Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gordon Ramsay's Boxwood Cafe - 25 April 2007

Gosh it's been a while since our last BWL afternoon. In fact this is only the second to feature on this blog. We did actually go to Brian Turner's at the Millennium Hotel before this blog started, and that was *excellent* let me tell you. The Boxwood had a lot to beat.

So, this restaurant is joined to the Berkeley Hotel, in a rather natty location in Knightsbridge by Hyde Park. It's smart, but it's downstairs, so you don't get natural light for the majority of the tables. However the decor is very well done - tasteful bold dark wood, leather, cactusy table decs, well chosen silverware. Extremely well trained staff (ten points for them) who were unobtrusive but there immediately you needed them.
We were a little early so had a quick snifter at the bar, which gave us time to check out the place, including the facilities. As Magoo says, they are always a giveaway of a place and these were splendid. *:)

Right, I suppose we should discuss the food. Starters were fresh asparagus with peas and broad beans for Magoo, and queenie scallops for me. Mum grows asparagus in the garden so I know when it's fresh, and this stuff was absolutely excellent - sweet and tender. My scallops ranked a 9 on the toe-curlingly good scale - in their shells on a cast iron dish of pressed sea salt, under the grill with a cheesy sauce, with little slivers of apple to give it sweetness and freshness... Mmm mmm.
Mains - Dedham Vale beef was 'top dollar' (I quote), tender and succulent, and roast suckling pig, two golden slices with perfect crackling, was scrumptious (although the grain mustard sauce was poss a little salty for me). We loved the entry in the bill for mine (excerpt below):

Yes I am that greedy guts.

Pudding... oh, pudding. Magoo had vanilla and gingerbread cheesecake, I went for the chocolate fondue. Cheesecake light and fluffy but bijou portions, fondue was a little cauldron of dark melted chocolate sauce. Oh yes, all for me. With marshmallows and fruit and biscotti to dunk in it. Oh for a larger stomach.

So, all in all an excellent lunch, well done Gordon and all involved. Great flavours, extremely well planned restaurant (down to the enth degree - just watch them change a table cloth!), relaxed atmosphere, great location to wander out for a post-prandial around the Serpentine.

9/10 Well worth a booking.

(But I'm going to give the Millennium a 9.2)


Two G&Ts in the bar

Baked queenie scallops with sea urchin butter, bittercress and apple
Special asparagus, garden peas and broad beans

Roasted loin of suckling pig with garlic roasted potatoes and grain mustard sauce
Red wine braised shoulder of Dedham Vale beef with mashed potato, roasted carrots and baby spinach
Green beans with walnuts
Australian red - Heartland (can't remember the grape but it was great - cherry fruity and oaky at the same time)

Vanilla and gingerbread cheesecake with berries
Valrhona hot chocolate fondue, marshmallows, biscotti and bananas
Tea - English Breakfast and Jasmine Green
£161 inc service

Boxwood Cafe
The Berkeley, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL
Tel: 020 7235 1010

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