When we recently published the news – Gordon Ramsay Group appoints George Lyon as Head Chef of London House – at the production stage we had to look more that twice to make sure we had things right. The image of George Lyon on first view looked very much like a young Gordon Ramsay.
But was it just us? We took the discussion to Twitter, tweeting is this @GordonRamsay in disguise? The replies to the tweet, and there were unsurprisingly more than a few agreed whole heartedly. Gordon Ramsay himself replied with “The boy can cook! He reminds me of myself so much, back in the good old days of Aubergine”. Quite some compliment! So we just had to book a table and find out, so we did there and then on Twitter.
So on a bright sunny Easter Monday we set off for London House in Battersea, SW London. Traveling from Ascot by train to Clapham Junction was an easy 45 minute journey and then a 15 minute walk from the station.
On arrival the restaurant is neatly nestled in the courtyard of its neighbour’s and presents an inviting frontage. As you enter the interior has clean, tidy lines and an open and intimate feel at the same time. You are immediately welcomed and invited to relax with a drink before taking your table, so we ordered drinks and sat outside before lunch to enjoy the Battersea sun.
Bread was served while we looked at the lunch menu and we had to try not to eat too much of it. The menu features modern European dishes inspired by seasonal ingredients using market-led British produce. Four of us were lunching and a unanimous decision on starters, mussels, garlic butter and charred sourdough.
When the dishes arrived they were steaming hot sending a lovely aroma around the table, someone clearly knows where to source mussels and someone definitely knows how to cook them. All were open and all were plump and delicious, two of us promptly asked for more bread to mop up the broth and all four agreed we had made a good choice.
For main course two of us ordered grilled lemon sole, samphire, brown butter and shrimp. The fish was cooked perfectly and forked off the bones with ease. The samphire was crisp with just the right level of saltiness and complimented by the brown butter and shrimp.
One of us went for the confit duck, dressed lentil ragout and pancetta and the other roast lamb, calcot onion and artichokes.
Both dishes were cooked well especially the lamb which was medium rare and just the right shade of pink. We shared two bottles of Merlot that agreed well with all our selections, soft and velvety and very easy drinking.
Only one of us selected a dessert and that was the British cheese selection, three cheeses that went oh so well with the last of the Merlot.
So our verdict…
The front of house team are excellent, friendly and helpful in equal measure. The ingredients sourcing coupled with the cooking by George Lyon and brigade made for a very enjoyable lunch indeed. But then we did expect as much from someone who reminds Gordon Ramsay of himself in the good old days of Aubergine. We will be back soon.
Thank you George and team
Denis Sheehan, Publisher, Hospitality & Catering News