Club Gascon 333

57 West Smithfield , London, EC1A 9DS

0207 600 6144

Visit Club Gascon

  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell
  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell
  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell
  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell
  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell
  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell
  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell
  • Club Gascon London restaurant bar French Clerkenwell

SquareMeal Review of Club Gascon

Famous as one of the best places to eat duck and foie gras since opening in 1998, Club Gascon is moving with the low-waste and sustainable times, re-opening from a refurb with a ‘Garden’ section of the menu featuring six veg-focused starters and mains. Rest assured, however, that if slow-cooked egg with plankton, seaweed and bitter leaves doesn’t float your boat, all things duck still form the core of the menu – and are far and away the best things to eat here, foie gras especially: a smooth-as-butter terrine served with banyuls, fig and Argan oil to start or, spectacularly, served with a Bailey’s and mandarin sauce for pudding, beguilingly sweet and savoury; thick lobes of pan-fried foie gras sitting under a shell crammed with razor clams is another flavour bomb. Non-ducky options such as roasted sturgeon with leeks, bone marrow and Craster sauce, and roast grouse with popcorn, Guinness and oyster sauce seemed less appealingly individual and more fine-dining-by-numbers, but a kitchen that excels with pudding ensures things end on a high note, from a pre-dessert variation on prunes and Armagnac that left us wanting much, much more to a ‘millionaire’ dessert made from 72% Colombian chocolate with black olive, lemon gel and thyme ice cream, so rich it demanded to be savoured slowly. Eye-opening wine matching remains a strength, while the restaurant’s new look has a timeless modernity that should last for another 20 years. 


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8.0

Food & Drink: 8.8

Service: 7.6

Atmosphere: 6.7

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 16 March 2016

When I was but a young buck and knew very little about either fine dining or the London restaurant scene, I was amazed when I first visited Club Gascon around the time of its opening in the late 1990s. At the time, it was considered one of the coolest places to eat in town. Owing both to where I work and live, I had, however, not revisited until last week (thanks to Square Meal) and have to confess that despite things having moved on a lot in the world of London food, Club Gascon still impressed highly. Although I was told that the place will be getting a refurb this summer (hence the scaffolding outside, as the neighbouring bar and restaurant are merged), I still like the heavy curtain through which one enters, the muted colours and the fact that Club Gascon exudes an air of refinement. The name gives a hint - but just a hint - of what to expect in terms of the food. Think Gascony and we are in South West France, hearty dishes and a lot of foie gras. That said, the chefs here have garnered a deserved reputation for playful inventiveness, and the traditional at Club Gascon is taken and modernised, then presented beautifully. My comrade and I went for the five-course tasting menu at lunch and loved all the dishes on offer. We were also delighted that contrary to many French establishments, my comrade's vegetarian requirements were not considered an after-thought and her dishes equally pleased. Asparagus to start was pitch-perfect and an olive-flavoured ice cream to end also marked a fitting finally. Foie gras also only made one appearance on my menu. We enjoyed our meal with a lovely bottle of wine from St Veran in the Maconnais and noted that the list contained a lot of very competitively priced wines, particularly from less well-known regions. If there were a quibble, then it would perhaps be that the service was somewhat slow, but this can easily be remedied. Hopefully the refurb will see Club Gascon only go from strength-to-strength

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

Robyn K. 21 September 2015

French front of house staff are not generally known for their warm welcome to diners, so a little frostiness is almost obligatory. However, it became Arctic when the 'a la carte' menus were put into our hands and we asked if the set lunch menu (outlined on the website and a considerable draw for us on this occasion) was no longer on offer. It was, and it arrived, along with an arrogant warning that the menus could not be mixed "I don't make the rules, the kitchen makes the rules. Everyone has rules, banks have rules..." We resisted the temptation to leave, and enjoyed a delicious, reasonably priced set lunch - and two bottles of champagne - and luckily did not see Madame the Manageress again. The waiter who did deal with us was charming, and the food was good - but we won't be back! Such a shame that such a competent kitchen could be let down by such an unpleasant first few minutes. No restaurant guest wants to be made to feel anything but valued and welcome. Oh, and by the way, we were 'allowed' to have some desserts from the 'a la carte' menu!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Caped C. silver reviewer 22 March 2015

Amazing food put together imaginatively with great attention-to-detail. Wonderful complex flavours and dishes you would be hard pressed to find at other London restaurants served with a lot of passion in really nice and relaxing settings. We chose the A la Carte option with a wine pairing that worked really well. Whilst the food was indeed delicious couldn't help thinking portions could be a slightly on the larger side. Can't wait to return for my next visit.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Victoria J. 17 July 2014

I very much enjoyed the food at Club Gascon and will certainly be coming back. They have adventurous pairings and beautiful dishes. It goes without saying that the food was also delicious. I was hoping to fit my visit into a lunch hour but unfortunately two courses in that time was a bit ambitious. Nevertheless, it was a relaxing and enjoyable lunch.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Foodess platinum reviewer 03 February 2014

I am afraid I have to depart from the previous reviews. It struck me that the restaurant was in a bit of a time warp from a menu perspective. We were underwhelmed by traditionally rich food which I understand to be customary for that region. Although having said that, it was not executed as well as I would have expected, apart from a lovely heart-warming truffle laden pumpkin soup which actually did ‘hit the spot’. Too many fussy props appeared displaying the food which, for me, detracted rather than enhanced. By contrast their wine bar I would say is worth a return visit. I hope that the BO problem of one waiting staff member has been remedied by now.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Mark W. 27 January 2014

The Marche menu is a delight and I was looking forward to trying it over a business lunch. One of our number preferred to choose from the menu a la carte instead and we were informed by our waiter that we all had to have the menu marche or none of us could. The food was excellent, but this unnecessarily doctrinaire approach rather spoiled the atmosphere around our table as some of us were forced to make second choices. The wine list and Mlle Sommeliere were excellent. Just be prepared before you go to stick to one side of the menu !

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Henry 23 August 2013

Had the “Marche” menu with wines to go with. Fantastic flavour combinations I wouldn't have tried myself, but really went well. For £115 per head, we found the value good, the food superbly presented and flavoured, and the wines chosen for interest and compatibility.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

the stranger silver reviewer 08 August 2013

Attended Club Gascon for the very first time for lunch. Whilst charming, the service could have been a tad more attentive. I had to struggle to get the waitress's attention throughout the meal and they were incredibly stingey with doling out the bread. By the way, the bread was absolutely delicious! The menu was very creative and I cannot fault the execution. If I have one complaint, it would be the portion sizes. Be warned, they are quite small. Or am I just greedy? No, they are tiny. Portion sizes and the service apart (which wasn't bad, just a bit inattentive), I enjoyed this restaurant and will be coming again.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Emma B. silver reviewer 07 April 2013

Great food, beautifully presented. £28 for 3 course dinner menu was good value for money. Shame about the fire alarm going off mid meal!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Neil M. platinum reviewer 30 October 2012

The food is excellent and has a style unique in London. Unfortunately the premises are a bit dull.

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