04 December 2014
Heddon Street Kitchen is the latest venue from Gordon Ramsay (the man himself - sporting a magnificent quiff and leather jacket combo and looking like he was auditioning for Grease - was in having dinner the night we went, and the staff looked suitably tense) and if you’ve been to Union Street Café you’ll instantly spot the similarity in terms of décor: it’s all industrial chic with exposed pipework, dark wood, visible supporting columns etc.
That alone largely summarises my overall thought on the venture; it’s perfectly acceptable but doesn’t offer enough that’s unique or different to make it suitably special that I would rush back.
The staff, Ramsay induced tension aside, were fine. No problems with the service, it all arrived in a timely manner, there weren’t any errors etc., its not polished Michelin starred service, but then you aren’t paying for that.
Atmosphere could be summarised as very loud – its quite a tight space with lots of people and hard surfaces so a huge amount of reflected chatter and lots of great old school music from the likes of the Happy Mondays, de la soul and King Bee. Not somewhere for a date, or to take your parents, but would work fine with a group of friends.
Food is alright, not stunning but not awful in any way. The menu is a bit confused with no real theme; with a mix of pan Asian, English classics, burgers etc. I started with Jerusalem artichoke soup with confit duck – lovey thick soup with lots of warm wintery flavour, though if the duck had been removed it would probably have been better. This was followed with a burger with cheese and bacon – decent quality beef cooked to perfection, bun was a bit boring, but the hand cut chips were amazing and worth a trip in their own right as they are the best I’ve had in London; huge (more wedges than chips), baking hot, salty, crisp outsides and light clouds inside – I could happily just order those for all 3 courses! Dessert was a perfectly decent, but not outstanding, warm pear tart with vanilla ice cream – and no problems when I wanted to swap the standard crème fraiche for my preferred alternative.
Value for money is good: you’ll pay somewhere around £55-65 per head for 3 courses, wine, water, service etc., which just 50 yards from Regents Street is a bit of a result.
I didn’t hate it, but it’s just not got anything unique that really makes it worth a visit (other perhaps than the chips). Everything is OK, but not outstanding, and sadly that’s probably not quite good enough in London where there are so many choices.