Le Gavroche is an aristocrat among restaurants and should be part of anyone’s education who seriously aspires to be a foodie. Initially opened in 1967 by Albert and Michel Roux, it was the first restaurant in the UK to be awarded three Michelin stars (it makes do very admirably with two these days) Chef-patron is Albert’s son, Michel Roux Jnr, former Masterchef Professional judge. Although the style is lighter, healthier and more modern these days, it remains one of the capital’s pinnacles of classical French haute cuisine. It’s the place to go for transporting, cossetting luxury and finely nuanced detailing from both the food and the dignified staff who understand the importance of making a meal memorable. Main dishes still arrive under cloches, and wines are decanted from a stupendous, predominantly French list proudly resided over by immensely knowledgeable staff. There are some anachronisms, men are expected to wear jackets and women are given menus without prices.
Le Gavroche stands out from the rest with its legendary menu, containing a range of high-end ingredients such as lobster and caviar. Every detail is expertly considered in their exquisite plating; guests can also experience intriguing nuances of Asian flavours or Middle Eastern spices within each dish. Indulge in succulent seared langoustines, tartare Galloway beef fillet, and wild turbot T Bone – all adorned with luxurious accompaniments to tantalize your taste buds!
Le Gavroche is most famous for its soufflés – both sweet and savoury. The ultra-cheesy, gruyere and double-cream soufflé Suissesse is memorably rich, and the apricot soufflé with Cointreau and ice cream added to the table is the stuff of dreams.
The all-inclusive “business prix fixe” lunch (though who would discuss contracts over such a treat?) is renowned as one of London’s best bargains, including canapés, petits-fours, three courses, half a bottle of wine, water and coffee too for £54.80.
A private dining room for six guests was added two years ago, but otherwise, the 70s French basement dining room remains unchanged in its elegance without the slightest nod to modernity in the décor and all the better for remaining in its time bubble. Long may it stay that way.