Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay

Pan Asian·
££££
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SquareMeal Review of Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay

Lucky Cat is Gordon Ramsay’s first new London restaurant since Heddon Street Kitchen in 2014 – but it’s a completely different animal. Where Heddon Street is approachable and family-friendly, Lucky Cat is sleekly groomed and nightclubby, with a huge bar area overlooked by a wall of waving cats and an even bigger dining room stretching out behind.

Aside from the location within the Marriott (with its own entrance on Grosvenor Square), there’s little here that resembles what used to be Maze – not least a fully open kitchen where groups can book a pair of chef’s tables in the thick of things and a counter overlooks the chef action. Ramsay has always known how to entertain.

The interiors are meant to evoke the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo, though compared to the bright lights of the kitchen, the main dining area is so dark it’s hard to make anything out among the inky furnishings. A throbbing soundtrack of dance beats, meanwhile, is so insistent it precludes any sort of serious conversation.

If anything, the vibe is more early noughties than 1930s, a mood underlined by the sort of melting-pot menu popularised by Zuma and Nobu 20 years ago. The pan-Asian cooking is high on protein (sushi and skewers), low on carbs (sashimi and salads) and with nothing scary sounding – salt-and-pepper prawns, short-rib bao and aubergine with miso are among the crowd-pleasers.

Our overall impression, unfortunately, was of good ingredients cooked with skill then spoilt by being paired with overly assertive sauces that undid the good work.

Octopus with sweetcorn and shisho was the best thing we ate, the tentacles nicely charred on the outside, the flesh within creamy and sticky. Burmese crab masala was just as good, the heat tempered by slices of raw coconut, with a pair of roti on the side for mopping up the sauce.

Black cod and scallops were both delicious in themselves, but neither the cod’s miso sauce nor the sweetcorn and yuzu hot sauce with the scallops brought anything to the table.

Snail and watercress dumplings, meanwhile, had elegantly pleated wontons wrapped around an indefinable filling redolent of the bottom of the garden, while a healthy-sounding side order of wok-fried greens was seasoned with enough salt to send blood pressure skyrocketing.

And that’s before the bill arrives. Prawn toast for £8 was four weeny chunks of stubby fried bread, stuffed with prawns and blobbed with sesame kimchi, that could have been skewered on a cocktail stick and served as a canapé; nor could any of the other sharing plates be described as a generous portion. The wine list has little of interest below £50, while you’ll be pointed way above that if you ask the sommeliers for advice.

Service, meanwhile, was all over the place. We were leapt on as soon as we sat down, but it was ages before anyone took our order and what then arrived wasn’t what we’d asked for; perhaps the iPad ordering devices had malfunctioned.

Ramsay himself was seated on a nearby table and looked like he was having a blast – as did most of the dressed-up diners here, many of whom we’d guess were guests from nearby hotels thrilled to be eating the food of the man who remains Britain’s most famous chef.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Pan Asian
Eat at Home
Takeaway service
Ambience
Dark and moody, Glamorous, Lively, Luxury, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Dinner, Late night dining, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining, Vegetarian options
People
Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay

This Asian eating house is the brainchild of TV chef Gordon Ramsay, and replaces his much-loved Maze Mayfair, which operated for 14 years. 

Inspired by the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo, Lucky Cat is led by executive chef Ben Orpwood, who has previous experience at the likes of glamorous Sexy Fish and long-standing Japanese concept Zuma.   

Lucky Cat’s interiors are the work of design studio AfroditiKrassa, who boast the likes of popular Indian group Dishoom in their portfolio. Food wise, you can expect to dine from a menu of Asian-style small plates and dishes from a robata grill. Chow down on dishes such as seared otoro with house soy, wakame oil and baby kale, as well as Orkney scallop with yuzu and sweetcorn hot sauce, wasabi leaf and lime.

Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay is featured in

Location

10 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1K 6JP

020 7107 0000

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 12:00-00:00
Tue 12:00-00:00
Wed 12:00-00:00
Thu 12:00-00:00
Fri 12:00-01:00
Sat 12:00-01:00
Sun 11:00-22:00

Reviews

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6 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Alex G

