Vacation in London in April 2006.
by bugg23 on August 28, 2006
Booking a table here can be a full-contact sport. They only take reservations two months out, and due to the small size, popularity, and limited availability (only open Monday to Friday) of the restaurant, you must call at 0900 GMT on the dot for the hope of getting that reservation exactly 2 months away. If you're visiting London from abroad, this can be a pain. However, I found a way around making an international call in the middle of the night: Toptable.co.uk!When I was planning my trip, I decided to have lunch here rather than dinner: the 40 GBP set lunch menu is a relative bargain, and I wanted my evenings free anyway. After doing some searching online, I found that Toptable.co.uk takes bookings for lunch only at Gordon Ramsay. While your reservation won't be approved until the requisite 2 months out, you can request it at anytime. I don't know if this got me to the front of the queue or not, but my reservation was approved via email early on the morning of 2 months out. From start to finish, our experience at Gordon Ramsay was a delight. The service is absolutely top-notch, the decor is somehow minimal and sumptuous at the same time, and the food exceeds the hype. Once we were seated, we were asked who in our party was hosting. That person got a copy of the menu with prices on it. The 40 GBP set lunch has 3 choices each for starter, main, and dessert. Yes, it's more limited than the pricier set menu options, but you will not be sacrificing quality or quantity if you decide to take this less expensive route. I picked the foie gras starter and the lamb main course. After we had placed our order, our waiter said that he was going to bring us something from the kitchen before the starters, and he asked if we had any food allergies that he should be aware of. He brought us a plate of a few yummy nibbles each--so nice!Between the 4 of us, we exhausted the small menu's offerings. It was all fantastic. Everything was so fresh and flavorful, and the sauces were out of the this world. The "potato fondant" that came with my lamb was possibly the best potato anything that I have ever eaten. As each course came out, they went over everything that was on our plate with each of us and made sure that we didn't need anything before we ate. For dessert, I had a luxurious panna cotta with berries. If the dessert hadn't been included in the price, we probably would have skipped it since we were so full by that point! In between dessert and the bill, they brought us out bite-sized ice cream balls that had been dipped in chocolate and served in little plastic containers with dry ice. Very cool touch! All in all, lunch ended up being an almost 3-hour experience--it was definitely worth the time and money.
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