By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
Just a short walk from the Chelsea Embankment and Sloane Square, situated a couple of doors along from his eponymous three Michelin-starred restaurant, Gordon Ramsay’s latest London opening is the third branch of Maze Grill, following the Mayfair flagship and the Fulham restaurant which opened in April.
Unfortunately, during our lunchtime visit to the new opening we were surprised to have been the only couple dining within the 55-cover restaurant, with the exception of a couple of wealthy tourists. However, the fact that there’s little going on in the neighbourhood (compared to say Mayfair or Piccadilly Circus where another new-ish opening Heddon Street Kitchen operates) it seems as though the new opening is aimed more towards the locals that frequent the venue. Given the quality of the food that’s available, it seems a real shame that the weekday lunch service isn’t far busier.
Beginning with a round of opulent, expertly crafted cocktails – a Yuzu Sake Bellini and a classic Old Fashioned (which substitutes classic Whiskey for Rum) the meal starts on a high note. It’s clear that Mr Ramsay knows exactly how to put a compelling menu together, as demonstrated here. Starters can be chosen from the main “starters” section, a separate Sushi column, sharing small plates each priced at £4, or salads, while a selection of ten different Steaks forms the basis of the main menu. The roasted Tomato Soup is delectably rich and thick, topped with cheesy homemade Croutons to add another extra special feel. Meanwhile, the brand new Burrata dish, spiked with Marjoram and Mint, is so fresh that it feels as though it should act as a post-dinner palate cleanser.
Ranging from a British Native Breed 10oz Rump Steak (£18) right up to the Triple Seared Wagyu Fillet from the Rare Breeds section of the menu, amassing to a whopping £14.50 per-ounce, it’s clear that the Steaks are the main attraction at Maze Grill. Yet, in an act that feels almost rebellious, the Beef Cheek and Bone Marrow Pie (£21) is too damn hard to resist. Feeling as though I’m thumbing through an old issue of The Dandy comic as the Pie arrives, served with a hollowed-out bone that protrudes from the lid, allowing us to pour the Bone Marrow sauce directly into the Pie. The cheek is perfectly cooked, without a morsel of fatty gristle in sight, and the rich sauce helps to soften the short-crust Pastry base filled with an array of vegetables. The Herdwick Lamb Chops, although a little pricey at £24 (£6 each), are also satisfactory, served atop a chopping board with tangy Mint Sauce.
Leaving little space for desserts, it’s recommended that we sample the Monkey Bread to share (£12), working as a cross between a Tatan and Sticky Toffee Pudding, filled with Cinnamon and topped with Pecan nuts, covered in a burnt Caramel sauce. The result is very glutton friendly, although the lighter options of Brown Sugar Eton Mess or the frozen Lime Yoghurt would’ve worked as a better finale to an all-round delicious meal.
Overall, it would be fair to say that Maze Grill isn’t absolutely mind-blowing, but you’d be hard-pushed to find a better weekday lunch in this area, and for this price.
Maze Grill can be found at 79 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HN.