28 November 2021  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
Lucky for some

A decade or so ago, Gordon Ramsay was, arguably, one of the most famous chefs in the UK. He has certainly been responsible for a subsequent generation of culinary luminaries such as Clare Smyth and Jason Atherton. Current consensus, however, veers to the critical for Ramsay – maybe he has lost his touch? – and when Lucky Cat opened in late 2019 (unfortunately just pre-pandemic), critics seemingly rushed to be sceptical. Sure, maybe London does not need another slightly edgy yet still very commercial pan-Asian venture (think Roka, Zuma et al), but my comrade and I were recently impressed by a lunchtime visit to Lucky Cat. Even if Gordon is not cooking their personally, the Ramsay touch is still evident. The manta seems to be one of dare to be (a little) different and try and do it very well. Perhaps the biggest bugbear of the critics at launch was the levels of service at Lucky Cat, but in this respect, we could find no reason to fault the restaurant. The venue did not hesitate to move me when I complained that the initial table we had been offered was located too close to the kitchen. Further, all our requests were fulfilled throughout the meal and service was neither inept or intrusive; simply down-the-line solid. Onto the food and, sure, it’s arguably the usual pan-Asian mish-mash of sushi, steak and the inevitable black cod, but the execution was generally highly competent (perhaps an 8 out of 10), even if not truly mind-blowing. We were not given too much help from our server vis-à-vis choosing, but I opted for three starters for my comrade and I to share, followed by a main (although we both chose the same dish for the latter). Our salt and pepper prawns were better than many sampled elsewhere and pleasingly ungreasy. Tuna tartare was also a success (firm and succulent), although the ceviche lacked depth and flavour. Szechuan steak mains were undermined by the lack of tenderness in the meat, although the dressing which accompanied them was truly excellent, zingy and slightly mouth-numbing. An artichoke side also showed inspired originality, as well as tasting good. We stuck only to water and so it is not possible to pass comment on the drinks range. However, at close on £100/head, you know you’re in Mayfair, and Lucky Cat may well do better with those on corporate expenses than drop-in diners. Gordon did make an appearance while we there. He seemed enthused by the vibe at Lucky Cat and our experience would suggest that a revisit is deserved.

Angela M

15 November 2021  
Birthday dream shattered by disappointing visit

I am loathe to write this as a. I LOVE Gordon and b. have a personal bucket list goal of eating at every one of his London restaurants in my lifetime (have eaten at many already) BUT.... if you are someone like me... i.e. a normal working class person with an average salary.... who has to save up to eat at places like this, either for a real treat or special occasion... then I would recommend choosing somewhere else :(

The thing I love the most about 'fancy' restaurants is the food and the service. And Gordon's are usally no exception.  Hence this was such a letdown.  Myself and 2 friends went for my birthday.  Both rarely go to such places so I was excited for them as much as me.  We arrived about 15 minutes early for our table and having not been to the restaurant before were unsure which direction to take when we came through the door as both left and right had a bar and table with people eating.  There were 5 young girls on what I assumed was the welcome desk. 3 looked up and looked away. 2 were on their phones.   We stood awkwardly for a few minutes.  Then a very well dressed and attractive younger couple entered behind us. Someone walked around us to greet them and take them to their table. At that point I approached the desk. One of the girls looked up and just said "Yes?" When I mentioned my reservation she looked vague and said it was only for 2 (it was for 3) but eventually we were seated. Our nice waiter Massimo approached and said he had a note that we had been there before (no) but when we explained we had not he explained the menu to us and went to special lengths to recommended dishes for my gluten intolerant friend. No issues with Massimo's service. 

Of the dishes we had only some were good. The butter roast cauliflower was not roasted. Only one part was partially charred (my friend returned this). Both Tempura dishes were pretty tasteless including the watery dip that they came with. The rice was also bland. The monkfish take was best value for money based on portion size, however was overcooked and completely overwheled by the extremly pungest fresh herbs which none of us could eat. The pork belly skewers and prawn toast were delicious but tiny portions.  Aubergine salad also tasty and decent size. My friend also enjoyed her sushi (taste and portion size) and I liked my pork and ginger gyoza.

At the end a waiter said happy birthday and slid (almost tossed) a dish, across the table with 2 chocs and happy birthday piped it. No ceremony, no feeling, just very perfunctory. I was looking at my phone at the time so almost missed it. 

Unfortunately the greeting and welcome - or lack of - on arrival ruined the evening for me and we never really recovered from it. I did tell Massimo who spoke to his manager, Carlotta. She could not have been more apologetic and listened to all our points and took them all as given and acknowledged none of it was good enough. She did take off the service charge and cost of the cauliflower dish. She also gave us some complimentary Champagne when we said we didn't want to see the dessert menu as all we wanted to do was just to pay and leave.

I'm assuming something was said to the girls on the door as they were falling over themselves to talk to us on the way out. 

