Harden's survey result
“Elegance… discreet service… classic French cuisine – they never go out of fashion”, and nowhere else in London can match Michel Roux Jr’s “grande dame of the London restaurant scene” for “perfect, old-school Gallic gastronomy”. Founded (on Sloane Street) in 1967 by his father Albert, this famous culinary temple has operated in Mayfair just around the corner from the former US embassy since 1982 and with MasterChef-maestro Michel at the stoves since 1991. Menus (with no prices in the lady’s version) are perused in the smallish ground floor lounge, before descending to the “dark and moody basement with its elaborate table ornaments”. To a few doubters the style is too “stuffy and formal” (or, alternatively, too dated and 1980s-tastic) – but to most visitors (some of whom are regulars of many decades’ standing) the milieu makes it “one of the capital’s best dining rooms, setting the perfect scene for any posh liaison”; with “soft furnishings and a layout that means one may hear and converse in quiet and relative privacy; and where it’s refreshing to find the standard of dress amongst the patrons still includes a suit and tie”. “Attention to detail and personal enjoyment shows in every aspect of the experience”: cooking is “superbly judged both in its selection and preparation”, and the “wine list is the work of an afternoon – hugely pleasurable to read and to attempt to absorb its width and variety!”. “Smooth, unobtrusive service” under maître d’ Emmanuel Landré, is “impeccable” – “ideally pitched from when you step through the door to the final farewell”; and Michel (usually in attendance) “is a charmer as well as a brilliant chef”, with “the personal visit from Le Patron making a special meal very special”. The bill? “It’s barely affordable, but worth saving for”: “a classic example of the rule, ‘you get what you pay for’ and, while expensive, good value for money”. Top Tip – “the renowned set lunch deserves every bit of its reputation”: “perhaps the best value prix fixe deal in town” and “always a top experience”.
“When everywhere else seems forced to bow to fashion and follow the latest trend, Le Gavroche sails serenely on, delighting those who appreciate the true heart and spirit of gastronomy!!” Michel Roux Jr’s Mayfair “haute cuisine temple” (here since 1982, founded by his father Albert in Chelsea in 1967) may “in some respects reflect an earlier era of fine dining”, with its “fabulous” Gallic cuisine (“superb Omelette Rothschild”, “soufflé Suissesse to die for!”…), but that merely reinforces its position as “an absolute favourite” for its massive following, who confirm that “every mouthful is a delight”. “Very warm and welcoming staff have absolutely nailed the balance in service, friendliness and knowledge” and – especially for a basement – the very “grown up” dining room is supremely “cosy, luxurious and celebratory”. “As well as top notch food, the wine list is spectacular and although there are oligarch-friendly, five-figure bottles, if you look there are some gems for those willing and able to pay more for a special wine”. And “the great man’s regular presence is one of the special things about Le Gavroche” – “Michel told us some of the history of the restaurant and really made us welcome!” A visit is a second-mortgage job, of course, but there’s a “marvellous value set lunch (even if you do have to book it three months in advance)”.
“A well-oiled, old-school machine that still delivers!” The Roux dynasty’s Mayfair icon “never goes out of fashion” to its army of fans for whom it’s “simply the best”. Founded in Chelsea in 1967, it moved to its current “cosy” site round the corner from the American Embassy in 1982, and even if the occasional reporter “wishes it wasn’t in a basement” the general effect “oozes class and charm”. Michel Roux Jr succeeded his father at the helm in 1991, and “the regular presence of the great man himself adds value; he takes time with his customers and actually talks!” (Currently his daughter Emily is being primed as next in line.) The Gallic cuisine – under head chef Rachel Humphrey – is “rich and sumptuous”, while the “polished but un-condescending” service under Emanuel Landré is “almost other-worldly good”. “A hefty chunk out of the wallet” is of course de rigueur, but even so gripes about “arm-and-a-leg” bills increased this year, contributing to the food grade missing a 5/5 for the first time in a few years. Top Tip – “The fixed price lunch menu is still the best deal in London!”
London’s oldest temple of Gallic gastronomy narrowly missed the No. 1 slot in this year’s survey, but for its legions of fans remains “the absolute pinnacle of fine dining”. Established by Albert Roux nearly 50 years ago (and run by his son, Michel Roux Jr for the last 25), its hallmark style combines “richly indulgent” cuisine (overseen by head chef Rachel Humphrey) and an “astonishing, predominantly French wine list”, served in a “classy” if “dated”, “’70s-France” basement setting, while it follows a pleasing, “slightly anachronistic” formula (“jackets required for men, ladies’ menus don’t have prices”). “Ever-attentive, charming and unostentatious” staff add further to the experience, as does the “accessibility and personal attention” of the main man, who is much in evidence. The price? – best not to ask, but the set lunch is “stonking value”. Top Menu Tip – soufflé Suissesse.
Le Gavroche Restaurant Diner Reviews
"An outstanding experience!!! We had the tasting menu and the wine tasting, as well. The service was impeccable as was the preparation of each course. There were some dishes that one of us would not choose, and they quickly substituted. Expensive but an excellent dining event."
"Sublime food in a wonderful dining room. Just classically brilliant. Friendly, efficient service. Massive wine list with huge array of choice. Rightly, Le Gavroche is a consistently praised and evangelised London establishment."
"Enjoyed a wonderful taster menu. Fantastic service, when we booked we advised we may need to bring our baby so they offered us the private dining room for free"
"We went for the menu "exceptionel" with some lovely dishes one or two superb some great some ok. Highlight was the dessert and the cheese choices less exciting was the lamb course. The squab pigeon was delicious as was the fish and scallop but not hugely memorable. Toilets clean and well presented. Staff polite and efficient but wow what a lot of them"
"it's still as good at ever"
"Simply faultless lunchtime experience serving French classics and deserving of it's Michelin 2 star rating. This place delivers such a great feel good factor in terms of the combination of delicious food, impeccable service and a smart but by no means stuffy ambience and for an esteemed Mayfair restaurant with such a pedigree. I felt the cost for the midweek set lunch was worth every penny. If you are lucky, Michel Roux may even appear and visit you at your table. You can tell, this great man really puts his heart and soul into maintaining the high standards you would hope for in such a revered establishment. It does not disappoint!"
43 Upper Brook St, London, W1K 7QR
|Tuesday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑10 pm|
|Saturday||6 pm‑10 pm|