Le Gavroche reviews
A disappointing adventure for two birthday girls. If you want a more enjoyable experience, with better value for money, go to Le Manoir.
by heather.barback, 07 Jul 2010
Also, despite being a non meat-eater they gave me a meat dish after I told them I wanted fish - not good!
I am so disappointed, I will never return to this restaurant. To say this left a bad taste in both our mouths would be an understatement. Avoid like the plague.
by L Jones, 11 Mar 2010
by JIT, 09 Dec 2009
by convexity (2 reviews), 24 Oct 2009
First, as we came in, the bar was very smelly. Then, as we ordered some champagne, they brought us some 'petits fours' which were so strong in taste they hid the taste of the champagne. We then selected the tasting menu at £150 a head with a selection of their best dishes and assorted wines, so we expected something quite decent, as you can imagine. One of my team members does not eat meat and so agreed with the waitress to have all meat dishes replaced by fish, which they did. Except that when we ate foie gras and drank Bagnuls (a rich sweet red wine), they served her sea bass, and to drink Bagnuls as well! The rest of the dinner was served on a watch, with maybe a couple of minutes in between each course, so we did not even get a chance to talk to each other or appreciate the food.
Overall: there were no sophisticated flavours, certainly nothing different to what I had tasted before; the wines weren't exceptional, apart from maybe one; the same sauce was served with nearly all dishes.
We came out extremely disappointed. I personally came out feeling more than disappointed, as I ended up paying for an extremely expensive meal at a restaurant which had nothing to do with 3 Michelin stars!
by desbars, 09 Mar 2009
Where I fall out with this place is the room, which is frankly grim, dark and incredibly old-fashioned. Even worse is the upstairs bar, which is reminiscent of one in a Margate B&B circa 1955. Needs a refurb to give the brilliant food the setting it deserves.
by StuH "top london reviewer" (39 reviews), 03 Nov 2008
by cajpeters, 03 Oct 2008
by dedwards42, 02 Sep 2008
She asks my name, and then a young man guides me downstairs into a large dark room with low ceilings. It is softly lit with recessed can and halogen lighting.
There are enormous arrangements of spring flowers in two wall niches, (gladiola, rubrum lillies, pussy willows and greens) and a large spray on white orchids graces the back of the room.
Upholstered chairs of red fabric trimmed with leather are gathered around round tables with 3/4 length tablecloths.
Everything carries the Le Gavroche logo, from the starter plate, to the silverware with a figure of a chef on the handles, to the black & gold paper that lines the plate of the amuse bouche.
A silver filigree holder keeps the bottled water cold. A cunning triple salt cellar holds regular salt, sea salt and wrapped toothpicks. There is also a small wooden pepper grinder.
A little 12" high golden oil lamp gleams on the table. A silver, three dimensional fish holds six knives, with decorated silver handles and blades.
It is mostly an older crowd in their 50's and 60's, and the assistant manager, Emmanuel tells me that half of them are regulars. By 7:15 p.m. the room is half-full, and the noise level is beginning to be high.
Waiters all have french accents, and are formally dressed in black. Before the restaurant gets busy, they tend to bustle around uselessly, or hover together in small groups, talking amongst themselves.
Salted and unsalted butter accompany the bread basket. I choose a wheat baguette from the five offerings. I only have one bite, as it is lukewarm and somewhat tough. The waiter never asks if I would like to try something different.
The sommelier is a woman, Celia, and she poorly conceals a sniff of disdain when I decline any wines with the meal.
An enormous silver bowl filled with iced varieties of white and pink champagne is brought to the table next to me, where the flower arrangement in the wall niche is so low it hits the gentleman in the head. Given the amount of money it costs here to have dinner, they should not have a table in that location.
Enrico is my waiter, and he explains each dish.
There is a four piece amuse bouche. Two artichoke hearts are hot and mouth-wateringly good, lightly battered and deep fried. Two cold quail eggs rest on a bed of celeriac remoulade and are garnished with paprika.
The first course is a warm spring green salad that consists of artichoke hearts, carrots, sweet onions, mushrooms, chestnuts, and the tinest of crispy croutons, dressed in a raspberry vinaigrette. It is excellent.
The second course is their signature dish. A twice baked cheese souffle in fresh cream is airy and delicious, very light in taste.
The third course is a soft polenta, whixh serves as a bed for a tempura of baby artichokes, red pepper coulis and herb olive oil. Wafer thin bread with a puree of black olives on one side and a mayonnaise of garlic & saffron on the other is sharp and unpleasant.
The fourth course is a vegetable cannelloni filled with ratatouille on a bed of good couscous, resting in butter sauce with a watercress coulis. (It is improved with a little lemon juice.)
This is followed by vegetables stuffed with vegetables, in an overly salty potato-truffle sauce. A baked tomato holds a julienned green vegetable. The spinach mousse with carrots is mushy. There are potatoes with sweet onions. Aubergine is somehow tough on the outside and too soft on the inside.
Overall, the presentation is pretty, but the vegetables themselves are tasteless.
The cheese board has 40 different varieties on it. I choose an incredibly creamy Conte from the french Pyrenees mountains, and a hard Cheran Mont D'Or. They are served with a crispy, thin, walnut-raisin bread, plum chutney, celery and quince jelly.
