Maze Grill Royal Hospital Road is located a couple of doors down from Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, the chef’s flagship, three-Michelin starred restaurant.
Opened last spring on the site of the former Foxtrot Oscar restaurant and following the success of Maze in Mayfair, it is the third Maze Grill outlet, and Ramsay’s 14th London restaurant (31 globally).
Situated on Royal Hospital Road and with a few tables outside, the entrance leads to a narrow space mostly taken up by the bar on the right, with the dining room extending further down with a few tables, and a large glass fronted fridge showcasing the impressive array of steaks.
The opposite side is taken up with a long olive green leather banquette and marble topped tables. There are 20 covers upstairs and another 25 downstairs where the space is a bit more open but with cosy alcoves for semi private dining.
With bare brick walls and copper detailing, the bar is the first thing you see and takes up about a third of the ground floor. It also serves as a check-in desk for reservations, where the friendly staff greeted us and swiftly had us seated.
With most of the natural light coming from the widows at the front of house and our table being right at the back, the restaurant felt quite dark and moody making the small space feel even smaller. The only lighting was a little tea light on the marble topped tables.
The overall effect is Manhattan steak house styling with the food to match; you will find American classics here side by side with sushi and some British inspired dishes.
Prime steak and super fresh sushi are the main events on this fairly short menu.
Our delightful waitress Rosie ran through the menu detailing the various types of beef on offer, how they were reared, how long they were aged, where they came from and even what they were fed.
The glass-fronted fridge has them all on display ranging from dark deeply matured flintstone sized rib eyes to the crazy paved mottling of the Japanese Wagu. We decided to stick to home turf and plumped for the British rare breed, 28 day matured, Rib eye (£34)and sirloin (£30).
Small plates include smashed avocado and sweet pototo chips, while starters ranged from cured meats to soft shelled crab – we decided to get a selection of sushi (£15). It arrived on the ever-popular rustic wooden board, with snow crab and avocado Californian roll, spicy tuna tartare, and salmon and tuna Nigiri. All exceptionally fresh and well made, the Californian roll was the highlight, great flavour and texture.
To accompany our meaty main we selected Chateau du Cedre, Cahors, 2012, a rich and herby Malbec (£51) and a few side dishes, some triple cooked chips a tomato and onion salad (both £4.50), and a couple of steak sauces (£2.50), the classic Bearnaise and Frank’s hot sauce for contrast.
Our steak arrived, pre-sliced on a big sharing board, chips in a little metal bucket and salad on the side. The steak had a beautiful crust with a hint of barbecue smoke, the centre pink and juicy, a special basting butter infused with wine and soy are the secret to this deeply savoury crust.
The chips were golden and crispy but I had a bit of table envy when I spotted the arrival of onion rings next to us, impressivley suspended on a metal rack.
We managed to polish off our pretty healthy sized portions, determined not to waste a morsel, and were in two minds as to whether to have dessert, but our charming waitress persuaded us otherwise with her vivid descriptions of the puddings.
We opted for the frozen lime yoghurt, toasted meringue (£6) which was like a deconstructed Lemon meringue pie, zesty frozen yoghurt on a bed of oaty biscuit crumbs and a swirl of marshmallow like meringue hugging the side of the bowl that was golden and toasty, a refreshing and light combination and pretty as a picture.
Our other dessert was vanilla set custard with Rhubarb (£6), essentially a crème brulee in a shallow terracotta pot and topped with rhubarb compot. The custard was smooth with plenty of vanilla and a nice caramel crust, but why not just call it what it is?
We finished our fine dinner with a couple of decent coffees.
I couldn’t fault the service – our waitress was charming, well informed and even though the restaurant was exceptionally busy she kept on smiling.
I was worried that this being the 3rd Maze Grill would not reflect the quality you would expect from Gordon Ramsay, spreading himself so thinly across so many projects, but that was not the case.
The staff were well trained, the food was excellent with good quality ingredients, and the surroundings were pleasant, even if it was a little on the dark side.
- Mon-Sun 1200-2300
- Starters from £5.00
- Mains from £16, steaks ranging from £20-£130
- Sides, sauces and toppings from £2-50
- Desserts from £6.00
- Wine from £29-£900
Maze Grill Royal Hospital Road, 79 Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HN; tel +44 (0) 20 7352 4448; firstname.lastname@example.org; gordonramsayrestaurants.com/maze-grill-royal-hospital-road/