We were invited to the re-launch of London House, one of Gordon Ramsay’s fourteen restaurants in the capital, where we enjoyed superior food and drink in a lovely setting. The original concept for London House was a very high end, formal dining experience, but over time it was decided to tone it down and to refocus as a more informal neighbourhood restaurant. So out went the white tablecloths, in came a new decor and a new menu.
The exterior of the building is striking, as our photo shows, while inside there is an attractive bar, with a lounge to the right and the dining area on the other side. The capacity is sixty, but it doesn’t feel like that as there are four interconnected rooms of different sizes, with open archways in between. There’s also a secluded garden terrace at the rear – great for warmer evenings.
We were served cocktails – a delicately flavoured Clementine Daiquiri – and canapés from the bar snack menu while we chatted to the other guests. Gordon Ramsay
dropped in to say ‘Hi’ to everyone – apparently he is pretty hands-on with his restaurants, making regular visits to taste the food and keep an eye on things.
Then into the dining area where our starter was Wye Valley asparagus with poached duck egg, kale pesto and parmesan shavings – an excellent dish as everyone agreed. There was a choice of mains, either roast monkfish with laksa mussels ( in a mild curry sauce) and tender stem broccoli or roast lamb with calcot onions and artichokes. Both dishes were again of a very high standard – the fish and mussels flavoursome and complementing each other, the lamb pink and tender. Dessert was rhubarb and custard doughnuts – not my favourite, but Mrs. D loved it!
Our wine was a Chenin Blanc, excellent value at £19 a bottle, and a more expensive red, a lovely Pinot Noir (not on the wine list). The house wine (red and white) is priced at a very accessible £16 while there is a comprehensive wine list to suit all tastes and budgets. Make a note of ‘Retail Price Wednesdays’ when all wine is sold at its over-the-counter price e.g. house wine at £7, the Chenin Blanc we drank at £9 a bottle – superb value!
The cost of our meal for two with the three courses and a bottle of the white would be exactly £50 per head excluding service. Taking into account the high quality of food and drink, the pleasant ambience and attentive service, this is a reasonable price for the evening. There is also a lunch special at £15 for two courses or £20 for three while bar snacks cost on average £4. I’d happily go back for lunch, dinner or just drinks and bar snacks.
London House, 7-9 Battersea Square, SW11 3RA