We arrive at the door of Gauthier in Soho and have to ring the doorbell. A lady answers and welcomes us into a narrow corridor where she takes our coats at which point the doorbell goes again and another four diners enter at the same time as two waiters come through with trays of food. It’s a little manic and cramped here but I love it. You are effectively eating dinner in someone’s house as Gauthier is an unmodernised Regency townhouse complete with creaky floors.
We are then led to the wine cellar at the end of the corridor which has a table laid for two. Is this for us, have they made a mistake? We hadn’t booked a private dining room yet here we were sat in a cosy, fully functioning wine cellar and we LOVED it. What an unusual place to eat dinner. I can understand why some people might have a problem with sitting here, the main reason being if you didn’t enjoy the company of your fellow diner. Luckily myself and my gentleman companion managed to amuse ourselves.
Some of the waiters wear chef whites which is a nice touch and are enjoyably easy on the eye. The room is dimly lit with an oil candle flickering in the middle of the table. This place feels romantic.
We order the pre theatre menu deluxe which seems extraordinary value. £40 gets you a glass of champagne, three courses with a half a bottle of wine, coffee and petit fours.
The canapes, three types of butter and bread were all very elegantly presented. The stand out canape was the foi gras burger which was fantastic.
My starter of citrus marinated mackerel was delicious. It was really well balanced and the chunks of citrus fruit didn’t overpower the fish.
My gentleman companion’s asparagus risotto was also a winner. The parmesan crisp gave an added crunchy texture.
The main of duck breast with courgettes was officially the smallest main course we have ever had.
A quote from their website – “As a pioneering flexitarian, Alexis Gauthier’s cooking often reflects the modern approach to a plant-centric diet, using meat and fish as secondary elements.”
I think perhaps in this dish a potato was missing as the primary element. Portion aside, it was very tasty and the duck was cooked perfectly pink.
Next up the blood orange sorbet pre dessert was the perfect palate cleanser. The small bowl it came in smelt of stale water which was a tad off putting but it seemed a minor blip on an otherwise faultless service.
For my dessert the baked banana was perfectly sweet. It was again a small portion but we were getting used to eating light and tiny dishes and I was becoming a convert. Maybe I don’t always need to feel full to the point of being ill after every meal.
My gentleman companion went for the famous Golden Louis XV and it was a showstopper. Chocolate and praline topped with gold leaf looked simple yet you knew it was going to be a pudding induced orgasm, and what an orgasm it was.
Petit fours were served in a lovely box that open to reveal a slightly messy selection of treats. The mini macaroons for example looked a little disheveled with chocolate fingerprints on them. Looks aside, they had the perfect crunchy outside but chewy inside and tasted divine.
The lady sorting our bill, after answering a barrage of questions about Alexis himself, informed us that Masterchef were filming here the next day. She then offered us each a copy of last years Gauthier cook book which went down rather well as we love a bit of free. What a nice thing to do.
This restaurant is our favourite layout of anywhere we’ve been. Friendly and attractive waiters serve fresh and delicate dishes. We’d like to actually eat in the main restaurant which gives us the perfect excuse to go back. I just might have a couple of slices of toast before I go.