Gordon Ramsay’s latest opening, Lucky Cat, caused quite the stir when it opened in Grosvenor Square this summer and so, of course, we had to check it out…
There’s a new kid on the block. The gilded streets of Mayfair have long played host to the nation’s best pan-Asian eateries and Lucky Cat takes the baton with style.
A shrine of plush banquettes, mirrored ceilings and low lighting, the sophisticated eatery is dressed-to-the-nines, and so are its clientele. The restaurant offers up an extensive menu juxtaposed with a theme that meanders seductively between Asian eating house and the late-night lounges of 1930s Tokyo. It’s smart, it’s sexy and Lucky Cat is serious competition to some of the most famous names in Asian cuisine. Back in April, The Handbook experienced the Lucky Cat pop-up and shook hands with Gordon Ramsay as he launched his exciting new venture, but going to the restaurant itself was the event we had in the diary from the start…
The king of both kitchen and screen, Ramsay currently has 37 restaurants across the globe, with an ethos on quality and service. Each restaurant takes diners on a different culinary journey, and Lucky Cat transports its clientele to Asia through a series of signature dishes, culinary styles and cooking methods, championing the robata grill and the freshest sushi and sashimi from the Raw Bar.
Alongside Chef Ramsay, Lucky Cat’s Executive Head Chef Ben Orpwood (A Queens College Cambridge alumni who played a pivotal role in the opening of Sexy Fish and launched Zuma in Istanbul to critical acclaim) has carefully curated the menu, which is designed to be shared at the centre of the table. Safe in Orpwood’s hands, we took a seat amid the opulence and cast our eyes over the a la carte, watched over by the eponymous waving cats which lined the walls.
Menu items came thick and fast. Japanese pumpkin tempura sat alongside Northern Chinese smoked short rib baos and snail and watercress dumplings. We opted for bonito-caked duck legs piled into a fluffy bao bun; sticky, aromatic and admirably crunchy. We delved wholeheartedly into the prawn tempura and tender pork belly, thick with the aromatics of five spice and honey which dissolved obligingly on the tongue.
Sharing style meant small plates and lots of them, one delight after another. The trend continued into dessert, where rum baba roasted with pineapple with coconut Chantilly arrived alongside chocolate tofu sprinkled with candied cacao nibs. Adventurous, to say the least, but it pays off. Research has clearly gone into this menu and, what’s more, the staff were clearly proud of it. ‘Lucky lollies’, with sobacha, raspberry and shisho, left us feeling very, very lucky indeed.
Known for his award-winning skills in the kitchen (and for sayings such as “the crab is so raw it’s singing “Under The Sea””), Ramsay wowed us with this new offering. Flavours burst in the mouth and tease the taste buds, an Asian adventure rife with soy, yuzu and ponzu. Overall, dishes are ambitiously priced, as is the wine list, however this is Mayfair, this is Ramsay and this is seriously good dining. Because he’s left us in such a good mood, we’ll leave you with a secret tip – if you go for nothing else, don’t leave without the green tea-infused gin and champagne cocktail, ‘Green Destiny’.
For that, and so much more, we really were the cats that got the cream at Lucky Cat.
Lucky Cat can be found at 10 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 6JP, www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com