Where: Soho, W1D
When: 10/11/12 (open for lunch/dinner Mon – Sat)
Cost: £70 per person (tasting menu)
Sometimes a little indulgence is exactly what’s needed, particularly when it’s been a tough week. It was definitely with this in mind that we set off for an extravagant meal at Gauthier in Soho, a French restaurant devised by head chef Alexis Gauthier.
Upon entering the restaurant (located in a Regency townhouse) we felt immediately cared for by the considerable staff, who led us into an intimate dining room.
With sweet autumnal pumpkins dotted around the tables, and an original fireplace, the room avoided typical fine dining sterility. The staff were constantly attentive, without being overbearing, and we felt completely at ease to enjoy our evening, without a care in the world.
Having salivated over the menu online in advance, we both decided to go for the 8 course tasting menu (after sampling delicious aperitifs). What followed was an exceptional gastronomic journey with delightful dishes ranging from foie gras to monkfish and venison. The star of the menu was the risotto, with creamy rice and significant shavings of black truffle delivered at the table; this really was wonderful. The two deserts were also delicious, especially the Mandarin dish, which delivered the flavour equivalent of a piano, with each note singing.
Slight downsides to the night were a draft from the cold night outside, and a noisy hen party in one of the fine dining rooms upstairs which spoilt the ambiance somewhat. We also felt the service was a little slow towards the end of the night – we arrived at 7.30 and didn’t leave until 11pm. However, these are minor quibbles about an otherwise wonderful meal.
The restaurant is beautiful and the cooking sublime. Having recently heard that Gauthier has lost its Michelin star we can’t understand why, as it equally compares (if not surpasses) many of the best restaurants in London. Don’t let that put you off booking.