I make no bones of the fact that while I think Ramsay can cook like a dream, he is one of the most loathesome ticks on God's earth.
That being said, Robin and I were very keen to try his new place at the home of what was my favourite place for sunday lunch in London, Claridges.
He has aimed his bow straight at getting the same number of stars as he has at the eponymous site in Chelsea and so must be judged on the same standards. On all counts he fails.
Robin and I turned up bang on time to be told that our table would not be ready for about another 15 mins. We were pointed vaguely in the direction of an apologetic bar area.
Finally we were offered an expensive glass of house champagne and just as we raised it to our lips we were told that our table was ready. It was indeed, but the room wasn't, looking nothing more than the inside of a whore's boudoir with carpets by way of Brentford nylons.
We were fortunate enough to seated next to a table of loud antipodeans who were offering up plentiful profanity by way of replacement for personality. We explained to the maitre D that people screaming F..k loudly at the next table was not what we wanted, but he merely shrugged and said "what can you do?" They did offer to move us but by that time the table had moved on and the damage had been done. Quite frankly I was on the point of chinning one of the Ockers.
We went for the Menu Prestige @ a mere £55! we also just about managed to order a decent wine flight (although it came out at about £100 for the two of us )from a very confused junior sommmelier.
In the end, it all would have been fine if the food had been exceptional. It wasn't. It wasn't even close. Canapes of Baba ganoush and a chive cheese were good but once bread was finished it disappeared never to be seen again. Amuse of Consomme with bresse pigeon were delicious and followed by a ravioli of lobster which was quite frankly rubbery ( no chinese restaurant jokes please )
Main courses of lamb and pork were very very ordinary and no better than either of us have prepared for Sunday lunch.
The saving graces were the cheese board ( superb- but how hard is it to go the La fromagerie or the Premier Cheese Co and ask for great cheese? ) and one of the puds was very good indeed.
Finally, when I wanted mint tea, they had no fresh mint, only a bag. Hold on you are charging £300 for two and you can't afford fresh mint? Apparently not.
Service was perfunctory and chaotic to say the least.
So this really was a case of the Emperor's new clothes, but of course Gordon doesn't care, hell he wasn't even there. He was back home in Chelsea telling any one who would listen that he used to play for Rangers.
The King is in the all together, the all together as all together as naked as the day that he was born............
4/10 - avoid like the plague