My first Michelin experience, and I was rather nervous. Months in the planning, something I had been literally dreaming of for what seemed like an eternity (my dreams are somewhat different to those of a stereotypical teenager!)
Taking my first steps into the restaurant, it was everything you would expect from a 3-star establishment, neat, clean and dazzlingly white in its interior. While pleasant, a dash of colour would not have gone amiss.
With our seats perfectly pushed under us by the ever attentive waiting team, I was ready to begin my culinary adventure. I had already planned what I was going to eat months in advance, whilst checking the menu everyday just to make sure.
We were served four cylinders of butter. Now usually I take churned cream for granted, but I found myself all giddy. Four unique varieties, served with a lovely array of freshly made bread, my food dreams were coming true.
Our orders were swiftly taken; I went for the lobster ravioli to start and lamb prepared in three ways for the main.
My first toilet break, of which had been eagerly anticipated, and it was a slight disappointment (in decor that is!) It would not have looked out of place in any of our local chain restaurants.
Whilst the service was impeccable, at times it was rather comical. They rushed to open the bathroom door for me, the toilet roll was neatly folded after each visit and they did not let me sit, until they had gently pushed the chair perfectly under me.
After an amuse bouche, that really was just a chicken soup on steroids, our starter arrived. Perfectly thin ravioli, so much so that I could identify the tender pieces of lobster within, served with a lovely bisque. Never have I had pasta so fresh. The filling while enjoyable, I felt could have delivered a greater punch of flavour. The pasta was perfect ,the presentation was spot on, however my first taste of Michelin star food, (while much better than the local Italian), did not blow me away.
On to the biggest disappointment of the night; not the toilets, but the main course, the main event. When it was placed down on the table, something became obviously clear, the lamb was not pink. I took my first bite and was underwhelmed to say the least. Lamb three ways should have been at the least an interesting dish. I was expecting there to be a few surprises on there, hidden treasures, instead I felt that there was a distinct lack of originality in this dish.
For dessert, there was only ever going to be one choice. I could either go for an individual dessert or have the whole lot – the assiette de l’aburgine. As a bit of a pudding lover, it really was the saviour of the night. A dizzying selection of desserts, including a beautiful little tarte tatin and a fantastically refreshing granny smith parfait, I pitied my mother and sister, who felt they could not eat much more than the tarte tatin (what have I become!)
Being my birthday, I was also presented with an ice cream with a candle in it, served with a whispering of happy birthday by the waiter; as to not disrupt the peaceful equilibrium of the dining room.
The service team were flawless. It seemed as if there was an individual waiter for each and every part of the meal, including the butter and the opening of the bathroom door.
I was then asked if I wanted to go into the kitchen, an offer I gladly obliged to. Meeting world renowned Clare Smyth was a lovely way to end the night, and I left on a high.
While the food perhaps disappointed, the overall experience, with the excellent service and the small details that were effortlessly undertaken, made my first Michelin adventure beyond anything I had ever experienced before.
I would recommend Gordon Ramsey’s flagship restaurant if you’re looking for the textbook Michelin experience, however I feel there are far more exciting and innovating restaurants around at the moment (I will be revealing those in future blogs). Although if from a restaurant you were looking for a specific bathroom door attendant, then it would gain my highest recommendation. In fact I feel slightly bitter that I have to open my own doors nowadays!
In fairness, the fact that I still remember the experience from last year so vividly, is testament to the special occasion that it truly was, despite a few mishaps with the food.
Food – 6.5/10
Service – 10/10
Toilets – 5/10
Overall – 7/10 – Almost certainly would have been lower if I was paying!
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my first ever review. Please feel free to comment on how I can improve for the next time.
My next review will be published on the 21st December (I thought I’d give you all an early Christmas present). I shall be reviewing Trinity in Clapham and giving my view as to whether it deserves its first coveted Michelin star.