London House is the latest restaurant from Gordon Ramsay Holdings, adding to their current portfolio of twelve restaurants in the UK. It’s located on a rather unassuming main road in Battersea, in a building that’s seen numerous failed attempts at success as an oyster bar, a Greek restaurant and an All Bar One to name but a few.
It’s a handsomely designed restaurant split into several different mini dining rooms. The tables were adorned with white linen tablecloths but the lively background music, and the fact pretty much every other table had a baby sitting at it, meant the atmosphere was certainly not stuffy. It all felt very yummy mummy, yah.
The only menu available was a prix fixe priced at £28 for three courses (£35 at dinner) which included no supplements – hoorah! Don’t you just hate supplements on a set menu? Everything sounded very tasty indeed.
Some beautifully spongy bread served in a little bag started things off and was so good we wolfed down two lots of the stuff – after seeing the portion sizes of the dishes we were glad we did!
To start, I opted for the roasted chicken wings, parsley, green bean salsa and garlic which was served in a beautiful ceramic bowl. The wings had been deboned making them easy to eat elegantly, but they quickly became sickly as their fat wasn’t fully crispy. The green been salsa wasn’t exactly the perfect accompaniment for them either.
My gentleman companion went for the seared Scottish scallops which, other than being too small, were overpowered by the diced apple AND apple purée, as both were far too sharp and tangy.
For main, my saddle of lamb, wild garlic purée and pressed lamb hot pot was a catastrophic disaster. The thin slices of lamb (only four of which made it on to the plate) were more raw than medium-rare which made for seriously chewy meat, and even chewier fat. The meat in the slice of “hot pot” was dry, overcooked and lacking in flavour. The small (halved) carrot was sweet and tasty but barely noticeable – surely they could have managed a whole carrot? It’s the smallest main course I’ve ever seen in my life.
My gentleman companion’s Cumbrian beef fillet was far less horrendous. The beef (again, very little of it) was soft and tender, and the braised beef cheek stuffed gnocchi were a revelation – such intense flavour with a gooey texture. But two of them? Christ.
In stark contrast, portion size was no problem with puddings however. The chocolate tart, which had the consistency of a warm, unset chocolate mousse, was enjoyable for the first few bites but then quickly became sickly. The accompanying lavender ice cream had a touch of the potpourri about it. The passion fruit posset suffered a similar problem; only this time it was too tangy after a couple of mouthfuls. The ‘cardamom and ginger oatcakes’ (there was only one actually) was in fact the best bit.
It’s a shame the food was such a failure at London House as it’s actually a really lovely restaurant. And the staff are even lovelier; attentive and really friendly. But the portion sizes were horrendously small and the inability to cook four slices of lamb correctly is inexcusable. I wouldn’t avoid London House like the plague, but I wouldn’t exactly rush there either.