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|Address:||79 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HN|
|Tel:||020 3589 1686|
|Price: £45.00||Wine: £23.00||Champagne: £53.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-3pm, 5pm-11pm, Sat 12N-11pm, Sun 12N-10pm|
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Foxtrot Oscar is, to some, a polite way of dropping the F-bomb. With an, I suspect fully knowing, irony it’s also the name of one of Mr Ramsay’s restaurants – and anyone who has seen him on TV will know he is rather keen on making extensive use of the 6th letter in the alphabet.
I’m clearly in a Ramsay mood following on from the triumph that was his 3 Michelin starred signature restaurant, but given I was paying the bill this time we opted for the far cheaper sibling a few doors down Royal Hospital Road.
It’s compact, vaguely bistro styled and slightly eclectic in décor, but just hope you don’t get asked to sit downstairs – we did and asked to move as it’s tiny and down a very narrow and winding spiral staircase. Noise is kept to a minimum upstairs by a very effective, but very ugly, acoustic ceiling (one of the joys of dining with a facilities manager is a discussion about ceilings!), though their choice of music is at best curious. Staff are friendly and polite and generally service is good, though less than polished e.g. reaching across you etc.
Food is perfectly pleasant but certainly not worthy of 3, or indeed any, Michelin stars. I started with chestnut veloute, served with crispy pork belly and granny smith apple; you get hot, thick chestnut veloute, which is curiously bland, poured at the table over a small portion of shredded porky belly and granny smith ‘croutons’ – which are a strange and unnecessary addition.
This was followed by a burger and chips. The burger was lovely – cooked medium, with cheese and bacon, it was properly handmade and really thick with great chips – hand cut, huge and thick, with crispy outsides and white fluffy centres. The bun the burger came in was slightly strange – toasted but more a glazed roll than a traditional burger style bun and perhaps the tomato relish was a bit over done, as it seemed to have been applied more in the manner of pizza topping.
Dessert was the most disappointing element – caramelised banana pannacotta with gingerbread, which sounds great. Sadly the none of the elements ever met each other as the pannacotta came in a small glass jar, like a French yoghurt, the banana was a tiny potion served one side of the slate platter and the gingerbread, 3 small but warmly flavoursome pieces, the other.
The bill came to just over £50 per head, which for 3 courses, wine, water, service and a drink beforehand, is very reasonable; however, given the type of food you are getting and the service delivered for a similar price I’d recommend either Pantechnicon or the Thomas Cubbitt instead – both offer something similar, but in a nicer environment.