Review of 'maze (NOW CLOSED)'

One of the legendary restaurants owned by Gordon Ramsey, maze is located on the beautiful Grosvenor Square (also home of the American embassy) in a diminutive Georgian terrace that you could easily pass by without noticing (well, perhaps except for the doorman). Inside the main restaurant is to the left while the “maze grill” is to the right. The restaurant is very simply decorated and, we noticed, quite noisy.

We were very lucky to be able to visit using a special offer where we had four courses for £30 but even normally they do offer a six course menu for £65 which is surprisingly good value for a restaurant with one Michelin star (even the a la carte menu was not TOO unbelievable)…We were also incredibly lucky to be at the restaurant just days before the head chef, Jason Atherton, moved on to start his own restaurant.

The food was, in a word, fantastic! After ordering we were given lovely bread, both brown (multi-grain) and white with a lovely light butter. Very tasty indeed with both of us agreeing that the multi-grain was the star of that small side-show.

We both started with a nettle and broad-bean soup with free-range chicken. It was brought to the table with the meat (including crispy skin) alone in the middle of the bowl which they then poured the nettle soup on the top. The chicken was moist and extremely tasty while the soup was a lovely rich, but light (if that makes sense) affair…We both had the pork belly which was served on a plate along with extra crispy skin with a small side bowl of Parmesan risotto. The risotto was the best I have ever had, so creamy and rich it was unbelievable. The pork, if anything, was a bit plain but lovely and moist with the crispy skin on top. At this point, we differed in our dishes, as I went for the pigeon which was quite pleasant if a bit tough (but perfectly cooked). My companion had the trout which was served cold in a bit of a salad but, even though she is not a fan of sashimi, she said was absolutely lovely. My desert was a light white chocolate mousse with mango and an odd, but pleasant, sweet olive sauce that I applied myself using the supplied eye dropper…My companion had the rice pudding with dark chocolate, orange marmalade and ice-cream which she said was truly heavenly. After desert we were offered several small petite-fours which were quite pleasant with lovely sweet, salty flavours in the small samplers of chocolates, fudge and jelly.

The food is delightfully tasty with all flavours blending perfectly. No matter what the dish it always seems to be light and yet, at the end of the meal, we both felt quite full. The richness of the food is incredible.

The service throughout was incredible and the waiters were very pleasant indeed – Present only when required and talked only when required but still very nice. I only had a minor complaint that they included service in the bill as I would have wanted to give them slightly more than they had added…

All in all, one of the best meals either of us have ever had. Perfect in almost every respect save for the slightly noisy interior. It seems likely we will be visiting again in the future…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2010-05-08

Cuisine: French

Address: 10 - 13 Grosvenor Square, London ENGLAND W1K 6JP

Public Transport: TUBE Bond Street

Location: London (England) - Mayfair



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