Posts Tagged ‘Maze’

Maze – constrained by design

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Maze has a very specific dining style. It focuses on smaller tasting sized dishes. It is definitely not a place to visit for a hearty lunch.

We chose from the 4 course set menu, going for 3 savory dishes and 1 dessert along with a flight of wine.  I remember enjoying the flights from an earlier visit, they work well in that they consist of one white, one red and one dessert wine. They were very good wines of the sort that would work well with most food selections, rather than being specifically matched to individual dishes.

One of the constraints we found at Maze was that the dishes were delivered in the order of the menu, which means you can find yourself starting with a meat dish and finishing with a fish dish. Another constraint is that the set menu is not very extensive, so even when it is just two people dining, you can not avoid having duplicate dishes. They are just served in a different order, as you can see from our example:-

1st diner had:

Course 1 – Pressed confit duck and foie gras, Waldorf salad

Course 2 – Braised veal shin, rocket pesto, white onion risotto

Course 3 – Loch Duart salmon, fondue of leek, vinaigrette of brown shrimps, horseradish

2nd diner had:

Course 1 – Braised veal shin, rocket pesto, white onion risotto

Course 2 – Loch Duart salmon, fondue of leek, vinaigrette of brown shrimps, horseradish

Course 3 – Szechuan-spiced Suffolk pork belly, chilli apple purée, bok choy

I have to admit that I found it a bit strange to be eating a dish that my companion was about to have as his next course. It did mean though that we could be in 100% agreement on the standout dish – the rather stunning Loch Duart salmon, with its wonderful flavour and texture combinations.

For dessert we both chose the attractively presented Hazelnut parfait, cherry sorbet and griotte cherries.

Alex Marks formally of the Foliage is head chef here now following Jason Athertons departure to open his own restaurant (Pollen Street Social) and we had hoped that perhaps Alex would bring in some of the artistic and culinary style we experienced at the Foliage. He was not in the kitchen on our visit, but it did rather seem as though the concept of Maze would perhaps be a bit too restrictive to allow that.

However despite the constraints and dainty portions, I have to say we did rather enjoy our lunch at Maze.

Marks out of 10

Food 7.1

Service 6.3

Ambience 6.5

Maze on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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

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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

What’s coming next ?

The restaurants on our list for the next couple of months include some old and some new :-

LONDON – ENGLAND

  • Chez Bruce – Making a return visit, just because it’s so good.
  • Chor Bizarre – A new venue for us, reviewing the branch in Mayfair, not the one in Delhi or Noida ;)
  • La Trompette - Making a return visit after a gap of a couple of years to this Nigel Platts-Martins restaurant in Chiswick.
  • Launceston Place – Making a return visit after a gap of almost two years to Tristan Welch’s restaurant in Kensington.
  • Maze - Making a return visit,  Alex Marks formally of the Foliage has replaced Jason Atherton as head chef.
  • Morton’s Club – Making a  return visit to this exclusive private members club.
  • Roux at Parliament Square – A lunch time visit for a change.
  • Seven Park Place by William Drabble – A first time visit to this highly acclaimed restaurant in St James Club and Hotel.
  • Trinity – A first time vist to this Clapham Restaurant, its has been on the wish list for a while.

NEW SOUTH WALES – AUSTRALIA

  • Rick Stein at Bannisters – Our Australian correspondent visited Ricks restaurant in Cornwall a couple of years ago so should be in a good position to see how the Australian outpost compares.  Apparently it’s a tad warmer there than Padstow.
  • Quay – One of the Sydney’s top restaurants.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – Royal Hospital Road

Friday, January 9th, 2009

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