El Raco d’en Freixa – playing with your food!

On our last trip to Barcelona, we had planned to spend the Saturday evening at Moo, but could not get a table, so at short notice via toptable I made a reservation at El Raco d’en Freixa instead.

When we arrived we were taken through the attractive front room, past the Kitchen into the rather dull small backroom, yes it looked like we had got the worst table in the Restaurant.

As we often do when we first try a restaurant we went for the tasting menu. The food here is “fun” as the chef likes to play with your preconceptions.  The meat course looks like a dessert, and the desert looks like meat etc. The highlight was “the burger!”.

The biggest surprise was not the food however, it was the guest at the next table who got up and came over to speak to us. Talk about a small world, it was Markus Lindner, the restaurant Manager of the Foliage in London. He was also there as a second choice, when he could not get  into Comerc 24 on the Saturday evening, so definitely a touch of serendipity there.

Update : February 2009 – El Raco d’en Freixa has now been replaced by FREIXA Tradicio.

Marks out of 10

Food 6.5

Service 6

Ambience 6  the front room, 2 in the back room

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – Barcelona, Spain

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – Royal Hospital Road

Must do a return visit to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – Royal Hospital Road, maybe once the credit crunch is over.  On my first visit I was pleasantly surprised how low key and unpretentious this place was, as all really good restaurants tend to be. The staff were highly professional and friendly.

The food here was off a high standard – do not confuse this place with other Gordon Ramsay outposts like :-

  • Boxwood Cafe – which on my visit served up fairly boring food on chipped china!
  • Claridges –  which has 1 Michelin star that I do not think it merits. This is based on my own experience and reports from friends, the conclusion being that the food in Claridges is quite ordinary and the service leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Maze – which does provide good food and wines, but is let down by the casual style of service and the room, which is far too big and somewhat  lacking in ambience.

Royal Hospital Road however is the real deal – haute cuisine at its finest. When we were there the man himself was actually in the kitchen (this must be a rarity now with all his TV work). The wines are also top quality, I had a stunning Gewurztraminer to accompany my Fois Gras. We over ordered on the dessert front though, as after a lovely light pre-dessert, we elected to share a rather large tarte tatin (we had spotted one at the next table and it looked so good), and some how managed to find room for the lovely petit fours too. We left the restaurant fully satisfied and off the opinion that this place seriously rivaled our then favorite restaurant Pied a terre.

Marks out of 10

Food – 8.8

Service 9

Ambience 7

Gordon Ramsay on Urbanspoon

UPDATE  April  2010 : The Boxwood Cafe is now closed and Claridges has lost its star.

UPDATE November 2010 : A friends recent visit to Royal Hospital Road, confirmed that the restaurant is still delivering outstanding traditional french haute cuisine and first class service.

LOCATION INFORMATION
Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

The Capital – post Christmas treat

The Capital had been on my wish list for ages.  I certainly did not expect to get a booking at a few days notice, especially for lunch on the Saturday after Christmas.  However if you do not try, you do not get.  One email reply later and we were all set.  The down side was that the only choice seemed to be the a la carte menu.

I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the room, it is small and quite intimate.

The style of food was pretty conventional – classic french cuisine.  One standout was a herring fish course, the flavour was so strong and distinct.

The matching wines were also first rate, even if they did push the price up quite dramatically. Overall it was a superb meal.

Update: Since our visit the Chef and a number of his team have left.

Marks out of 10

Food 8

Service 7.5

Ambience 7.5

LOCATION INFORMATION

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

Hello foodie world!

Welcome to the No Expert food blog.   Our reviews cover restaurants, cafes, products and food related events. The opinions on these pages are our own or those of our dining companions. We’re not food experts that can describe the ins and outs of cooking techniques and ingredients so don’t expect autopsies on every dish we’ve ever eaten.  What we do know is what we like.

Not everyone will agree but we hope you might find our culinary experiences useful as some of these restaurants can be very expensive and maybe we will save you some time and money by avoiding the disappointing and recommending the very best.

No Expert has relocated to Kent, so you will now see us focusing on some of the excellent eating establishments and food related events in “The Garden of England”.

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