The Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place
The Boxwood Cafe has Gordon Ramsay's name on it, so expectations are justifiably high. The service was outstanding - probably some of the best I've experienced in London. It was extremely professional and surprisingly unpretentious. the ambience is quite lovely as well.I went with a friend on a TopTable deal, so my menu choices were limited. I had the salmon ceviche as a starter which was simply glorified lox with some lemon juice on top... And my main meal was seared tuna which was exactly that - there was nothig unusual or exceptional. In fact, I've cooked something similar at home.For me, food is the most important part of the dining-out experience. Therefore, while service and ambience were well above par, the actual food was nothing stand-out - certainly not deserving of the prices. Given the menu prices, and the Ramsay name, I expected something more.. I expected to take my first bite and say, "Wow." Unfortunately, this was not the case.
A User - 11/10/2008 | report this review
The most affordable of the Ramsay gaffs, although that's not saying much. My foie gras and veal burger was Â£25 and not brilliant, although "fancy" burgers are a bit of a personal bugbear of mine so I probably shouldn't have ordered it. The rest of the food was decent enough, service pleasant and the room sufficiently glamorous for the upmarket clientele. We saw a few children on high chairs, which is either refreshingly informal or a disaster waiting to happen, depending on your point of view. Fortunately they seemed quite well-behaved.You can still easily spend Â£50 a head here on lunch so it's not exactly a budget choice. It is, however, solid and seasonal cooking and you probably just about get your money's worth. Love him or loathe him, Mr Ramsay does certainly know how to run a restaurant.
A User - 11/08/2008 | report this review
Very well respected venue in the Ramsay group but - i cant get a hard on for european grub and this british fayre can only get an 'ok' from me.
mat braddy - 25/01/2008 | report this review
The Boxwood Cafe was our first Gordon Ramsay 'related' dining experience in London. It is owned by Gordon Ramsay Holdings, though Gordo doesn't actually cook there himself. The restaurant is located in The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge. This is a modern, stylish space, with spot lighting and tasteful green accented decor. I wasn't such a fan of the black & white photography that adorned the walls - well, the photos themselves were very good, but the unusual subjects of the pics didn't do it for me.Service was mostly very professional, but in a relaxed style - apparently the Boxwood "has perfected" "the informal style" of service. I was a little annoyed with the announcement upon our arrival that our table had to be returned in 2 hours - although I expected this to be the case (as we were dining early). I find it a bit crass to mention it at this time, perhaps they should have done so the previous day when they rang to confirm our booking. And why is it that when you are dining in a limited time slot that they take so long to come and take your order!?We were dining on a special deal of 3 courses from a set menu for Â£25, which is very good value when you see the A la carte prices. To start, we both had the Smoked haddock with potato and endive salad, soft boiled quails egg and wholegrain mustard dressing. This dish was nicely presented, though was over-dressed - the mustard dressing almost disguising the lovely smoky Haddock.For main course I had the Pan fried fillet of salmon with crushed charlotte potato, crab and basil. This dish was disappointing. The salmon was too salty for my taste and although the potatoes tasted fine, I don't recall seeing or tasting any crab... My husband had the Roasted breast of guinea fowl with pancetta, herb crusted tomatoes and caper butter sauce. This was a better dish, with nice presentation and for the most part good flavours, though he wasn't too keen on the herb crusted tomatoes - he claimed the herbs tasted like 'freshly cut lawn', which I don't think was supposed to be a compliment.So far, the highlight of the meal for me had been the bottle of Sancerre we ordered, that was perfectly chilled and delicious. But then came dessert. I wasn't keen on any of the dessert choices on the set menu, so asked to see the full dessert menu which we both ordered from (this added an additional Â£3 to our menu cost). I had the Warm chocolate fondant with salt caramel and iced almond milk which was pretty great actually. The very chocolaty fondant had a perfectly oozy centre with both chocolate and salt caramel, and the iced almond milk aka almond flavoured ice cream was good too. Hubby had the Valrhona hot chocolate fondue with marshmallows, biscotti and fruit, which he thoroughly enjoyed. A small pot of melted chocolate arrived with the aforementioned ingredients that you could dip and then devour. He was particularly impressed by the marshmallows which weren't your average kind. He also enjoyed a glass of Austrian dessert wine which was the highlight of his evening.We liked the atmosphere of the Boxwood Cafe, and the service was friendly, but overall the food didn't meet expectations.
A User - 09/05/2007 | report this review
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