Petrus, 1 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8EA Tel: 020 7592 1609 www.gordonramsay.com
Gordon Ramsay’s latest opening comes in the shape of the re-vamped and re-located Petrus restaurant. The new location is so discreet that you could miss it, which in fact exactly what happened but I found it eventually.
The décor is as you would expect of a Ramsay restaurant, plush with deep red fabric-covered walls and stylish cream chairs which are surprisingly comfortable. The A La Carte offers 3 courses for £55.00, the Chef’s 5 course tasting menu comes in at £65.00 but the real value is lunch menu which is priced at just £25.00 for 3 courses but could it be too good to be true? I have never been a big fan of set lunch menus as they are a bit of a cop-out at times but I want to see exactly what £25.00 buys you at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant these days so I decide to go for it. With Head Chef Sean Burbridge at the helm under the watchful eye of Group Executive Head Chef Mark Askew, my expectations are high.
Two little cones of popcorn are placed on the table, one seasoned with lemon and pepper and the other with smoked paprika, neither of which is my thing. Popcorn is not something I want to begin a restaurant meal with, it is awkward, chewy and always gets stuck in my teeth, which is fine if you are in the dark at a cinema but picking your teeth at the table of a any restaurant is something my mother taught me never to do. An Amuse Bouche is served but for the life of me, I simply cannot recall what it was but I do remember liking it.
For my starter, I go with the curried pollock fillet with braised lentils and cauliflower soup and my guest goes for the crab and salmon cannelloni. I do love cauliflower, especially in soup form and if it comes with fish and lentils, then even better. The crab and salmon cannelloni is beautifully presented in all its cylindrical glory, but for me the earthy curry spice of the pollock worked beautifully and paired with the velvety-smooth cauliflower soup it was the clear winner of the two dishes. My only gripe would be that they were a tad heavy-handed with the salt, but under-seasoning it would have been a worse crime.
Main courses are tricky for me as more often then not, I tend to gravitate towards red meat but if I eat one more beef cheek this year, I think it may turn me against them. Don’t get me wrong, I love a beef cheek but they have become so trendy and mainstream, that it has become impossible to avoid them, so against my will I go for the roasted chicken breast with confit leg, creamed leeks and caper jus. Chicken is not something I like to choose at a restaurant. It is usually bland, tough and utterly disappointing but after a recent meal at Galvin La Chapelle I became a convert and I am confident that I am in safe hands here at Petrus.
Our chicken main courses are tender, juicy breasts of chicken with a light sauce of creamed leeks, although I am not a big fan of the confit leg meat, a little too slippery for my liking. Two quaint little saucepans accompany our main, one containing potato Dauphinoise and the other steamed broccoli with a hint of lemon. It is all very nice, if once again a little to salty but generally another good course, especially where value is concerned.
For dessert we go for the chocolate sphere with milk ice cream and honeycomb and also the marinated pineapple with coconut pannacotta, lime and chilli syrup. The chocolate sphere arrives as a gold-sprayed chocolate ball amidst a sea of white foam. The waiter ensures he has our attention as he pour a rich, indulgent chocolate sauce over it and instantly the chocolate sphere is no more, melting in to a pool of chocolate with a honeycomb centre. One taste is all you need to realise just how fabulous this dessert is, it does make me think I have perhaps chosen the wrong dessert for myself but my marinated pineapple with coconut pannacotta is no less of a show-stopper and is every bit as delicious as it looks.
Well, I hate to say it but I am rather surprised and most definitely a little impressed. The staff are very friendly; the food is really very good and even better than that is the value you get with the unbeatable set lunch menu is almost unbelievable. It is early days yet, but if this is a taste of things to come then I would dismiss the foul-mouthed one just yet, I know we love to hate him, but we can’t seem to get enough of him.