The first dessert is a fresh pineapple carpaccio with basil mint garnish and a touch of white rum underneath a creme de caramel donut. It is somehow heavy and overly sweet.
Tea of fresh mint leaves is fragrant and boiling hot, served in a delicate white china cup with the ever present chef logo on the side/ White sugar cubes and brown sugar cubes are brought in silver holders with a small silver spoon on a silver, doily-lined tray.
The last dessert is a petite bitter chocolate cake garnished with gold leaf, and a bitter chocolate sorbet. They are pure in flavor, and taste delicious when combined.
Different petite fours are brought as the final touch to complete the meal, an almond cake with rum that is nice, coconut macaroon, candied gooseberries and lace cookies.
Presentation on everything throughout the meal is dramatic and lovely, but tastes are all a little off, seeming to rely on an excess of ingredients. Only the first two courses, the cheese board and the second dessert are flawless; the remaining half of the dishes disappoint a little.
Le Gavroche may have been a London institution, but now it seems to be coasting on its former reputation.
Unfortunately and despite having 2 michelin stars, Le Gavroche is merely a slightly better than adequate meal, and not worth the money.
by Loving Annie (7 reviews), 03 Apr 2008
Here are my comments for each course:
1) Thon Mi-Cuit, Vinaigrette au Gingembre PimentÃ©: the use of sesame oil is very Asian and reminded us of some kind of fusion food.
2) Pointes d'Asperges Vertes, Parmesan, Jambon 'Pata Negra' et Vinaigrette de Truffes; this combination was a waste of very good ingredients. The Cured Iberian ham is the king of ham and is very good by itself but not with the overwhelming truffle dressing. 'More is not always more'
3) 'Petit Pave de Saumon Sauvage Roti et sa Peau Croustillante', we thought the salmon was a bit overcooked (dry).
4) 'Escalope de Foie Gras Chaud et Pastilla Ã la Cannelle': the foie gras was OK but the crispy pancake of duck was far too salty & stodgy and the combination of flavours did not work at all.
5) CarrÃ© d'Agneau Roti, Jus a l'Echalote et Estragon: This dish was competently executed but ordinary comparing with meat dishes that we had in other tasting menus (i.e. Petrus, Orrery and Angela Harnett). The meat dish that we have in other tasting menus usually has three different cuts of meat cooked in three different ways so that the chef can show off his/her talent.
6) Le Plateau de Fromages AffinÃ©s: When I saw the cheese trolley from far I was excited to see the wide variety. However the cheese experience at Le Gavroche was also big disappointment. Due the layout of all the tables at the restaurant, the waiter couldn't push the trolley close enough for us to see what cheese selection was available. The waiter only asked us two questions before serving the cheese: a) whether we like goat cheese, b) whether there is any cheese we don't like. Then off he went to randomly cut 4 pieces of cheese for each of us. When he gave us the plate of cheese, he didn't even tell us what cheeses were on the plate and in what order we should eat them (this is the normal practice in other restaurants we've been to). We eat a lot of French cheese at home and when we go to restaurants with a big selection of cheese, we are keen to taste something we haven't had before. Unfortunately, because we didn't get to see and choose the cheese, one of cheese that was given to us was something we usually eat at home.
7) GÃ¢teau OpÃ©ra et son Sorbet Chocolat: The chocolate sorbet was very nice but GÃ¢teau OpÃ©ra was rather ordinary (we've had better elsewhere).
8) Oeufs Ã la neige, CrÃ¨me Vanille et Compote de Fraises: this French classic was very well executed and we like it very much.
To complete our experience at Le Gavroche, when the bill came we were overcharged (a bottle of wine at £144 was added by mistake to the bill), again not very impressive for a restaurant of this standard.
...what a memorable evening that was!
by K&T (4 reviews), 13 Aug 2007
The meal was made even more memorable and special by the standard of the service. There was no sense of anybody rushing, just complete efficiency. Yet the waiters remained jovial and approachable throughout. We had gone to celebrate my birthday and my mother had said when booking that she was highly allergic to shellfish. Impressively, the Maitre d' had learnt our names and knew our situation perfectly, and informed us the chef was perfectly willing to accommodate her needs for the eight courses. At the end of the meal, without being asked, they very discreetly presented me with a small gift and a special souffle (at no extra cost) with 'Happy Birthday' delicately written in chocolate on the plate.
All I can say is go! Yes, it's formal but enjoy it - get all dressed up and just wallow in the glorious cooking and the decadent pleasure of being waited on hand and foot.
by Anon 234 (2 reviews), 12 Jul 2007
by rea (19 reviews), 07 Feb 2006
by Anonymous, 22 Oct 2005
Utterly amazing food - consistently perfect cooking, probably the best I've had in Britain.
by anonymous howard (3 reviews), 17 Aug 2005
The decor is attractive in a grown-up way, but unlike many restaurants it's purely a backdrop. They're not trying to impress you with their taste in interior decoration or make you feel that you are at the cutting edge of something - they just cook amazing food.
by Sarah M. (30 reviews), 24 Apr 2005
It's fairly formal (men should apparently wear jackets) and it's not cheap, but definitely worth a visit.The 7 course set menu was great - magnificent deserts too.
by S.G. (16 reviews), 18 Feb 2005
by Anonymous, 16 Dec 2004
by Laetitya (5 reviews), 08 Dec 2004
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