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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · united kingdom · London · Top European Restaurants by Martins Ritins

Le Gavroche

Author: Mārtiņš Rītiņš0 COMMENTS

Le Gavroche

Back in 1982, Le Gavroche was the first British restaurant to win three Michelin stars; admittedly, it did lose one a decade later.

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The restaurant was opened in 1967 by the Roux family. Originally set in a different part of the city, since 1982 Le Gavroche, one of the oldest London restaurants serving traditional French cuisine, lives in Mayfair.
The current chef patron of Le Gavroche is Michel Roux Jr. To serve meals for the sixty guests in the dining hall, twenty people are working in the kitchen at any given day; as for front of the house, it is in the hands of twelve all-seeing waiters. There may seem to be too many of them; however, that means you will never be left sitting behind an empty plate, and all the rest of your needs will be immediately seen to as well.

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Le Gavroche greets with attention previously experienced only at top-class restaurants of the Alinea and Noma level - they have researched the guest: 'Good evening, Mr Rītiņš, we know you represent the Slow Food movement...'
The dining hall of Le Gavroche immediately charms with the classical French-style table setting and sophisticated gleam of precious metal. The eye is especially caught by the silver bird and animal figurines whose sleek lines remind of typical fork and knife shapes. Silver, silver everywhere...

Foto: Le GavrocheFoto: Le GavrocheFoto: Le Gavroche

On this occasion, we forego the opportunity of choosing the tasting menu complemented by wines chosen by the sommelier and order à la carte. Even before we do so, we are served a complimentary dish of lobster and scrambled eggs in a thin pastry basket. Now we are ready to embark on a trip through old-school French cuisine.

Foto: Le GavrocheFoto: Le GavrocheFoto: Le Gavroche

The seared scallops in black curry with tiger prawns and chorizo in brioche pastry are not a cheap treat, and yet a genuine gourmet will not think twice about parting with the GBP 30.80. The langoustines and Hereford snails with light Hollandaise sauce and Basque peppers are also definitely worth their price of GBP 28.80.

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You may have already noticed that the prices here are not to be sneezed at; however, the food is truly exceptional - even if it is only a basket of duck with marinated vegetables. The flavour is perfect; the consistency, freshness and quality - impeccable.

The game bird with mushrooms as the main course is as phenomenally good as its serving manner that sees it skilfully carved with virtuoso technique right in front of me. I could not prepare this dish any better than that!
Next, the king crab rolled up in sole, a crispy and eye-pleasing treat, is unique!
And, while I normally find rabbit quite a boring choice, here the soft meat is skilfully combined with thin potato galettes and Parmesan; the result is reminiscent of a mille-feuille.

Our dessert choice this time is home-made ice-cream and sorbet, delivered to the table on a cart and served in antique silver dishes. Beautiful! The soul is doused with additional sweetness by the hot passion fruit soufflé with white chocolate ice-cream. The best soufflé I have ever tasted!

Le Gavroche
43 Upper Brook Street
London W1K 7QR
www.le-gavroche.co.uk

11/2012

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