REVIEW: Gordon Ramsay Maze, Grosvenor Square, Mayfair

Old Gordon Ramsay has been getting a lot of stick in the press recently, or at least for the past three years or so. He’s one of those celebrity TV personalities you’ll either love, or hate –  I still haven’t made my mind up yet. What I do know from his cookbooks, is that they are surprisingly good, well thought out and informative. It’s for that reason I made my way down to Maze. Arriving at the restaurant, it was all a little bit confused at reception, with staff seeming clueless as how to hang a jacket and give it a ticket stub – still I went with it. A walk past the bar, which had a seating area more reminiscent of a bean bag lounge atVUE cinema, I was already wondering, was I really in a Michelin starred restaurant. Once you make your way deep into the heart of the confused dining room it all gets a little better. Smartly dressed staff were welcoming – though there was so many of them, I’d have expected far more attentive service. The wine list was brought out on an iPad where you can make your selection and hand it back to the waiter. The list was very well-chosen and quite competitively priced for a Michelin starred restaurant.

Bread arrived in the form of a whole huge loaf which was very good, far exceeding my expectations. It was light, bouncy and had a little nuttiness to it. A sea salted butter and a nutty version, both which were delicious smothered on the warm bread.

A beautifully presented dish of duck and foie gras terrine was accompanied by some black pepper poached pear, walnuts and a sauternes gel. The terrine was soft and silky and had a lovely texture, but it didn’t quite pack the meaty punch I expected. The poached pear was almost tasteless and the sauternes gel was a little watery and far less unexciting than the name suggested. It all looked very lovely on the plate – but that was about it.

One of the dullest, and most boring dishes I’ve had all year was a messy plate of a poached partridge, some Brussel sprout leaves, parsnip and a pearl barley. The partridge was at least cooked well and had a good flavour. The sprout leaves added nothing to the dish, giving there was barely any of it. Parsnip was almost invisible and the pearl barley was one of the best parts of the dish. A disappointing plate of food which I hope was just a slip up on the night.

By far one of the best dishes of the evening, but by no means outstanding was the beetroot soused mackerel with a horseradish potato salad and a granny smith apple jelly. The mackerel was well infused, flaky and juicy and the potato salad underneath had a real hot kick to it – which I love. The granny smith apple jelly was OK but verging on being bland and added nothing to this dish other than an extra element of moisture.

Desserts fared a little better than the savoury courses with a yuzu teacake which had a good texture and soft chocolate coating, accompanied by some mango and lime jam which had a great acidity and was packed with flavour. The star of it all though was some very well made lemongrass ice cream which wasn’t overpowering but instead delicately infused. A refreshing way to end the meal.

As much as I wanted to really like Gordon Ramsay he certainly hasn’t won me over. The menu was well priced for a Michelin starred restaurant, giving you four courses – but you do have to wonder why it’s so affordable. Gordon Ramsay needs to get back in the kitchen of Maze and sort it out – otherwise it will be losing its star very soon.


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