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Petrus - London

It just didn't meet our expectations.


Restaurant Category : French

A Gordon Ramsay restaurant, the Michelin starred Petrus in London offers contemporary French fine dining in a stylish setting. Located on Kinnerton Street, Petrus is just a few minutes’ walk from the Berkeley Hotel.

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Designed by Russell Sage, Petrus followed a color scheme of claret red, beige and silver. The opulent dining room had a beautiful and elegant decor. The centerpiece of this comfortable Gordon Ramsay restaurant was the fully stocked circular glass wine tower in the center. Circular tables, lavish floral displays, lush carpets and an Armagnac trolley added to the elegant atmosphere.

We were some of the first guests for the night and I wished I had a suit coat on as the elegant atmosphere demanded just that. However, as the night wore on and the restaurant filled up, it became evident that the restaurant was not as high-end as I first thought it to be. There were people dressed more casually (with sweaters and pullovers). But if I were to visit this restaurant again, I would take the time to dress up a bit more. Though rated as the number one restaurant on London Trip Advisor, this Gordon Ramsay restaurant just did not come anywhere close to being one of the top restaurants in London.

The menu at Petrus has been put together by Head Chef Sean Burbidge and Executive Chef Mark Askew. The "à la carte" menu is priced at £55 for three courses while the tasting menu of three courses is priced at £65. Petrus also offers a five course Chef’s menu for £75.00 and wine pairing. After going through the menu, we decided to order the three courses for £65.00 and selected our own wine (2006 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon from Leeuwin Estates, Margaret River, Australia). Our dinner started off with a “gift” from the chef, a beef capriccio with Jerusalem artichoke foam and a hint of truffle. A brilliant dish, both in execution and presentation. Sadly this “gift” ended up being the best dish of the night.

My partner had pan-fried sea scallops with celeriac, Granny Smith apples and truffle while I had pan-fried fillet of red mullet with clams, coriander gnocchi and a lemongrass sauce as our appetizer. The mullet was much better than the scallops. The scallops were pretty boring to be honest. I really expected more since we were at a Gordon Ramsay Restaurant.

Since they brought our appetizers minutes after finishing our starter from the chef, I had to remind the waiters to slow down, we were not in a hurry! In fact, this was the second time I was asking them to slow down as they had served wine even before we had finished our aperitif. It certainly felt as if they were trying to serve quickly and show us to the door so that they could reset our table for the next round of guests.

For the main course, my partner had the Loin of Highland venison with braised shin, carrot puree and juniper sauce. My main course consisted of a fillet of Casterbridge beef with braised ox tongue and ale sauce. Both the venison and the beef were decent but lacked finesse. In fact, neither of them wowed us by any stretch of our imagination. I have definitely had better at other restaurants in London and elsewhere in the world.

Apple tarte Tatin with caramel popcorn and vanilla ice cream was our choice for dessert. This dessert was plated up nicely and tasted great. Overall, the presentation of the food was nice, but not superlative by any means. Also, all the dishes we had tried so far were rather bland tasting.

The wine list at Petrus was extensive and featured wines from around the world. But the leaning was definitely towards the French ones. One thing I found quite annoying was that they did not decant our wine in front of us. Instead, the staff did this at a “decanting station” across the room. Personally, I like to watch the decanting and the whole presentation of the wine. Having it served this way just added to the restaurants commercial feel.

Service was attentive and professional but lacked any soul. The staff just seemed to go through the motions automatically. Also, the young staff (surprisingly there was only one Brit among the whole staff that we saw that night) lacked the depth of knowledge and expertise that you typically expect from a restaurant of this caliber.

After this “not-so-great” experience, I am tempted to believe that this restaurant gets a lot of hype only because it’s a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. Yes, the restaurant was nice. Yes, the food was good. Yes, the service was attentive. But no, it just did not come even close to being the best restaurant in London. The old tale of the Emperor’s Clothes comes to my mind, no one really wants to tell Gordon Ramsay that Petrus lacks precision and attention to detail.

You really cannot go wrong with a £65 three course dinner. However, Petrus lacked that something special, that “X Factor” that makes a restaurant truly Bombastic. Would I make an effort to visit this restaurant again? The answer is a resounding No.

Our rating for this Gordon Ramsay restaurant is Almost Bombastic.

What I liked: The ambience

What I didn’t like: The soulless food and service

Rating: Almost Bombastic

Address and Telephone Number:
1 Kinnerton Street
London SW1X 8EA
Area: Belgravia
Phone: 020 7592 1609

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