Grand Gauthier

As I hopped out of my taxi down Romilly Street, it was immediately obvious how classic this restaurant style was going to be. The entrance to Gauthier, a classic street level front door to a prestigious town house, that would entice any Epicurean such as myself to a fine dining experience to cherish, always.

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Upon ringing the door bell, we were immediately greeted and after exchanging reservation details escorted to our table, which was situated in the corner of the 1st-floor dining room with a view of the extravagant fire place, that hosted most of the beverages.

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Immediately after being seated we were offered a selection of bread and water did not follow too far behind. To accompany the bread a basket of vibrant radishes with some delectable dips and olive oil for dipping. We had advised our server that we did not wish to drink alcohol and so instead a mocktail came swiftly to our table, with sweet notes of fruit.

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Our first dish was the Melon Gazpacho which came with elements of melon as well as fennel, the fennel working as a savoury assistant to the rich sweetness of the refreshing melon. The dish was served in such a delicate fashion, it was beautiful.

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Next, we were greeted with a bowl of generous lashings of black truffle providing a decorative canopy for the cauliflower curd and salad that lie beneath. This was exceptional as the smooth and creamy cauliflower curd worked so well with the distinctive flavour of the truffle, give it a well rounded and decadent approach to an appetiser.

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The baked beetroot with horseradish puree came with some decorative almonds as well as the most dazzling pink meringues, these were, of course, beetroot based also, with golden beetroot running throughout the dish, for a beetroot lover such as myself, this was a complex way to show there truly delicious potential. The meringues melted in the mouth, while the beetroot held its natural earth flavours through this course. The horseradish was necessary to give some added depth of flavour to this dish with a wonderful warmth left on the tongue.

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A course of courgettes and tofu is something that I had envisioned to be special, as I love courgettes and courgette flowers are always something I am content to taste, however, the presentation made this dish appetiser at first glance and the assistance of basil in this dish added to the flavour combinations. The textures in this dish were superb also with some crisp elements to match the silky smooth tofu. A very well flavoured and presented dish.

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To conclude lunch’s savoury courses a dish based entirely on aubergine. I am very fond of aubergine, though I am not sure I have ever had it served in such a classic and yet adventurous way. The confit aubergine had a strong unapologetic flavour, the roasted aubergine had a great texture to it and gave a great depth of flavour also. The nut and Jasmine rice with stuffed into the aubergine worked tremendously well and the saffron tuile gave this dish the signature of opulence it was deservedly demanding.

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Moving on to the sweeter section of lunch, starting off with a show stopping dessert of mixed berries with shortbread and strawberry sorbet. This is one of the prettiest desserts I have ever eaten, it was decorated and presented with immaculate precision, the flavours were sensational. The texture combination of the tart and soft berries with the crunch of shortbread and the rich and smooth sorbet were those of gastronomy genius.

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Next to the table a lime and blackberry sorbet served in the most incredible way, the sorbet came in a delicate casing that melted in the mouth and the sorbet itself had such a high level of flavour and contrast between the limes unparalleled flavour of citrus and the blackberry’s tart but sweet complexion, this again had been balanced out so well and the flavour combinations balanced out so well.

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Lastly, on my dessert list was a strawberry and chocolate delice with an olive oil sponge and strawberry sorbet. This was the last dish on the menu and it was certainly one to remember, it looked magnificent and the taste combinations of this dish worked so well, as of course chocolate and strawberries are a classic combination.

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I then enjoyed some vegan petit fours with a wonderful camomile tea to conclude what was quite simply a wonderful meal. The food was cooked and paired to perfection, the flavour combinations and textural contrasts were first class.

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The presentation of the food was truly beautiful and the level of service in this restaurant has to be one of the most attentive and thoughtful I have experienced to date. This will be the restaurant that I will be choosing to spend many happy birthdays and special occasions in, its approach to food is outstanding and I for one will never forget my dining experience here.

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