My wife had made reservations to Gordon Ramsey’s 3 Michelin starred restaurant in London a few months before our trip. This was our only Michelin starred meal in London. We thought about going to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant as well, but apparently his restaurant has bad reviews, so we skipped out on that. On the day of the restaurant, we took a ~15 minute UberX from the Hyatt Regency.
There is a dress code for men. No jeans, shorts, tshirts, sweats, slippers, etc. Jacket is preferred. When I was there, I saw 4 men with buttoned up shirts without jackets. I personally didn’t want to pack a dress jacket and was fine with a button up. I also rocked my North Face pants too. I was actually afraid they wouldn’t let me in since it wasn’t your typical dress slacks, but they didn’t seem to know/care.
“Care for some champagne?”
We had gotten to the restaurant before our friends, and so they escorted my wife and I to the lounge area. A waiter then asks, “Would you care for some champagne?” Immediately in my head, I’m wondering if this was a free glass of champagne or not, but I didn’t want to sound cheap and ask if it was complimentary. My wife, who has flown in F too many times, goes and asks, “Which ones do you have?” The waiter then rattles off something like, “We have Dom…[one we didn’t recognize]..a Bollinger Grande Rose…” My wife goes, “Oh let’s have the Bollinger.” After the waiter left, I asked my wife, “Why did you pick that one?” She goes, “That’s the only one I recognized!” FACEPALM!
Let’s take a moment her to recognize the fact that I’ve spoiled my wife with first class flights. If she had been flying economy the whole time, she’d still think Moet and Veuve were the most expensive champagne. So while I was happy she is now recognizing high end champagne, this definitely came back to bite me on the ass.
It turns out the champagne was NOT complimentary and cost me about $40 USD per glass!!!
When we went, there were 2 tasting menus. They had the “Prestige” tasting menu and a “Seasonal Inspiration” menu. My wife got the Prestige and I got the other one so we could taste both menus. We also decided to get a wine pairing with our meals, which was not a fixed price. The sommelier picked our wines as we went along and seemed to charge us ala-carte. I wasn’t a big fan of this because 1) I’m sure he was pouring the same wines to everyone who got the tasting menu and 2) I like to know what I’m paying before I order it (except for the champagne fiasco.) Turns out the wine pairing consisted of 5 glasses of wine and cost about 125GBP (which is nearly the price of the tasting menu.) For reference, most Michelin restaurants I’ve been to charge about 75% of the tasting menu’s price for the wine pairing although I have been to places where it was equal.
The pictures will be below, but I’ll write up my conclusion here. The total meal came out to $945 for my wife and I. This is definitely on the high side. For perspective, our meal at Eleven Madison Park was $1050 and that was a MUCH MUCH BETTER MEAL. Besides the champagne fiasco, I honestly don’t remember too much about the meal. I actually have to look through the photos again now to actually remember my dishes. My wife who is more of a foodie than I am didn’t think it was that great. Not to come off sounding like a snob, but once you’ve been to one Michelin starred restaurant, then the rest all kind of blend together. Now this could be because the wine pairings are clouding my memory though.
I’ll always remember my first – Funky Gourmet in Athens. I also remember Brooklyn Fare for how Nazi-like the chef is (also remember the deliciously sweet Norwegian(?) lobster). I remember Eleven Madison Park for the sheer amount of courses you get. And at the very end, they drop a 32oz jar of apple brandy on the table and go, “I dare you.” knowing full well that you are too stuffed to eat or drink anything at this point. Even if you take out the terrible value of the tasting menu at Gordon Ramsey, even the food wasn’t memorable. I would highly recommend you try any of the numerous great restaurants around in London for a tenth of the price and you’ll enjoy it more than this meal.