There will be no photos to this blog because I had no intentions of reviewing a restaurant. I just needed a good rant!
My daughters very generously gave me a gift voucher to any of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants last Christmas. I was very excited to receive such a lovely gift and only last week was down in London to use it. After looking at the menus online and not wanting to get all dressed up, I decided my husband and I should go to York and Albany, situated between Camden and Regents Park. There is no dress code, but we were told you could not wear shorts, even though shorts for a woman are quite fashionable these days. I was surprised at this request, but of course it wasn't a big deal.
We went last Friday evening when the weather was hot and sunny! We arrived about 30 minutes before our reservation and were lucky enough to grab a table out front, have a couple of drinks and watch the people of London go by. Drinks were a lot of money, even for London. My husband had a white wine spritzer and I had a classic Mojito, not one of the fancy ones and they charged £9.50, just for the Mojito. Correct me if I am wrong, but that seems expensive. More than being disgruntled at the price, I was appalled to see that there was a misspelling on the drinks menu. Coffee only had one 'e'. Mr. Ramsay is so quick to criticize others, he should look at his own properties before slamming someone else.
When we were ready to be seated, we were asked if we wanted to sit inside or outside in the courtyard. Again, because it was such a lovely night, we decided outside. The restaurant is lovely and so was the courtyard. The ambiance was wonderful.
We couldn't decide what to get for starters, so we opted for three. I overheard at the next table that the new Autumn menu was only introduced the day before and the host hadn't tried any of it yet. That was a bit shocking!
First we got one of their "small plates" of salt and pepper squid. That was very delicious and quite a big portion. We also got the confit of rabbit leg, roasted loin, ham hock and kale terrine with caper and raisin puree. There was liver on the plate. I suppose it was rabbit liver, but it was liver nonetheless. There wasn't a mention of liver on the menu and something like liver should not be left off of a description. It was ok, but at £12.50 for a starter and not described properly, I wasn't impressed. The third and final starter was the Warm Autumn Salad. It was supposed to have artichokes, but I couldn't find any. Saying that, I could barely find the salad. At £8.50, it was about 3 mouthfuls! It was delicious, but it sadly just didn't satisfy because of the minuscule amount.
For our mains we had Tagliatelle of crab, chilli and lemongrass! The large portion was £16.50. I can't even imagine what the small portion would have been because you could not get much smaller. It was nice, but there was only a hint of crab. I had plaice with mussels and artichokes. There were artichokes this time and the mussels were very sweet and tender. The fish was overdone and under seasoned. When asked for salt and pepper, the waitress brought out two salt mills.
For dessert we had a chocolate and peanut butter parfait which was delicious and a warm chestnut fondant. Both were priced at £12.50. I see the desserts on the menu online currently are £6.95. I am baffled to say the least. When the desserts were brought to the table, our waiter or host, not sure which, as we had so many people serving, announced the dessert as chocolate fondant. That is exactly what it was with perhaps a few chopped chestnuts inside. It was dry and chocolate. NOT at all what I ordered. The description on the menu did not say chocolate.
So Mr. Ramsay, before you throw stones, look no further than your own restaurants. You did not have continuity in service, you had mistakes on your menu multiple times, your staff don't even know the difference between the letters 'S' and 'P' on condiment mills, your prices on menus online are inconsistent with actual prices on hard menus at the restaurant and your prices for what you receive are just too expensive! I think Gordon Ramsay should maybe go back to his roots, start being a chef again, not worry so much about celebrity and get a handle on his own properties. Instead of using foul language to the little Joe Schmoe in America, fix your own venues!
The voucher our daughters gave me should have been a substantial contribution for what we had, but sadly it wasn't. There were elements to the meal that were good, but sadly the other elements overshadowed them. Our meal, with very little drink cost a fortune and I for one will not be going back!
Thanks for reading. My next blog will go back to normal! I just had to get this off my chest!
Have a nice day y'all!
Lisa aka The Yummy Yank