What Would Gordon Say?

In Others
August 5, 2009

Just getting this one in under the wire. Went to Gordon Ramsey’s pub The Warrington this evening for dinner. Huge fan of Kitchen Nightmares – basically I realise that one of the great pleasures of telly for me is to watch people try to cook stuff, get it wrong, and then have the faults pointed out. Maybe it makes me feel better about my own cooking. I love how insanely passionate Gordon gets about the food; you get the feeling it physically pains him to see someone choosing bad ingredients, or treating good ingredients poorly.

So… high hopes for The Warrington. It should of course be precisely what he recommends on Kitchen Nightmares: good, hearty, local food simply but beautifully prepared. And the menu’s pretty good. Nothing especially exciting sounding (presumably he saves that stuff for the Michelin star restaurants not the local eateries) but a good selection.

When it came it was… well, frankly it was fine. I mean, I didn’t feel cheated for the money, but nor did I feel that I’d had something exceptionally good.

Here was my spelt risotto:

It reminds me of that 4 On Demand ad that goes “Rocket. Parmesan. Beautiful.” It tasted fine. The texture was a bit too watery – I think a risotto should be creamier than this, although I realise it was spelt not rice.

Here was my companion’s lamb shank:

According to reports: nice size portion, perfectly fine taste. Essentially, the kind of food you’d get at a nice country pub and go “yup, that was pretty good.” My advice: if you want a nice meal out in London, spend £5-10 a head more and go to Arbutus on Frith Street.

This was the view from our table:

It was a hot evening in London, they’d opened the back door because they don’t have air-conditioning. I have to say, I think a restaurant really ought to have some way to cool the place down if it’s very hot, just as they need a way to heat it up if it’s very cold. It was bordering too-warm when we went, and the place was mostly empty. If it had been full, it would have been stifling.

Anyway, here are the desserts:

Banoffee pie in foreground, ice cream in background. These came slightly below “fine”, tbh. The bananas in the pie tasted faintly of salmon. There was too much cream and it was unflavoured and bland. The icecream was similarly fairly tasteless. If these dishes had been on Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon would have thrown the plate at the wall, screaming. As it was we just didn’t finish them, politely paid our bill and left.

The one plus point: the service was very friendly and attentive. Our waiter (pictured) told us that Gordon sometimes comes into the restaurant, but he’s always very nice and softly-spoken. Oh Gordon, how you have deceived me.

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