The ” Worlds best dessert ” ? – Gauthier Soho.

gauthier soho

The start of my…..  erm….  Let`s call it  ” Big Birthday ” weekend in London , I really don`t want to talk numbers right now so Ssssshhhhh….sore point. A weekend gastronomic trip around the capitals top of the tree eating establishments.Tasting menus all the way from the start along with accompanying wine flights,  just a huge `pig out` where i could forget about hitting `official middle age ` and over indulge in some of the things i`m most passionate about ,food , wine and good friends.
So to kick off the Cumbriafoodie weekend i decided to start with lunch at Alexis Gauthiers restaurant  “Gauthier Soho ” a Michelin 1 star French restaurant on Romilly Street.There was an amazing offer on when i visited and apparently they repeat this quite often – It`s a  2 for the price of 1 deal on the menu…..surely not ? I phoned to reserve a table and they did actually ask me if i was having the 2 for 1 deal…..on the Tasting menu …How good is that ? It`s 10 courses and normally runs at £ 70 but whilst the offer is on its only £35…..I honestly don`t know a better deal in London for such an establishment so i snapped their hands off and made my booking on the spot.
gauthier sohoAnother good reason to visit Gauthier was to sample a dessert i`ve wanted to try for years , the legendary “Louis XV  Chocolate Praline ” . I confirmed during my phone call that this dessert was going to be on the menu and immediately started getting excited about experiencing this delight, It`s quite a closely guarded secret actually and there`s not many foodies or chefs on the  various internet searches that have actually tried to re-create this recipe… it really that secret ?  Well yes it is , it`s a Ducasse dessert  from Monaco , they dont even have it in his other restaurants…..only  theLouis XV Monaco at 26 Euros a slice. Of course Monsieur Gauthier happened to have spent time in the kitchens of Ducasse so the “only” place you`re gonna get this Pud  is here…in London and today was the day the ” old man ” was finally going to experience it.
A lovely selection of breads on hand here , warm and only just baked. An unsalted and Tomato butter to heighten the taste experience.

Amuse bouche arrive – Little Gougere and Roasted Lamb if i can remember correctly.Bread and small family estate Olive oil for dipping.

PAN FRIED DUCK FOIE GRAS – Roasted Caramelized Apricot , Ginger Marmalade and a Port Reduction. The Foie gras was cooked to absolute perfection and the accompaniments paired well. The Roasted Apricot however was a little too tart and i lost the flavour of the Foie gras totally. I pushed it aside for a minute and continued to eat….eyes closed and savoured the accompanying wine….a heavenly moment.

SCOTTISH SCALLOPS – Girolles , Garlic & Parsley , Green Reduction and a Coral Dressing. A simple approach with chef leaving the ingredients to do the talking. Well caramelized Scallop on the outside with the inside almost raw , exactly how it should be

SUMMER CEPS RISOTTO –  Parmesan and Brown Butter…Flavour flavour  flavour…..Enough said.

SEA BASS AND BABY SQUID –  Courgette Tempura , Courgette & Aubergine , Black Ink and Fish Sauce. A beautiful fresh piece of Bass , simply cooked and once again paired up with subtle background flavours. Nothing to distract me away from the fact that i was eating Sea Bass.

SOFT PIGLET BELLY – Glazed baby Carrot, Fondant Leek  & Cherry Jam , Pork Jus. The old school classic…. ” I remember  a time when Pork actually  tasted of Pork ” Cmon , you`ve all heard that  one liner before…. Well this is the dish.

CHEESE – 22 Month aged Comte from Jura.

RASPBERRY – Fresh Raspberry & Fraises des bois , Soft blanc Manger & Cispy Milk. A  refreshing summer palate cleanser before the main event. Fraises des bois meaning –  “Strawberries from the woods ” small, delicate berries which come from forests, where they grow in the  wild , very intense  in flavour they command the highest of prices and that obviously reflected in the flavour of the dessert which we ate.

THE LOUIS  XV – The legendary  “Worlds best dessert ” Dark Chocolate Praline.  – Here it is , simplicity itself , no frills , no accompaniments and straight to the point….a bar of chocolate. Starting at the base layer it consists of a Hazelnut Daquoise  feuilletine ( a nutty meringue ).Sitting on top of this is a rich Chocolate mousse coated with a Silken Paradise Chocolate ganache and finished off with a glittering crown of edible gold leaf. It was voted by a panel of critics as the “Worlds best”  so i cant argue with that one. On a personal note , it was rich , it hit the mark and it was bloody lovely but….worlds best dessert  ?

worlds best dessert

worlds best dessert

worlds best dessert

So , to sum Gauthier Soho up… Well for a start , definitely get it on your list of places to go. The cuisine isn`t cutting edge but there again its not meant to be , its not  what the restaurant`s all about. Its just very well sourced and extremely fresh ingredients cooked very accurately and simply by fantastic chefs with lots of passion and care.Its a very enjoyable fine dining expereince and at a bargain price that cannot be missed. Make sure you take advantage of their 2 for 1 deal when it`s running , it really would be criminal not to go.

Service was precise and friendly and the guys front of house were hitting the mark perfectly. Many thanks to you all and i`ll definitely be dining with you again.


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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lester Fontayne says:

    Like you, I made the pilgrimage here to try the Louis XV (Monaco, to say the least, is a tad out of my price range). I left wondering what all the fuss was about. Don’t get me wrong, it is a fine dessert but, as you say, The World’s Best? Hmmmm… certainly the World’s Best Gooey Kit-Kat, though. Maybe the Ducasse version is better – the superior nappage I’ve seen in pictures is perhaps a clue. I hope someday to have the chance to compare.

  2. edgeandspoon says:

    Interestingly, I went to Gauthier and had the tasting menu and matching wines, and wasn’t so impressed. It’s normally fantastic there, but something was missing that night. You can read my review here: Love your pictures though, they do it justice. I think it’s interesting how two different diners can have such polar experiences only days apart. And the Louis XV, I agree with Lester, is overrated. Sorry!

  3. Many more happy birthdays to come…as the saying goes, ‘you’re not getting older, you’re getting better”.
    Live in the moment…live in THE NOW…and you’ll always feel like a teenager. Beautiful photography! I’m a dessert junkie, so, of all the photos, the Dark Chocolate Praline is my fav!


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