Just back from a terrific Sunday lunch at “Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's”.
Reviews I had read seemed fairly mixed, but we had a really good meal. It is a very elegant ‘grand hotel' dining room and so it creates a very special feeling when you walk in. The service from all the staff was faultless, and they made every table feel at ease, including the group of 20 year olds celebrating a birthday, who clearly had never set foot in a place like Claridges.
You have three menus to choose from, the Menu Prestige, a lengthy tasting menu, at £80, the a la carte at £70 (for three courses), or the special weekend lunch menu at £30 (all menus have an additional 12.5% service charge). We chose the weekend special which I think had a choice of 5 entrees, 5 mains and 5 deserts.
To start they served a chilled mint and pea soup with a dollop of fromage frais, really great flavour and nicely refreshing. The bread seems home-made with a choice of a wholemeal roll, or a breadstick and both salted and unsalted butter.
My partner and and my father both had the chicken, foie gras and leek pate with brioche and a mushroom salad (incredible intensive flavour) - a good example of this classic dish. I chose the Kent asparagus, with poached duck egg, parmesan and pata negro - again well executed, simple with top ingredients.
For main course, I had a lime roasted poussin, jersey royals, wilted watercress and green beans, my partner had pollock, razor clams, herb gnocchi and purple sprouting, my father went for the traditional roast beef, excellently cooked, full of flavour and meltingly tender. All dishes had good well balanced flavours and were nicely cooked.
For desert we had a ginger fancier, with milk ice-cream and marinated clementines; a passion fruit creme brulee, bitter chocolate sorbet and pistachio sable; and a melon ice-cream, strawberries, black pepper pannacotta and a almond biscotti.
We rounded off the meal with coffee and petit fours which included a mini cherry ice-cream coated in a biscuit shell....really good.
The bill for three including a £30 bottle of Fleurie, was £151 (the coffees and petit fours added £15 to the bill - which is quite steep). Overall it is great value, quite simple food but with top ingredients executed very well (I have had pub meals at close to this price). I imagine if you had the ALC the dishes would be more complex with more expensive ingredients.
The service is faultless, with every member of the team working really well together. I had almost come to the conclusion that good service was impossible to find in the UK, how I wish other restaurants could learn from this.