One other note..... the communal toilets are so dark. Every customer I saw in there expressed confusion about where to go. They also couldn't tell if the bottles were handwash or lotion and only 1 of the 5 taps worked. 

Such a shame overall. I took a great deal of time choosing this restaurant and was so excited all day. In the end withing 2 minutes of being in the place I felt ignored and embarassed. We all gave ourselves pep talks at the table, but sadly the evening never really recovered.  Oh one final note.. I contact GR via Instagram with a note about how we'd been treated on arrival. Someone read it but didn't reply. 

Anon

25 October 2021  
Food & Drink 4
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 0.5
Sadly bad. Terrible service on a great restaurant. Mood killer.

Food is amazing and the atmosphere too, but the service is definitely not up to the expectations. Not at all aligned with the venue, or the expected for a world famous micheling star chef. Their bad service totally killed my experience, unfortunately.

Rude and moody staff. Total mood killer.

Jordanne C

23 November 2019  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 0.5
A terrible and potentially life threatening experience

Last night (Friday 22nd November 2019), I visited Lucky Cat for dinner and to say it was a disgraceful experience would be an understatement.

Myself and my family had decided to go to Lucky Cat to celebrate mine and another family members birthdays. On Monday night (Monday 18th November) I called the restaurant to discuss the allergies of one of the attendees. I went through in detail with the lady who answered the Reception/bookings phone the severe allergies which include nuts, sesame, lentils and fish. The lady then found my booking for Friday, seemed to note down the allergies and proceeded to tell me that they would be able to accommodate for these. Even going as far as to suggest the sirloin steak, tempura, duck bao buns and lamb chops as viable options for someone with these allergies.

Rest assured that my guest would be looked after by Lucky Cat, I cancelled 2 subsequent bookings that I had at other top London restaurants.

Upon arrival, we were seated at our table and a waiter greeted us and handed us the menus. After a quick review of the menu, as to be extra cautious, we relaid the allergy requirements of the guest to the waiter, the waiter was completely surprised and confused as it would be extremely unlikely that the restaurant could cater to these allergies.

The waiter, who himself admitted he did not speak the best English, then proceeded to write down my guests allergies and disappear to the kitchen for 10 minutes. He then returned to question one of the allergies that he had misunderstood as ‘lettuce’, corrected by my guest, he then disappeared back off to the kitchen for a further 25 minutes.

When the waiter returned, he gave my guest options that they could specially cook for him as pretty much all the food contained sesame. As the sirloin, duck and tempura (as suggested by the receptionist) was not within these small sharing food options, we became even more enraged and asked to speak to the manager who eventually provided additional support to my guest.

In this day and age when allergies are so often in the news and companies such as Pret and Byron Burger have come under such scrutiny for negligence and subsequent fatalities, I do not understand how it is possible that a brand new London restaurant can operate in this way. Not only should the reception/booking staff be competent enough to give out allergy information, it should be of up most important that if allergies are communicated to a restaurant in advance, they should at the very least be added to the booking notes.

What’s even worse is that even at Wagamama, a ‘high street’ food chain restaurant, if allergies are reported, it is policy that the manager, and only the manager takes the table order. The fact that a restaurant that brands itself as ‘luxury’ does not insist that this is the case is actually criminal, instead an a waiter who admitted his English is not great is responsible for the well being of someone with serve allergies.

I am so upset by the experience that I feel the need to make the general public aware of this as to warn those with serve allergies not to attend. The visit could have been life threatening and a serious investigation into your policy around allergies should be started immediately.

A serve allergic reaction is not something you leave to chance

Anon

07 November 2019   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 4
Stunning Food and Service

Absolutely delicious, pork gyoza, snail dumpling, venison dish, monkfish and bacon skewer, pork and mustard skewer and prawns a dream. We will be back! Service was friendly, attentive and personable - Good energy all around, Thank you!

 

Massimiliano M

23 September 2019  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 1
Value 2
Lucky cat experience

I have tried Lucky cat last week on a Thursday evening

The place was quite full 

The service has been very professional and few dishes really interesting, Good wine selection, so what is wrong about this place.

It lacks of personality, it is really noisy, and tables are relly close, quite dark but not in a way that becomes intriguing or creates some interest

The guest were mixed: families with kids, couples, group of business people... so what kind of place you are going to?

Not clear in a way and this will impact the crowd of people.

In the reservation I have been asking for some attention of the end of the meal for a cake...but it was completly forgotten

You don’t feel like a special customer but as one of many and the feeling is that you could go into another place and have the same experience

I believe it should change this soon or this place will indeed make money but not mine

 

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