Monday, February 08, 2010

Dining at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants

Ming loves food. To him, the price of food know no boundaries. As long as it's good it's good.

Me on the other hand.... I like food but not enough to spend an obscene amount on it (unless it's a once in a while thing). So knowing that I will refuse to go for any really expensive meals, Ming booked a lunch at Gordon Ramsay's Maze in London without asking me first.

I found out about it first when I saw his tweet on Twitter which went something like "WOOHOO BOOKED A PLACE AT ONE OF GORDON RAMSAY'S RESTAURANTS WITH @TIMOTHYTIAH!"... but he later very casually told me "Eh by the way, we're going to Gordon Ramsay's" for lunch.

I resisted as much as I could but Ming insisted on going (especially since he already gave his credit card details to them). So a few days later I was there.

Finding the restaurant was a whole different thing altogether. Ming and I were looking for it and we walked past it like a few times without even noticing it on the side. The entrance was very low-key. No big signboard, no advertising ... nothing. I guess it didn't need all that to be known.

The place looked really nice. It was empty when we reached because we were early but as lunch hour went on, the place began to really fill up. It became packed with working people dressed in suits all having what looked like business lunches and speaking in English accents. Made me and Ming look damn low class since we were dressed in jeans and t-shirt.

The waiter explained that Maze was a bit of what he called a "savory" restaurant where we try a lot of small small dishes. So we made our orders and this is what we had.

Note: The name of the dishes on the menu were like really really long so I could hardly remember what they were. I'm going to keep it simple. Like a little too simple haha.

Some soup.

Quail that had very little meat on it but tasted out of this world!

Some vegetable thingy I randomly picked (and kinda regretted because it tasted weird).

Pork shoulder.

And this is dessert.

Some mousse thing that looks more like ice-cream than anything.

Throughout the lunch, Ming was busy taking pictures of the food with "The Beast" (what he calls his behemoth of an SLR).

Here's what I think about it overall.

My experience at Maze really made me look at food differently. The experience was just so different. We're so used to knowing how certain things taste. Like if we see char kuay teow, we know what that will taste like. If we see fish, we kinda know what that will taste like but you don't know what to expect when you look at the food in Maze. It's like you look at the quail and you don't know what to expect of how it tastes like and what it eventually does take like is something you've never before tasted.

To make the experience even better, when you put say the food in your mouth, two things happen to you:

1) You instantly feel a burst of all different type of tastes. It's like your tongue buds have an orgasm and you're confused at what you're tasting (because you know you're tasting so many different types of taste) but it feels great.

2) You taste the different phases of something you eat. Like the first 1-2 seconds of putting the food in your mouth you taste something, then between 4-5 seconds you feel a different taste kick in and even after you finish, each dish has a different aftertaste lingering in your mouth.

Ming was happy!

The bill in the end came up to about GBP 40 per head which nearly made me vomit blood when I converted it to RM (about RM225) but Ming and every other Londoner I asked seemed to think it was okay. A good meal in London already costs something like GBP25-30 per head.

To rationalize the price though, I decided that you had to look at it not as a meal but a whole experience. Like a thrill ride for your oral senses. It is after all something that I don't think you can have every day even if you were a billionaire. Plus I can't imagine that there's better food than this but apparently the original Gordon Ramsay restaurant is even more insane. So much that you have to make reservations two months before.

Here's the cool thing about lunch at Maze though. Eventhough the portions were really really tiny, I was very full at the end of the lunch.


Unknown said...

Im so jealous! Urgh... I love Gordon. Love his interpretation of food too. Apparently you get a discount if u book online for his restaurants. At least that's what my london friend told me.

Boss Stewie said...

aww don't be.... i'm sure one day u'll get a chance to :)

HM said...

I went to Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's last year. Bf had crispy Suffolk pork belly which in my opinion was inferior to Four Seasons siew yoke! =P Four Seasons rule!

Boss Stewie said...

huh: hahaha! nice to see another four seasons fan!

blurblurpiggy said...

40 pounds is really reasonable for Gordon Ramsay's. True enough any meal like that would be 25 - 30 there unless you go for something really cheap like Wong Keis lol.

Michelle Chin said...

I think blurblurpiggy is right. 40 pounds is certainly a great deal to have something from one of his restaurants. I mean, in Melbourne, if you were to go to Rockpool and order a three course affair with coffee, it'll probably cost you 100 AUD dollars without wine, disttilled water nonsense. And it converts back to nearly Rm 300. And it's just Neil Perry's Rockpool.

ShaolinTiger said...

Like the others said, that's actually pretty cheap for that kind of food.

I've spent more than than on meals in KL.

Mark said...

If I am not wrong, a dinner menu in one of his other restaurant is at a minimum of GBP135 per head.

Spicy Sharon said...

should've included a picture of the Receipt! LOL

Boss Stewie said...

blurblur : ahhh glad to know then. i feel better about spending that money now

michelle: ah... i went to rockpool last year. didn't think it was that great to be honest... service was bad too. the steak took a really long time to come

shaolintiger: wah! where do u go in KL!

mark: yeah i think that's his flagship one in royal hospital road

mizz: haha didn't take a picture of it unfortunately

Kancilbiru said...

wow..the foods look yummy but i wonder why they need to be served in small portion..:P

JAI said...

Wow..hell kitchen guy..nais presentation of food...

Michelle Chin said...

I went to Rockpool three years ago. I had really good service and I was dining alone. :) Food came promptly. But then again, that was three years ago.

If you want some really good service and good food in Melbourne, I recommend you Vue de Monde. Dinner is a bomb but hey, it's a service from heaven.

I wondered why they didn't bring you there. A three course lunch in Vue de Monde is around 72 dollars with a glass of wine. :)

kumfye said...

very expensive your meal but seems like it was worth eating

Lissa said...

Wow... So jealous! *Ramsay fan*

There's another restaurant a little outside of London called The Fat Duck - you should give it a try, if you're up to it. Their combination of ingredients is out of this world!

Unfortunately, the price is also phenomenal. >.<

goingkookies said...

OMG!!! definitely look at the experience..

initially, i thought u mean GR opened a shop here in malaysia...

dishes looked.. facsinating..

laughed when i read about 'the beast'

JD said...

Nothing beats dining in a restaurant owned by I think 8 Michelin Star Chef? New experience I would say.

Huai Bin said...

Wow! A Michelin Star rated restaurant! Never had the opportunity to dine in one. :)

Baby Sumo said...

Maze rocks! I was there sometime in Dec 09... gorgeous food. Jason Atherton is one fantastic chef!

WP said...

woot!! I would really want to go dine there one day :)