As a Gordon Ramsay fan I got very excited when there was a new restaurant opening in one of the cities I visit regularly. We have been to Maze, BSK, Union Street Cafe and Heddon Street Kitchen in London and The London in NYC and I have a shelf full of cook books....
When I saw Gordon had been in Hong Kong and I knew I had an upcoming trip I was quickly online to book a table at Bread Street Kitchen. On our first night we had a table with some of our best friends, I was looking forward to a good evening.
Bread Street Kitchen is on the ground floor of the swanky Lan Kwai Fong Hotel overlooking the busy bar street of the same name.
Great Location..... the only downside is that it is upstairs from the Hard Rock Cafe.... and so you can hear their awful music pumping through the floor. The windows were closed when we visited - thankfully - but we could still hear the pounding noise.
I arrived a little early and enjoyed a drink at the bar. There were some nice wines by the glass and a great selection of gins too. The layout and design is very similar to Bread Street Kitchen in London, as was the food menu.
When my friends arrived we were seated and were all able to find several things we wanted to eat. We ordered an assortment of dishes, scallops, short ribs and carpaccio as starters and shepherds pie, fish and steak as mains.
Everything was delicious. cooked perfectly and well presented.... things went slightly downhill with the desserts.
The waitress plonked our dessert spoons (no forks) down in such a haphazard way she could just as easily dropped them from a height. Maybe she didn't like that we were sharing two desserts... its hard to say.
The desserts Eaton Mess and Mint Ice Cream and Brownies actually looked the same.. apart from the colour... both with way too much whipped cream and both with fresh mint leaves.....
To be fair I have not had desserts in BSK London, so I don't have a direct comparison, but they weren't really what I expected.
Service was very good throughout the evening (despite the dessert spoons) and I'd go back again. The location is great and I'm sure BSK will be a huge hit.
The food was good and reasonably priced... I'd just skip dessert the next time...
...as a side note... there is only one mans and one womans toilet. Not sure how they will cope on a busy evening....
Our visit to The London House on the Kowloon side was a completely different story.
We didn't make a reservation for dinner late on a Friday evening but were offered a table on the balcony. It was a nice temperature, so we were happy to be outside. Our waitress was not particularly good, only explaining the specials to my husband, who didn't understand, so I had to ask her to repeat herself to me..
We ordered drinks and food together. My husbands beer arrived, followed by the food followed by my glass of wine.... but only after I had asked for it twice.
My husbands burger was just warm and his 'fries' were cold so he asked for them to be replaced. (they were replaced with piping hot fries) Hubby didn't mention the burger because when he mentioned the fries the waitress was ready to take the whole plate away, but we like to eat together and my fish and chips were piping hot and we were both hungry so he just kept and ate the burger. The Fish and Chips were delicious. properly battered and tasty...
There was live music performing downstairs in the bar which really sounded like it was in competition with the music from next door.
It was loud and pretty terrible. It sounded more like the woman was singing karaoke Hotel California and Simply The Best.
I guess I was partly to blame for our disappointment because having been to The London in New York I had a completely different idea of what the venue would be like. I did know it was a 'pub' style venue but I didn't expect this...
if I hadn't seen Gordon Ramsay had actually visited and posted pictures on his Twitter I would assume he didn't know his name was being used.... needless to say I won't be back.
Bread Street Kitchen LKF Hotel, Wyndham Street, Hong Kong
The London House 66 Mody Road, East TST, Hong Kong
After a great evening at Heddon Street Kitchen we were really looking forward to dinner with friends at Bread Street Kitchen.
This is another Gordon Ramsay venture close to St Paul's Cathedral in The City.
The menu is similar to Heddon Street Kitchen - nothing wrong with that - but the restaurant is catering to completely different crowd.
Its all about the location.
It was quite quiet when we arrived in the evening of a cold wet Saturday between Xmas and NYE and in fact the downstairs bar was completely empty. I guess in fairness it was a Saturday evening and Bread Street Kitchen does rely on the City for a lot of its trade.
We stayed downstairs and ordered a drink but quickly thought better of it as the large windows that are great or people watching are not great at keeping the heat inside, so we gave in to the need to be warm and went upstairs to our table.
Things looked surprisingly different when we got to the top of the stairs to the restaurant area.
The space is really quite big and there were quite a lot of people already dining. the lighting was low and there was a view of the kitchen. Tables were well spaced out so you can enjoy your own conversation - not the one taking place on the table next to you.
Service was excellent, professional but friendly. Everything we ordered arrived together and was cooked perfectly. The food is not overly complicated, not too fancy. Everything we ordered - there were four of us for dinner - received great comments from everyone. My tuna starter was especially good.
I'd highly recommend Bread Street Kitchen, but when I come back I will come during the week, probably a Thursday evening. I think the buzzy atmosphere and people watching in the City is always fun. However, if you live or are staying nearby then this would make a great relaxing place to eat some excellent food at the weekend.
Bread Street Kitchen One New Change, 10 Bread Street, London EC4M 9AJ +44 20 3030 4050
I'd read fabulous things about both Bread and Heddon Street Kitchen so I was itching to give them a try on my next trip to London.
We booked flights to be in London for the whole of Christmas and New Year and so with the luxury of forward planning I was able to make advance bookings I managed to get a table at both restaurants.
Hendon Street is a hidden gem - literally. Its right off Regent Street but it feels like its miles away. Its busy and noisy, but there wasn't a tourist in sight when we were there. Both the street and the restaurant were bustling with friends meeting for christmas drinks, christmas parties and office groups having dinner. There was lots of laughter and fun. it definitely wasn't a quite evening, but we were warned that this would be the case when we made the reservation.
