October 2019: Gordon Ramsay's maze grill has been quietly relaunched as Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill, featuring minimum 35-day aged steaks.
Harden's survey result
Neighbouring maze has gone, replaced by Lucky Cat, but Gordon Ramsay’s 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’s Royal Hospital Road (near the GR mothership): reports similarly are few, with a verdict of tolerable but mixed.
If it were not one of the restaurants that propelled Gordon Ramsay to fame (and also its erstwhile chef, Jason Atherton) – and if it wasn’t at the heart of a posh postcode – we would have long ago dropped this hotel grill room in Mayfair: it attracts precious little feedback nowadays, all of it disappointing.
“Very disappointing… not great flavours… came out hungry and went for something to eat afterwards!” – Gordon Ramsay’s Mayfair grill is not without its fans, but yet again incites too many harsh criticisms to justify a recommendation.
“Wouldn’t bother again” is a typical reaction to Gordon Ramsay’s “overpriced” Mayfair grill, where even the most positive report says “there’s better meat to be had elsewhere”. Having once been one of the hottest tickets in town, this is a prime example of ‘how have the mighty fallen’…
|Wine per bottle||£32.00|
Maze Grill W1
The latest addition to the Gordon Ramsay stable, this Mayfair steak-specialist offers food of consistently high quality; prices are high, though, and neither the setting nor (in the early days) the service really measures up.
Fans of Maze - the Mayfair petits-plats joint which has made quite a name for Jason Atherton - will know that to gain entrance you turn left after ascending the stairs from Grosvenor Square. Well, now you can turn right too, and still be in Maze-land, albeit in an area with a semi-distinct identity.
That area, which was formerly a rather unhappy bar space for the Marriott Hotel, has now been turned into a rather unhappy restaurant space. It's admittedly light and bright, but it's oddly proportioned, and our bare table for two felt squeezed, pizzeria-style, in between the adjacent diners.
In this latest outpost of the Gordon Ramsay empire, service was also not quite as slick as one might have hoped, principally because there was no real feeling that anyone 'owned' our table. And isn't this supposed to be an American-style establishment? Why does the 'still or sparkling' tyranny still prevail here? Why was our request for 'tap' met with a tiny moue of displeasure? Why did we have to request menus both at the beginning of the meal and for pudding? And why was service soooo slow?
Having said all of this, the individual staff were generally charming, and trying hard. And a family with two toddlers was not in any way treated as if they were second class citizens.
The food is generally beyond reproach. Go for lunch (£18 for three courses), and we doubt you'll have a better meal in London for the price: not bad for the heart of Mayfair! It might be the likes of pÃ¢té de campagne, sea bass with real flavour (for once) and a generous and creamy rice pudding.
You don't, however, see much of the house-speciality steak on the set menu, which is a shame, as - finished on a broiler specially imported from the US - they are top quality affairs, perfectly cooked. Hit the meat, though, and you'll soon realise that you're in hedge fund territory: steaks start around the £20 mark, and prices quickly head for the stars.
Money doesn't mean much round here, and we suspect this relatively small establishment fills a gap for homesick Americans and others who may not begrudge major bills for top-quality steak. Whether the all-round attractions of the place are otherwise sufficient to justify the prices, however, we're not quite so sure.
|Number of Diners:|
6.45 - 1am
Last orders: 11 pm