to the menu, mirroring the current street food trend from Seoul, the Korean Muffin Case Baked Egg.

On The Bab (7 of 26)
Kimchi and Cheese Egg Muffin £3.50 (Korean Style Egg Muffin with a Korean Dip
On The Bab (15 of 26)
Quail Egg and Bacon Egg Muffin £3.50
On The Bab (12 of 26)
Beer taps for the beer lovers
On The Bab (10 of 26)
When you eat with Andy you know you can drink with Andy

The muffins were indeed something new and it’s not something that suits everyone, Daisy enjoyed the Kimchi and Cheese flavour whereas Allan didn’t. If you go for a muffin, best go for the Kimchi and Cheese, the Quail Egg and Bacon is too European!

On The Bab (18 of 26)
On the Buns (2 pcs) £7.00 (Bulgogi Beef)

I’ve had a lot of baos this week, (Hirata Buns), the baos aren’t as soft as its Taiwanese competitors (Bao London) but it is still a great eat, its portions are larger, and you get your fair share of kimchi in your filling.

On The Bab (16 of 26)
A lot of veg in our veggie On The Bibimbap £7.50
On The Bab (24 of 26)
On the Buns – Spicy Chicken £7.00
On The Bab (23 of 26)
It’s chicken! Yangyum Chicken (medium) Garlic Mayo, and Sweet and Sour for £11.50
On The Bab (21 of 26)
On The Roll/ Korean Style Burrito £7.50

The Yangyum Chicken were my favourites, more the Sweet Spicy than the Garlic Mayo  but it was something different! Great with beer! The Korean Style Burrito is essentially a kimbap, a lot of condiments in them and a very large vegetable to meat ratio…

On The Bab (22 of 26)
We got too full… but the ‘burrito’ consisted of various vegetables, choice of bulgogi beef, spicy pork, spicy chicken, fried chicken or mixed veg.

On The Bab (20 of 26)Service: The manager came quite a few times to see how we were doing, it was a busy day for the team!

Bits and bobs:

  • Like the Shoreditch branch, they will not be doing bookings
  • A bar is incorporated into this branch, giving it a more pub-like feel
  • Offer takeaways

Price: £

Square Meal

Engawa

Engawa (1 of 20)
My Japanese love affair continues with Engawa, at Ham Yard
Engawa (19 of 20)
A modern but highly authentic Japanese drinking and dining experience at Engawa

City AM – Half a dozen chefs (all Japanese) work in contemplative silence, constructing towers from nigiri, radish, beef, roe and kumquat, agonising over the placement of every sliver of chive

History and Background:

Opened a mere 4 weeks ago (March 2015), Engawa has already made rounds in the restaurant industry over its unique washoku style dining. Ham Yard took me by surprise, a small hidden gem neatly tucked away from the bustling streets of Shaftesbury Avenue. A location perfect for Engawa to reflect the tranquility of upscale Japanese dining, but also very conveniently, centrally located. The restaurant glistens with surreal serenity as you enter the front door in slight awe.

A bit about Kobe Beef:

Kobe beef traditionally has a strict import ban, being one of the most expensive and sought after beef you can find, and is farmed under very stern conditions. From being fed particular foods to the way it is raised, only 300 such cattle are exported every year, and is strictly documented online. Kobe beef ban was lifted in May last year, allowing Engawa to become the first and only restaurant to be able to serve this prime produce. (Edit: a handful of others now sell Kobe beef on the menu)

Other Engawa specialties include Wagyu beef, teppanyaki and sushi, as well as wagashi – Japanese style sweets.

The meal:

Engawa (4 of 20)
The Hakozen Bento Box (14 piece selection) £40, only available on the lunch menu
Engawa (17 of 20)
Grace taking her own shot of the bento box – it’s a beauty! (FYI Houji-cha is available for £4.00)

The menu differs from lunch to evening, and tasting menus are only available in the evening, specific opening times so please check their website here.

Engawa (5 of 20)
Selection of seasonal dishes, includes fish and Kobe beef sashimi as well as a variety of Kobe dishes. Served with barley and edamame rice and a soup of kombu dashi.

It’s been a while since I was fully satisfied with a meal from start to finish, I was so impressed that, I already had decided we will be back before we had even finished our meal! Each compartmentalised dish was made on point, and with precision, thanks to the eagle eyed executive chef Akira Shimizu watching over his peers. Many thanks to Daniel Ashworth, Engawa’s General Manager, (former manager at Nobu) for explaining these individual dishes to me in detail.

