Maze Grill Park Walk, London

4.30.2015

What do you get when you mix steak and sushi together? Either something disastrous, or maybe just a restaurant that happens to serve both in separate dishes. That is exactly what maze grill produce in their kitchen. It also happens to be a restaurant by the Hell's Kitchen of Gordon Ramsay. I am a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay, ashamingly I have not been to any of his restaurants not even his flagship three Michelin stars restaurant. When I heard there was a new maze grill opening, I knew I had to go.

Set in Chelsea's Park Walk, it's the address where Aubergine, the restaurant where Ramsay's career took off, used to stand. Back in 1993, Aubergine is the first restaurant opened by Gordon Ramsay and was where the chef earned his very first Michelin star. For Ramsay, Park Walk is full of fond memories close to his heart and steeped in history. Initially when the news broke out that Ramsay bought back the lease on the site he'd first come to fame, I was hoping for another fine dining restaurant. When he decided to turn the site into maze grill, it's frankly a lot less interesting but that didn't stop me for a visit. The space is typically classy affair with a touch of casualness. All copper fixtures, subtle brickwork and polished wood. 


Menu

Dessert Menu

Bread

Menu is straightforward. Small plates to share as starters or big plate starters or you can choose sushi/sashimi but the selection isn't large enough for it to be mains. There is a wide selection of steaks, in terms of origin, grass-fed / grain-fed / corn-fed, again etc. so certainly no complaints on the menu. Alternative there are other mains available if steak does not take your fancy. Complementary bread was served warm, soft and doughy with crunchy crust and very creamy butter.

California Roll - snow crab, avocado, tobiko, tempura crunch

Sashimi Selection - tuna, salmon, scallops

English Asparagus - poached egg, purple mustard dressing

The crossover of Japan and Britian(?) starts from the starters and stops at the starters. We began with California roll and a sashimi selection. It was not spectacular, nor awful. In fact I don't understand I am here for a steak but I am eating sushi for starters? It gets all confused. I was not hugely impressed, by all means it was tasty morsels but of the standard of very average Japanese restaurants which happens to be a lot cheaper. On a side note, we also had a English asparagus and for £10 you get like 5 asapagus, the asapagus was cut into half lengthwise making it look like they've used more asapagus. It was lovely, the yolk oozes out when cut into and a nice dressing but I do prefer a hollandaise sauce over a mustard dressing.

Rib-eye - 16oz, USDA grain fed, beef bone marrow & shallot sauce

Rib-eye - 10oz, British native breed, dry-aged for 21 days, peppercorn sauce

Butter Lettuce Salad and Triple-Cooked Chips

Being Mr T, he occasionally have steak and wine night with the banking lads sampling the best of the best steakhouses around London. When it comes to steak, he goes large. I mean at least 20oz (~600grams for you SI-heads). He opted for the USDA rib-eye, 16oz. The waitress had to confirm several times that he wanted such a large portion. Between me and him, we can polish off a 35oz (~1kg) of porterhouse easily. Steaks at its best should be cooked to medium rare. It was served closer to medium than medium rare with the issue of being a thinner piece of meat. The steak was tender eve though it was cooked to medium with a subtle charred flavour. It's no knock out, passable to be considered delicious. Whilst I had the 10oz British native breed rib-eye. On a closer inspection, it was cooked to medium rare being on a thicker side than the USDA rib-eye. I found my piece of steak was much tenderer than Mr. T's, more charred and flavoursome. Equally they're both good quality steaks no doubt. We shared two sides, salad and chips. I liked the buttery dressing on the salad but perhaps can torn the salad leaves into smaller pieces. Chips was decent, crisp and fluffy inside, it was on the ultra thick side and extremely long. There will be a point where you have to cut the chips with your fork and knife to eat. The sauce was good, not amazing but I did liked the little pieces of bone marrow in the sauce.

We ordered a carafe of Pinot Noir "Petit Clos", Henri Bourgeois, New Zealand 2013 (£25) which went very nice with the steaks. The waitress commented on the Pinot Noir being too light for the steak, such a nonsense. Get me the sommelier please.

Eating at a Gordon Ramsay's restaurant comes at a cost, the USDA rib-eye is priced at £3.70/oz. So Mr. T's steak costed him nearly £60, just for that not so big slab of meat. This works out to be £130/kg while at the butcher (i.e. Allens of Mayfair) it costs a third of the price roughly at £45/kg. For the top notch steakhouse such as Goodmans, their USDA's will set you at around £60-70/kg. So we've established eating a hefty premium of beef, you may have to starve yourself for a week to afford it. Unless yourself can cook a piece of mean steak, there's no point forking out so much having a steak in a restaurant especially if they served you an adequate piece. Service was fine but at times we had to pour our own wine. We didn't stay for desserts as it didn't interest us at all. Conclusion, lose the sushi, please. It's not on par with the steaks. Steaks was tasty but does not justified being so overpriced, if it wasn't for the soft launch this meal could have easily set us back just below £200 altogether.

Score Rating: 3.5/5
Price: £50-80/head (50% soft launch, ~£100 for two people)

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