Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street restaurant opened two years ago and has seemed like a forgotten member of the celebrity chef’s portfolio. It is tucked away off of Regent Street and as yet, does not seem to have a true sense of identity. The interior is all harsh steel and overhanging pipes, transplanted modernity with a feel of trying a little bit too hard in searching for relevance. It’s a shame because if the type of food that is on the menu, a brasserie with lofty ambitions, could match the interior and the feel of the place, it would easier to feel that this was not an establishment looking to be loved.
The food is what provides the charm and the Kitchen Table Experience (£65 per person) showcased five courses of expertly crafted cuisine. The starters of scallops with carrot purée and treacle cured bacon, along with spicy tuna tartare with wonton crips and crème fraiche were very good indeed. Although scallops are a popular item on restaurant menus, they are not always treated with care. They can often be seared too quickly, leaving the insides with a squishy texture. Not on this occasion however, and they combined very well with the bacon. The tuna tartare was also delightful, elegantly prepared and very smooth.
The main course of beef Wellington was exactly the kind of dish that this establishment should be looking to do as it combines familiarity with the expert preparation that you would expect from a Gordon Ramsay eatery. It was accompanied with truffle parsley mash and crispy shallots. I was very taken with this dish as it was deceptively simple, taking something that is a well known favourite and yet making you feel like you’ve never had beef Wellington done like this before.
The best part of the meal however was the dessert course. As part of its summer menu, the restaurant has introduced an ice cream parlour with ice lollies that you can decorate in a variety of ways. And these are not just your regular ice lollies that you find stuck at the back of a freezer. These were ice lollies with such flavours as cherry, strawberry and the very leftfield salt and vinegar, which worked exceedingly well.
Heddon Street Kitchen is a restaurant that may take a while to find out what it truly is. At the moment, it serves great food but in surroundings that are mismatched to its menu. It is like the youngest child of a family thinking that it has to ape the grown up stylings of its older siblings, when all it needs to do is to concentrate on delivering exceptionally put together food.
Heddon Street Kitchen
3-9 Heddon Street