Engawa (14 of 20)
Tamago (Japanese omelette) with spicy cod roe
Engawa (16 of 20)
Seasonal Vegetable and Potato Salad with Home-made Tartar Sauce
Engawa (15 of 20)
Spinach and Seasonal Mushroom Salad
Kobe Beef (1 of 1)
Seabass (locally caught) and Salmon Egg (imported from Canada)
Engawa (12 of 20)
Yellowfin Tuna (imported from Spain) and Scallops (from Japan) with Caviar
Kobe Beef (1 of 1)
Kobe Beef Sashimi Tataki with Kumquat (on the right)

Melt in your mouth Kobe beef

Engawa (11 of 20)
Stewed Kobe beef with ito to garashi garnish
Engawa (9 of 20)
Seared Kobe Beef with Teriyaki Sauce, white onion and rosemary garnish
Engawa (8 of 20)
Kobe Beef Meatball with tomato reduction
Engawa (10 of 20)
Slow cooked Kobe with Daikon & Sudachi Zest Garnish
Engawa (6 of 20)
Fried Tofu with chives and bonito dashi dressing

There is another cup (photo not taken) of egg plant and daikon, in bento box photo above it’s the compartment next to the soy sauce.

Engawa (7 of 20)
Fried Maki Roll with pepper, green bean, avocado
Engawa (13 of 20)
Deep Fried Seabass marinated with soy and wasabi

Service: There was an overwhelming staff to customer ratio upon arrival this was expected given the size of the restaurant. Attentive, and observant to the point I didn’t even realise that my glass of water was being filled up. 12.5% service charge.

Price: £££

Engawa on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

[HK] Via Tokyo

Via Tokyo (1 of 7)
First visit to Via Tokyo with Fia (licking her lips… again) (Shiratama Matcha Soft Cream $38 £3.30)
Background and Taste:

A small post on one of my favourite dessert places in Hong Kong. As mentioned before, Via Tokyo is just a walk away from Cafe R&C, and Waffills (next door). Having been awarded the Best New Restaurant in HK 2014, (even though its a dessert cafe) the Japanese Matcha Cafe has everyone dribbling at their doorstep – Iiterally. Focused on serving Kyoto style Japanese soft creams and desserts using Hokkaido milk, the menu delves into two types of green tea in particular. The ones we would see are:

Matcha: Powdered green tea, (usually manufactured in Uji region) and grown in the shade

Houjicha: Green tea leaves which are roasted, and therefore brown in colour, the roasting process gives this a more nutty flavour.

Hope this clears up what the difference between green tea and matcha is, (I use them interchangeably).

Via Tokyo (3 of 7)
With Heoloi and Grace, Fruit Matcha Soft Cream Shiratama Anmitsu $50 £4.30

Excuse the photography, these are some old photos. The menu is extensive but to include a few examples (Oanda exchange rate at 03/04/15):

  • Soy Bean Powder Shiratama Azuki Soft Cream ($45) £3.90
  • Original, matcha, or mixed cone ($28, $30, $32) £2.40, £2.60, £2.80
  • Matcha Affagato (recommended) ($45) £3.90
  • Houjicha Latte ($37) £3.20
Via Tokyo (4 of 7)
One of the most instagrammable places in Hong Kong, a selection of pretty matcha desserts flood the menu waiting to be ordered for your camera. (*Camera eats first*)

The matcha is rich in flavour, and not too sweet (which is how I like it). I’ve given myself a mini challenge to try the whole menu before the end of this year! With matcha in abundance, there are several recommended favourites such as the matcha affogato (matcha soft serve and a small pitcher of matcha latte) but these can wait until I make my next trip to Hong Kong!

Via Tokyo (6 of 7)
Okome Shiratama Matcha Soft Cream $45 HKD (£3.90)
Via Tokyo (5 of 7)
Iced Matcha Latte $37 (£3.20)

Bits and bobs:

  • Come when it has just opened, or mid-afternoon, when it’s not so busy
  • Expect a takeout, the seating area is small, maximum 15-20 people
  • They are constantly adding things to the menu such as Hong Kong Milk Tea soft serve, and brownies so be on the watch!

Service: Friendly casual staff, 10% service charge

Price: £

A: 1A-1B, G/F, Leishun Court, 106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay
T: +852 2895 1116
F: https://www.facebook.com/viatokyocafe
O: http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/restaurant/causeway-bay-via-tokyo/143976