Gordon Ramsay’s MAZE
Located in London’s iconic – and exclusive – Mayfair district, Gordon Ramsay’s Maze is at once both stylish and casual. That’s not to say that dining here is not an impressive, memorable experience, of course; Maze is distinctly above average (in fact, one might go as far as to say that it is exceptional). Maze is one of London’s premier restaurants and that’s down to the exquisite food as well as the relaxed yet stylish ambience.
Maze is the perfect combination of elements that means walking into the restaurant itself is not a daunting thing to do (unlike other swish eateries). The staff here are welcoming and friendly, allowing you to indulge in a little luxury, a little treat, that just happens to taste incredible.
Take the sushi bar, for example. Installed after the restaurant had already opened, it was a slight gamble – did anyone really want to have sushi in a Gordon Ramsay restaurant? It turns out that the answer was yes, and it has become one of the more popular parts of dining at Maze. Just watching the expert chefs at work is fascinating, and eating the end result is definitely enjoyable.
But there is a lot more to Maze than its sushi and sashimi. There is a definite leaning towards Asian-inspired dishes, but add to that a French twist and you have something unique – something special. There are a variety of superb dishes to choose from on the menus (a great value set menu, an à la carte menu, even an express lunch menu), and we took our time perusing them. Because when it comes to food of this quality (after all, it’s not every day you dine in a Ramsay restaurant, now, is it?) it pays to think long and hard about what to have. It’s evident that each dish will be good – more than good – and that each dish will have been made with care and attention. But what to have?
We started with drinks as we made our food choices. Cocktails feature heavily on the drinks’ menu, and so how could we resist? My dining partner chose the lychee and raspberry martini (raspberry infused Finalndia vodka shaken with fresh lychee purée and sugar syrup) whilst I went for the less sweet but just as lovely Yellow Bird (lime kaffir infused Bombay Sapphire gin, limoncello, plum infused sake, fresh lime juice and lavender tincture).
And now the time had come to choose our food. We went for a mixture of dishes, styles, even cuisines. We started with the California sushi roll, smashed avocado dip, as well as the salt and Szechuan pepper squid. The sushi was light and fresh, melt in the mouth tangy with the smooth addition of the perfectly seasoned and remarkably tasty avocados. And the squid… incredible. We’d had squid before, many times, and enjoyed it, but with the flavours and the spices added to the coating on this particular dish, we found the humble squid elevated to a whole new level.
How well a restaurant cooks its steak is a measure for how well it serves its customers as a whole. So when the British native breed rib-eye steak arrived with its heaping helping of hand-cut chips, sautéed spring greens and a lovely looking tomato and onion salad on the side, it was cooked exactly (and I mean exactly) as we’d asked. The chips were crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy in the middle, the spring greens had a bite to them and the steak itself – apart from being cooked perfectly – was tender and juicy and full of flavour.
And finally, to dessert. We decided to go for a sharing pud, to ease the guilt (ha!), and ordered the monkey bread with pecans and vanilla ice cream. Meant for sharing, this sticky, soft pastry treat is lovely enough on its own, but when it has soaked up melting ice cream and is topped with crunchy pecans it is something very special indeed.
We left Maze fully sated and definitely impressed. It’s a destination restaurant that is worth the trip.
10-13 Grosvenor Square
0207 495 2211