Harden's survey result
With the opening of Lucky Cat at the original maze site in Mayfair, the neighbouring maze Grill was also quietly killed off (RIP ‚Äď relaunched as the utterly unmemorably-named Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill). That leaves just two Chelsea spin-offs to bear the once-famous ‚Äėmaze‚Äô name: one on the site where the f-word chef first made his reputation, when it was called Aubergine (long RIP), and the other on Chelsea‚Äôs Royal Hospital Road (near the GR mothership). Reports similarly were few, with a verdict of tolerable but mixed.
Neighbouring maze has gone, replaced by Lucky Cat, but Gordon Ramsay‚Äôs hotel grill in Mayfair continues to plough on for the time being. Feedback is negligible compared with its heyday, but its posh grills inspired fewer disappointments this year. It also has a Chelsea spin-off on the site where the f-word chef first made his name, when it was called Aubergine (long RIP), and another on Chelsea‚Äôs Royal Hospital Road (near the GR mothership): reports similarly are few, with a verdict of tolerable but mixed.
For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).
Have you eaten at maze Grill Royal Hospital Road?
Foxtrot Oscar SW3
Gordon Ramsay's relaunch of a famous Chelsea bistro, now decorated in a rather chilly style somewhat resembling a '50s kitchen; it offers food of good-to-variable quality in a setting we found it impossible to like.
'Isn't this the sort of stuff people rip out?'¬Ě, said our guest. We don't think so: if you found a plasticised wall covering of the sort now gracing this relaunched Chelsea bistro, you'd probably have a preservation order slapped on it before you could rip it out. But quite why Gordon Ramsay's designer has decided that something resembling a '50s-kitchen aesthetic is what the relaunch of this celebrated bistro called for, it's difficult to say. It may convey efficiency, but it scores approximately nul points for cosiness or atmosphere.
So what has Ramsay - who, for those who live on Mars, is also proprietor of the three-Michelin-star gaff just down the road - actually contributed? Well, he's contributed Sarge. Mark Sergeant is the favoured Ramsay henchman who's been put in charge of spreading the Ramsay style (whatever that is) to the masses. This Mr Gastropub has - in a month where no gastropub is actually being 'rolled out' - been put in charge of Ramsay's first mid-market, non-pub bistro.
Well, if you have difficulty seeing the point of celeb-chef pubs (guilty milord), the point of the celeb-chef-backed local bistro really is totally invisible. Do you really want a local bistro which is so obviously a conceit of a big business empire? No. A place where the staff all look as if they're understudying for roles in grander restaurants elsewhere (which they almost certainly are)? No. A place where the food (if better than it used to be) has its ups and downs, but nothing that could really be said to resemble a heart? No. Well, we don't.
This is not an awful place by any means. But it's very difficult to see what it really adds to the London restaurant scene.
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lunch 12.30 pm - 2.30 pm, Sat 3.30, Sun 4 pm, dinner 7 pm - 11 pm
Last orders: 10 pm, Sun 9 pm