The Handbook
The Handbook

Gordon Ramsay truly is the gift that keeps on giving. The chef’s twenty-plus years of experience have built up an empire that, like New York or Kris Jenner, never sleeps. His Michelin-starred brand is everywhere from London to Singapore; from Hong Kong to France and the US, a culinary whirlwind whipping through every major global city. He’s the epitome of ‘how does he do it?’, effortlessly mastering a host of successful eateries and cult-status TV shows while resembling a cragged (yet ageless) D&G model.

And now he’s only gone and done it again with Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill. The latest venture has just opened quietly on Grosvenor Square, sharing a lobby with the Asian-inspired Lucky Cat. Taking inspiration from iconic American grills, the venue is wood-panelled and comfortable with a wide-screen set to Sky Sports overlooking the marble-topped tables. The restaurant is noticeably more casual than its feline neighbour, but the contrast works; you might want to consider a family steak at the Grill, then sneak across the lobby for a low-lit digestif once the in-laws have gone home.

I skipped down one Tuesday to get stuck in, ordering a tempting selection from the menu, and a well-priced bottle of Italian Soave from the friendly sommelier. The menu offered crowd-pleasing classics (chicken wings, Caesar salad, club sandwiches) but we weren’t expecting them to be ordinary. Our starters taught me that this menu is a cut above your typical sports bar; inventive and full of flair. Food arrived swiftly: an appealingly crafted disc of steak tartare, rich and piquant, christened with a golden egg yolk. It was accompanied by something called ‘shoestring potato’ – a wafer-thin and crisp heap of salty, crunchy goodness. Chilli and garlic prawns were utterly delightful: plump, juicy and resting in a sauce so beautifully spicy and tangy that it brought a tear to my eye.

We discussed the merits of the first course and choices for our mains with charming General Manager Denva Pierre, who popped by to see how we were getting on. Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill is big on steak. With a menu that offers the finest in prime beef cuts, it had been a struggle for us not to put all of our eggs (hooves?) in one basket and opt for a 1kg Tomahawk. You’d probably find us three hours later, fighting over the last slithers and missing a few buttons from our shirts.

Instead, we’d branched out – ordering a slightly daintier sirloin, prepared on a josper charcoal grill, with roasted octopus with almond and chimichurri. My guest and I are fans of bleu steaks – the bloodier the better; yes, you can judge us, and we frequently find ourselves being fought by waiters to opt for ‘medium rare’ instead, but here the order is just considered natural, and our waiter returned laden with a rare cut of beef.

The octopus, curled delicately on the plate, was milder than I had expected, but all the better for it and we devoured both dishes with gusto, piling our plates with hand cut chips and buffalo-style onion rings – because this is the sort of place where you can still have fun with your food.

Instagram stories updated, wine finished and plates empty, we arrived grinning at dessert.

A decadent brownie with delicate salted caramel ice cream, drizzled with a sugar-shock chocolate cage, was heroically devoured by my guest. I opted for a grace period and some time to soak up the atmosphere (and a cocktail, why not?). The service throughout had been warm and generous-spirited. While we’d stuck to wine as we dined, we went for a digestif with dessert. A Negroni and a creamy Espresso martini were delivered by our waitress, who throughout the meal had been a real highlight of our experience.

All of the staff had been knowledgeable, friendly and efficient. We’d even been offered a secret recipe for the zesty tomatoes that accompanied our steak, which we have promised to take to our graves. I vowed then-and-there that I will certainly return and with hearty handshakes and longing looks back into the golden glow of the restaurant, we set off into the evening.

Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill can be found at 10 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 6JP