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Test Driving Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy - a little gem of a hotel restaurant

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewThis is pretty much the whole restaurant, so you're in for a very personal evening. 

What do we need to know about Restaurant 1890 By Gordon Ramsay?

The name explains who's behind it, so really what you're after is some information on the restaurant itself. This is Gordon's third restaurant at The Savoy - he already runs The Savoy Grill and the more recently taken-over River Room. Now he's opened a bijoux little restaurant (with room for just 26 diners) that pays homage to the iconic chef Georges Auguste Escoffier who came to work for The Savoy in - you guessed it - 1890.

Where is it?

Good question. You'll find it nestling above The Savoy Grill (the space actually used to be the grill's private dining room). To find it, take the stairs to the left of the lobby as you enter, following the signs to the American Bar. The entrance to 1890 is to the left before you reach the bar.

What about drinks beforehand?

The restaurant here actually has a decent sized bar of its own, but given that the American Bar is right next door that would be our first recommendation. That's one of London's top bars and is definitely a place to visit if you're on the hunt for Londo's best cocktails. It is, however, closed for the next few weeks but when it reopens that's where we'd suggest you start your visit.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewThe separate bar at the entrance to Restaurant 1890

Are there any particularly good place to sit?

There's a nice booth-like table for four as you enter the restaurant, but if you're dining a-deux then hands-down the tables to go for are by the window. There, you overlook the hotel's entrance and it gives you the best people-watching perch you could ever imagine.

So, what kind of food are they serving up here?

This is fine dining and the restaurant is open for dinner only, so you're here for the tasting menu - there's no other option. But while it's firmly in linen tablecloth territory, the clue comes in their own description as "contemporary fine dining" - so we found the experience very relaxed.

The menu itself is £110 per person. For that, you get 10 courses including canapes to start and petit fours to finish. It's very much a seasonally focused offering, so the menu we tried was already markedly different to that which it opened with only two months ago.

Without spoiling the whole experience for you - here are some of our dinner's highlights.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewFollowing a plateful of pretty canapes, the bread course really sets the scene, featuring a teacup of roast chicken consomme with wild garlic and a batch of the tastiest mini parker house rolls we've ever had.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewWinter tomato royale turned out to be a savoury custard topped with fresh young peas, shaved Iberico and mint - a bowl of spring was how our waiter described it.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewWild garlic Hollandaise with asparagus and morels - this had been a dish of Jerusalem artichokes just a week before its transformation to make the most of Britain's spring larder.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewTurbot Veronique served with a Champagne and caviar beurre blanc. Escoffier invented Sole Veronique here in London (although not at The Savoy). Here it's been given a bit of a luxury uplift to great effect.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewAberdeen Angus short rib with artichokes, roast onions and a sauce Bordelaise. "You could eat that with a spoon" our waitress told us - and she was right. However, we'd have preferred our meat course to have had more contact with a grill or pan for that chargrilled note.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewBlood orange parfait with chocolate and cardamom - this is executive chef James Sharp's homage to his own favourite sweet treat, a Terry's Chocolate Orange.

What about wine?

We handed the choice over to our wonderfully capable sommelier Emmanuel. There are three wine pairing options you can go for (in addition to just picking a glass or bottle from the extensive list). The Discovery option is £90 per person and there's also an Escoffier Eternal Elegance option for those unhindered by budgetary restraints which is an eye watering £1890 per person and offers such treats as a glass of 1996 Petrus into the mix. For us, Emmanuel went down the Fine Wine pairing route which is £210 per person. We're still thinking about that 2018 bottle of Pera Manca Branco from Portugal alng with the 2007 Charles Heidseick Blanc De Millenaires.

Restaurant 1890 by Gordon Ramsay at The Savoy reviewRestaurant 1890's sommelier Emmanuel did a fine job of the wine pairing.

Overall thoughts

There's something quite special about this new addition to Ramsay's stable of restaurants. Maybe it's the size of the restaurant, tucked away from the crowds but with great views over the hotel's entrance. The staff certainly contributed a lot - they managed to walk that fine line between formality and casual, effortlessly. But the food was the real star here; if you enjoy unfussy but fine dining this is a great place to try for a special occasion.

 

More about Restaurant 1890

Where is it? The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EU

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @restaurant1890gordonramsay.

Book Restaurant 1890

Hot Dinners dined as guests of Restaurant 1890. Prices correct at time of publication.

  

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