Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant – Review
Published 9 November 2009
This is only my second time dining at a Michelin star restaurant (the other was Nobu, one Michelin star too), and it was such a mind blowing experience! When I dined at Nobu about two years back, I did not really feel anything special during or after the meal, but the lunch tasting menu at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant in Mayfair was just mind-blowing, carefully prepared under the watchful eye of head chef Jason Atherton.
Having been a student for the majority of the last five years, my eating-out criteria has always been just based on three things: good tasting food, good hearty portions, and good cheap prices. But I’ve now realised everything that I have been missing out by going for good value places; you can get good food at good prices, but you can never get the exemplary service. But here at Maze it was just amazing; even simple things like the coatroom service and the bar were done to perfection. Our waitress for the meal was highly professional, and yet did not come across as cold, and was always on hand for anything that we needed. Service was above and beyond; between each of our five courses she changed our used cutlery, gave us special odd looking spoons with a dent for sauce-based dishes, and served the females first on the table.
We had only made a reservation booking three days before our Sunday lunch dining, but were delighted to find that we were given a corner table next to a window overlooking Grosvenor Square; we couldn’t have asked for a better table!
Food-wise it was exactly as I had dreamed off after being hooked on to the BBC’s Masterchef program. We all had the 5 course lunch tasting menu (£35.50), which sounds like alot of food, but in fine dining every dish is probably half the size of a normal dish and therefore 5 courses is really like a regular 3 course meal. They do 4 and 6 course set lunch tasting menus, but the 6 is probably too much food while the 4 doesn’t allow you to try a good selection of signature dishes.
Below, I have listed each of the dishes (main and desserts) that our group had, and a mini review of each:
Jerusalem artichoke velouté, duck ragout, Lincolnshire field mushrooms on olive toast
Absolutely fabulous dish to start out with! The artichoke velouté was light and frothy, very refreshing to clean one’s palate before the other dishes. At the bottom of the velouté was really tender duck and mushrooms, and on the side was a well-crafted round piece of crunchy toast with a tapenade (mashed olives) spread and mushrooms on top.
Braised osso bucco, wild sorrel, pumpkin risotto, veal kidney powder
Presented nicely, but disappointed after the amazing velouté that came just before it. The osso bucco (braised veal shank) was alright, but I felt that the wild sorrel didn’t really match and there was no wow factor. The veal kidney powder added a unique taste, but again it didn’t have much of an impact and could have been to add a wow factor rather than enhance the taste of the dish. The pumpkin risotto was, however, just the right sweetness and I could have eaten a few more bowls of it!
Roasted monkfish bourguignon, swede, carrots and marrowbone
On the face of it, the combination of monkfish and bourguignon sauce seems rather standard, and indeed this dish did not surprise. The flavours were exactly as expected, but the bourguignon sauce was just so rich and full of flavour, and the monkfish cooked to perfection.
Suffolk pork cheeks, chorizo, broad beans, celeriac, clove and London honey
Probably my favourite dish out of all the savoury ones above! The pork cheeks were so tender that it was like cutting through butter. The sauce was gobsmackingly tasty that I even used some of the table bread to dip into it! If I ever go back to Maze (and I definitely will), this is one dish I would order again without hesitation. The mashed potatoes that were served as a side dish were silky smooth, and I swear tasted like it was half butter but was just absolutely decadent.
Bitter chocolate delice, honey gelatine, honeycomb ice cream
At this point I was nearly full, but still found space to finish this amazing dessert. The chocolate delice was chocolately without being overly sweet, and when we got to the middle, we were surprised to find liquid chocolate flowing out! The honeycomb ice cream was delicious, but my favourite from this dish was the honey gelatine; I just wished they had given more than the small dessert spoon scoop!
Below are pictures of some of the fine dining dishes that the others in my party had:
Verdict: A mind blowing experience, which had me distracted the day after at work just thinking of the yummy dishes. Michelin star dining is just such a big step above ordinary dining, even at the best of non-Michelin star restaurants. And believe me, I have tried pretty much all the good ordinary-priced restaurants in London, and not one of them comes close to the art and flavour of the food at Gordon Ramsay‘s Maze Restaurant. Pricewise it is of course expensive, but considering the high quality of food, service, and a pretty much a food orgasmic experience, it was definitely worth every penny. Maze, from my amateur perspective, well deserves their One Michelin Star!
Do the pictures of the dishes above make your mouth water? You too can cook the dishes above! See Gordon Ramsay’s full range of Michelin Star cookbooks.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 stars
Cuisine: French food, with an Asian influence (really?)
Price Range: £85 for two, without drinks.
Address: 10 – 13 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London W1K 6JP (location map). Next to the London Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel.
Nearest Tube Stations: Bond Street Tube Station (5 minutes walk), Marble Arch Tube Station (10 minutes walk)
Tel: +44 020 7107 0000
Want to know more about Maze’s sister restaurant in New York, also called Maze? After the success in London, Gordon Ramsey decided to bring the heavenly food over to New York, and you can read a review of the NY Maze Restaurant at The Ugly Tomato here: http://www.theuglytomato.com/The_Ugly_Tomato/…../Gordon_Ramsays_Maze_at_the_London.html