Gauthier Soho, London

Honey Duck Foie Gras, Cooked & Raw Apples

Helmed by Alexis Gauthier (formerly Chef Patron at 1-star Roussillon), Gauthier Soho opened its doors in May 2010 to a host of positive reviews, and was recently awarded a first Michelin Star in January of this year – no mean feat for a restaurant still so young. Having now eaten there, it is easy to understand why.

Located in a converted town house on Romily Street in Soho, the dining space, spread over two floors, is a little bit cramped and, unsurprisingly, not entirely suited for purpose. The décor too is rather bland and I can see why this aspect of the restaurant has attracted some criticism. Though by no means my favourite dining room, I personally felt the nature of the venue made for a cosy, romantic atmosphere.

Gauthier offers a choice of 3, 4 or 5 à la carte courses, as well as an 8-course tasting menu. Having had to rule out the tasting menu due to a lack of support from my fellow diners I opted, naturally, for 5 courses from the à la carte. Servings were a bit on the small side so I would recommend at least 4 courses for all but the smallest of eaters. I had:

Honey Duck Foie Gras, Cooked & Raw Apples
Black Winter Truffle Risotto
Soft Fillet of Dover Sole, Baby Squid, Garlic & Parsley, Classic Fish Jus
Cuts of Wild Scottish Venison, Williams Pear, Celeriac Cream, Black Winter Truffle
Golden Louis XV

Black Winter Truffle Risotto

The Black Winter Truffle Risotto was undoubtedly the star dish – perfect al dente grains of rice, soaked in a creamy flavourful jus, accented with a generous shaving of fragrant black truffle. It was superb. If the risotto was the headline act, the Golden Louis XV was a very capable co-star. This is Gauthier’s much-praised signature chocolate, hazelnut and praline dessert; an ode to his mentor Alain Ducasse, it was wonderfully and suitably decadent – a chocolate lover’s delight…and I am very much an avowed chocolate lover.

Soft Fillet of Dover Sole, Baby Squid, Garlic & Parsley, Classic Fish JusCuts of Wild Scottish Venison, Williams Pear, Celeriac Cream, Black Winter Truffle

If I was to be critical, I would say that Gauthier could push the envelope a bit more at times. He, for the most part, sticks to classical combinations of ingredients, and produces pleasantly-presented, technically flawless plates of food. However some of these dishes can come across as a little boring as a result, lacking in a certain je ne sais quoi if you like. The veal, another of Gauthier’s signatures, is a case in point. Cooked perfectly, it was good, but unspectacular. Having said that, the meal on the whole was thoroughly enjoyable.

Golden Louis XV

In a nutshell…
Very good. Faultless cooking. A couple of outstanding dishes that would grace any restaurant in the world. Fully deserving of its Michelin star.

8/10

Gauthier Soho
21 Romilly Street, London, W1D 5AF
+44 (0)2074943111
Average price: £50-£60
1 Michelin Star

Gauthier Soho on Urbanspoon

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