The Samovar

Stomach expansion
April 11, 2007, 1:45 am
Filed under: Food

Readers of my old blog will remember that I went to visit the Fat Duck on poker winnings. Well, more poker has been won, and tonight Alastair and I went to visit Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in London. For those of you not in the know, the Fat Duck and Gordon Ramsay are two of the three best restaurants in England (those with three Michelin stars), the other one being the Waterside Inn at Bray (a report will follow when we get round to it, but more poker needs to be played first). We opted for the (nominally) seven course tasting menu (which actually featured rather more courses). We just got back and we’re rather full. For those who like such things, here is what we had:


  • Cornetto with aubergine mousse and courgette flowers, topped with caviar
  • Mozeralla balls with parmesan and pesto

Amuse-bouche: Breakfast plate


  • Mushroom stuffed with mushroom mousse
  • Pork crackling with bacon
  • Duck egg shell, with beans, scrambled egg, tomato froth

Alastair enjoying it:



  • Ballotine of foie gras with pickled vegetables and camomile reduction (also note: featured some rather tasty truffle action)

Here’s me about to tuck in – note, this is one of the very few times you will see me with a tie, so enjoy it.



  • Lobster ravioli with lobster reduction, sun dried tomato


  • Alastair had: Fillet of line caught halibut with coriander, ginger pappardelle and passion fruit butter sauce


  • Dan had: Pan fried line caught sea bass with roasted baby violet artichokes, borlotti beans and a cep veloute


  • Roasted fillet of Northumberland beef, kohlrabi, horseradish cream, truffle and root vegetable infusion

Beef fillets were on top of something of beef cheek and savoy cabbage. Kohlrabi is a sort of root vegetable a bit like turnip. The ‘vegetable infusion’ was a beef consomme with truffles. It was poured over the dish, and also served in a tea cup alongside. The horseradish cream was mashed potato and horseradish served separately in a sort of copper pan.Here’s me about to drink some of my beef consomme:


And the beef close-up:



  • Creme brulee (not actually brulee) with lemongrass, raspberry.
  • Pineapple and Champagne soup with chilli and fromage frais


Yep – you slurp it through a straw.


  • Alastair had: Granny Smith parfait with honeycomb and chocolate brownie.
  • Dan had: Raspberry and lemon millefeuille with basil, lime and milk ice-cream.


  • Bitter chocolate space-balls on a stick
  • Rosewater Turkish delight
  • Strawberry ice cream with white chocolate shell, served on liquid nitrogen base


Update for Ed: a close up of those puddings in that last picture




I see that your tie didn’t make it to the main course. 😉

So… how much did it cost?

Comment by azahar

You know what, stuff ties! The only reason I was wearing the durn suit is because they have a policy about smartness. When I got there, nobody else was wearing a tie except me and Alastair so I took the uncomfortable damn thing off and enjoyed myself much better for it. 🙂

I’m not sure I should publicly admit to how much it cost… If you must know, you can google for the restaurant and look up the ‘Menu Prestige’ and add a bit for drinks and tip.

Comment by thesamovar

Yes, one of the many reasons I’m glad to be a woman – no ties required. 🙂

Re: the cost – you could pop me an email with the scary amount. As you don’t drink wine I expect it would be considerably cheaper than if I ate there. Also, what’s the going percentage for a tip these days?

Re: the food. Some of it looked rather intriguing and it all sounded wonderful, though I don’t actually enjoy desserts much myself, let alone having three of them!

Comment by azahar

I’d have loved to have seen a picture of the ‘liquid nitrogen base’. When I was at school, our Science Society had a visit from a university chemist who did all sorts of tricks that definitely wouldn’t pass H&S these days:
– Dropping an egg in liquid N2 before throwing it against a wall.
– Dipping a cigar in liquid O2 and then setting light to it!!!
In fact, I doubt they’d even let you have liquid O2 anywhere near a school. Let alone a cigar.

As for ties…I’ve been in the vanguard of the tieless movement @ work. Gradually everyone else has started coming in dressed as an opposition politician (see ‘The Thick of It’). The other week, I even gave a conference paper sans tie.

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

Ed – new picture added for you at the end of the entry. Sadly, it’s not very clear. It was a bit gimmicky (and totally nicked from the Fat Duck – see the entry I linked to at the top of this page) – just a bowl with liquid nitrogen in it, with a cover over it with a number of small ‘air holes’ with the chocolate/strawberry balls sitting in some of those holes. It looked kinda cool though with the billowing and all (doesn’t come out in the photo sadly).

And three cheers for your tieless movement! 🙂

Comment by thesamovar

I’d imagined something like the stuff that Kenneth Willians drank in ‘Carry On Screaming’.

As for tie-wearers…string ’em up!

That said, I had to wear a tie today on account of how I wanted to look like an upstanding member of the community. All will be blogged…imminently. Hopefully within a week.

Comment by Edward the Bonobo

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I dream about having a meal like that!WOW, that is all I can say. Who said money can’t buy you happiness – even if it is only one meal!

Comment by Rosemary

I haven’t worn a tie since I stopped going to Witness meetings (except for the Witness funeral I went to last week), but I actually like them. It’s the one spot of colour. There was (is?) a fashion for colourful patterned shirts and plain ties, but I resisted it.

As for the food, drool.


Comment by Timothy (TRiG)

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