The maître d' greeted us warmly and took our coats, we were offered a choice of tables and our waiter came over promptly to offer a choice of water and give us menus. There was no problem at all with ordering tap water, which is a welcome change from restaurants in Switzerland.
I had a starter of Spicy Tuna Tartare that was amazing. I'd return again for this dish. It was quickly followed by Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Swede mash an gremolata, again an excellent dish.
Hubby had a salad starter (which was HUGHE) and a main of the HSK Short Rib Beef Burger, which he rated in his top 10 burgers ever, and since I didn't even get to try it, I'd say it was a huge success.
We didn't have dessert as the restaurant was starting to fill up and get a little noisy. Also we had a small stash of Swiss pralines at home waiting for us.
If you are looking for dinner in Central London I'd definitely recommend Heddon Street Kitchen.
I'd suggest booking in advance as it does get busy for the popular 7.30pm dinner slot.
I enjoyed everything about the evening, I'm already a big GR fan, and I loved this new more relaxed venue, I'm looking forward to going back later this month for lunch.
Hendon Street Kitchen - Website 3-9 Heddon Street London W1B 4BD 0207 592 1212
I waited in the bar area to meet my husband and enjoyed people watching over a gin (Gordon's of course!) and tonic.
I am a big Gordon Ramsay fan and so I am always excited to be able to visit any of his restaurants when I am anywhere nearby. The new Hong Kong one is on my radar for our next trip to Asia !!
There is a restaurant area next to the bar that was not at all busy but I think the noise from the bar would be quite distracting.
The 'formal' restaurant is a large well lit room next to the bar. It's fairly spacious which means you are not too close to other patrons however on the evening we were there a table in the corner had some pretty loud voices and we could hear them way above the people next to us !!
We opted for the three course dinner and enjoyed various small additions - a small chilled soup, Amuse bouche and cleansers.
Everything was served beautifully and cooked perfectly. My Organic Chicken was juicy and perfectly flavoured.
David our waiter was charming, competent and very professional.
My husband ordered a dessert that came with pea cake - I was intrigued. It did I fact taste of peas !! Husband hated it and it was speedily replaces without issue. My hazelnut chocolate was heavenly.
David, the waiter, was so disappointed that we hadn't opted for their signature tarte tatin that he actually brought us a third dessert and he insisted we try it.... To be fair it was amazing!
It wasn't a cheap evening US$500 including a bottle of wine, two glasses of champagne and service but it was worth it on the occasion of my husband's birthday.
Gordon Ramsay @ The London 151 West 54th Street, NYC 10019.
As you may already know - I think Big G (as I like to call him) is fab. I have the recipe books, I watch the YouTube cooking videos and when I get the chance I'll visit his restaurants.
I've been to Maze a couple of times. I've had experiences that have ranged from complete disaster to spectacular success. On a visit in August 2014 once again we had a success story. We took some visiting friends and had an early dinner. They had a set menu where you can choose 4 dishes from around 9, including desserts, all for £30. We weren't sure if the food might be too 'fancy' for our guests so this was a great and inexpensive way for them to try the restaurant.
We were greeted warmly by a very professional looking door team and led to our table.
Fresh bread arrived as did a delicious complimentary dried lotus fruit and dip. We started with cocktails, swiftly followed by a delicious Viognier and then a nice red recommended by the competent sommelier.
The food was spectacular, the courses followed on nicely from each other being served in the same order they are written in the menu, starting with the lightest working slowly towards the heavier osso bucco or duck.
Between myself and my three friends we sampled every dish on the menu and EVERYTHING was amazing. The octopus stood out as the star of the evening. It was incredibly tender and beautifully flavored. This was the kind of dish that makes me return to a restaurant.......Maybe I can find a YouTube demonstration?
All the staff were courteous and professional and clearly well trained - exactly how I would expect them to be. The whole evening was a resounding success.
Book ahead as of course they get VERY busy, and the set menu is only available at limited tames of the day. There is also The Maze Grill next door that is well worth trying too.
10-13 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP. +44 20 7107 0000
I expected great things and was not disappointed. Union Street Cafe is in an 'up and coming' part of London between Bermondsey and Waterloo. There are a few great looking traditional pubs in the area, but the restaurant also has a great looking bar in the basement, with a wonderful cocktail list.
The cafe was quiet when we arrived as we had an early reservation so were were given the pick of a few tables. We decided on the set menu which was a bargain price of £25 for three courses with prossecco! The choice was actually very good - esp considering the price !!
Three starters, mains and desserts (including home-made gelato)
I had baby artichokes with ruccola and Parmesan cheese to start, followed by pork chop with a side dish of fried courgettes and a dessert of panacotta.
The artichokes were tasty and with a generous serving of cheese, the pork chop quite big and was perfect cooked and the side of shredded courgette was amazing. It was light, crispy and very tasty. (Apparently they dip it in milk first before dipping it in semola and then they fry it in olive oil). Panacotta for dessert was amazing. Just a perfect flavour, consistency and size and served with fresh strawberries.
Our waiter was lovely, explaining many things on the menu that I either couldn't read or simply didn't know what they were... Even telling me how to cook the corgettes!
I would definitely recommend coming to SE1 and giving Union Street Cafe a try. And even though I would book in advance as it can get very busy, you can always try giving them a call if you don't have time to plan ahead.
Union Street Café
47-51 Great Suffolk Street, London,SE1 0BS
+44 207 592 7977
Union Street Cafe website
Want to subscribe to my site and receive notifications of new posts... fill in your email address just below..