It was my 21st birthday yesterday, so my mum and I went for a little trip to London for lunch and a show at the west end. It was the perfect day (despite a little rainfall, but hey ho, what do you expect from an english summer?!). Being my 21st, I wanted to have a memorable day, rather than get lots of presents, so I decided to go for lunch at Maze Gordon Ramsay and have their 7 course chef’s menu. It was a great experience for a foody like me as I was able to try dishes that I would never normally choose for myself. Each and every dish was presented impeccably and given with a detail explanation of what we were about to enjoy. Mum and I started with some bubbly and bread and then the dining began..
The first 2 courses were fairly small, starter dishes (so small in fact that they got me a little worried that I would leave the meal hungry). However, their petite size made me appreciate and savour their flavour all the more. The chilled watercress soup with a lemon yoghurt mousse was a deep green colour with a strong, concentrated flavour that was not overwhelmed by the zesty lemon – it was much unlike the pale, watery liquid I am accustomed to with watercress soup.
The second of the smaller dishes was marinated yellow fin tuna with smoked tuna, compressed apple purée, horseradish, ponzu, crisp apple and fresh coriander. Tuna is often cooked through to a flavourless and dry chunk. This, however, was soft and silken, just sealed at the edges.
The dishes gradually increased in size from the third plate, which was an extremely inventive fusion of colours, flavours and textures: smoked duck with a cherry sauce, fresh cherry halves, wet almonds, Sauternes gel and crostini, then comes the fun part…
frozen fois gras is grated over the whole dish in abundance. The fois gras melts into a velvety cream in your mouth. Absolutely gorgeous! This dish was a triumph; 3 strong flavours (fois gras, smoked duck and sweet cherry) masterfully laced together on one plate.
I had been looking forward to the lobster, tiger prawn and salmon dumpling, owing to my love of asian flavours. The dumplings sat in an aromatic lemongrass broth, garnished with thinly sliced spring onion for a burst of colour.
Now for perhaps my favourite of all the courses. Delicate slices of lamb cannon, cooked pink, with Jersey royal new potatoes, broad beans, mint sauce and a delicious meaty jus. A hearty english roast transformed into an exquisite plate of food; everything positioned perfectly and then drizzled with the jus at the table. The flavourful gravy coated the meat and bled between the beans and potatoes to bring the whole dish together.
The first of the desserts (of pre-dessert as the waiter described it) was a sweet peach melba served in a petite shot glass. Vibrant colours and vibrant flavours, topped with a light and airy vanilla mousse, crumbled with freeze-dried raspberry.
And for the grand finale, a rich, thick and creamy cold bitter chocolate fondant, topped with a swirl of chocolate mousse and a dark chocolate square, served with mango and lime jam and a little boule of lemongrass ice cream sat on a delicate pile of chocolate biscuit crumble. For a chocolate lover like me, this was the perfect end to an enchanting meal (although I couldn’t have eaten another bite without being overcome by the richness, however much I wanted to).
And off to Les Mis! …