The Ritz Restaurant
The Ritz Restaurant
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SquareMeal Review of The Ritz Restaurant

Gold Award

Nobody goes to the unimaginably opulent Ritz Restaurant on the off-chance – this is proper special-occasion dining, where chaps wear smart suits and ladies don their poshest back-of-the-wardrobe frocks. The pay-off is, of course, Michelin-starred food served in a “truly exquisite” fin de siècle dining room with cherubic pink-hued lighting and legions of tail-coated staff pandering to your every whim (service is “beyond this world”, drools one fan). Exec chef John Williams MBE is a master of the ever-present haute-cuisine classics (beef Wellington, Bresse duck, baked Alaska etc), but he’s no conservative – witness thrilling ideas such as poached langoustine topped with pickled fennel on crushed broad beans and verbena, veal fillet with girolles and Grelot onions or Dover sole with truffles and grapes and unctuous cauliflower purée. After that, there is much flambéing of crêpes Suzette in the grand Escoffier manner, although modernists might prefer coconut mousse with compressed pineapple and passion-fruit sorbet. If money’s tight (heaven forbid!), opt for the sommelier’s wine pairing; if not, indulge in the patrician glories of the full list. Either way, The Ritz Restaurant delivers “a night to remember”. 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cuisines
French
Ambience
Fine dining, Glamorous, Quiet conversation, Traditional, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Other Awards
One michelin star
Food Occasions
Breakfast
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
People
Romantic, Special occasions, Special occasions

Location for The Ritz Restaurant

The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR

020 7300 2370

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 7am-11am (Sun 8am- ) 12.30-2pm 5.30-10pm (Sun 7pm- )

Reviews of The Ritz Restaurant

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12 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Paul A

Not up to expectations
04 September 2018  
It was quite clear that most of the customers in the dining room were there either because they were staying in the hotel or because this was The Ritz and not because they were looking for a fine dining experience worthy of the ratings it has. This must present the chef with something of a problem when it comes to compiling the menu - logically he must stay within certain traditional boundaries imposed by the expectations of the clientele while keeping up with the ever improving visions of the UK restaurant scene. If you have a grand dining room preserved in its original state, waiting staff wearing tailcoats, cloches used to present one or two of the dishes, a vocalist and string quartet accompanying your meal and you are not permitted to have any idea of the sequence of dishes on the Menu Surprise (because otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise!), you do start to wonder. Happily our table was not too close to the live music, and initially the almost exclusively Italian front of house staff seemed up to the task. However, from the point when I consulted the wine waiter on which half bottles would best suit the tasting menu, got no real advice, chose anyway from the singularly overpriced list and received no information about the suitability of my choices, things seemed to go downhill. The menu was well-balanced but we found it very much on the safe side, with no surprises and not a single dish that we could express any real enthusiasm about. It was obvious that John Williams is competent but perhaps having to work within limits. For the record the Menu Surprise consisted of some good canapés, sweet lemon meringue with salmon, a duck liver cigar - crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and a parmesan biscuit sandwich, then a consommé of dehydrated heritage tomato with a lemon verbena sauce, parmesan espuma and elderflower head, followed by a duck liver terrine with port, cherries, cherry and port purée, crême fraîche, and toast. This was followed by girolle agnolotti with a red wine sauce and a slice of pecorino, and then the first course that actually suited our white wine, Cornish turbot with a good butter finish but slightly too firm for our taste, accompanied by braised leeks sitting on top of the fish, cauliflower purée and chervil. The meat course was loin and cutlet of new season lamb with a basil and tomato sauce. Disappointingly I found some bone in my serving of loin. A cheese course of Tunworth with Australian truffle, candied walnuts, poached pear and herbs was curiously the most enjoyable of all the dishes we had. The two desserts were peach sorbet with almond crumbs on an almond tartlet, and what was designated milk chocolate with hazelnuts and ice cream, but the hazelnut fudge and caramel rather dominated.
Food & Drink
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Mr. Lloyd S

Amazing Menu Surprise Lunch
12 December 2017  
A stunning meal in a fantastic hotel is the best way to describe our dining experience. The moment you arrive you are amazed by the exquisite decor and the absolutely friendly & professional staff who look after you and make you feel so welcome. As you make your way down the beautiful corridor passing where they have afternoon tea to the end where you presented with a gorgeous view of the amazing dining room to where the fantastic experience begins as the waiters & sommelier take over and I have to say the service was of the highest order. While we looked at the menu we enjoyed a lovely glass of Charles Heidsieck Champagne. Our decision was to go for the Menu Surprise which was to be a Six Course Tasting Menu but instead of having the Matched Wines we decided to choose our own with the help and excellent advice from the sommelier . So now we move onto the food to which under the inspiration of Chef John Williams was as amazing as the dining room itself. We started with some delightful snacks before moving onto our first course a fantastic Foie Gras dish with a slice of toasted brioche this was followed by a heavenly Langoustine course then it was a Celeriac dish which was prepared at the table as was the sauce for the following Turbot course before the main dish a truly outstanding Beef Wellington which was absolutely stunning & matched with a superb Barbera D'Alba red wine. Our next course was cheese but with a difference a delightful Goats Cheese twill with pear before the main dessert a Chocolate mousse with a chestnut purée and topped with meringue and with coffee plus delicious petit fours to finish our amazing lunch came to its conclusion but will never be forgotten because its was definitely a experience to remember for a long time. This is certainly a restaurant that I would highly recommend and when it's situated in this magnificent hotel where the attention you get even before you enter the dining room is hospitality at its finest it wouldn't be a hard decision to return
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Tara H

Anniversary Splurge
20 June 2017  
Filled with opulent interiors and equally opulent guests, a night at the Ritz restaurant when 'Live at the Ritz' is on is one to remember. We visited for our wedding anniversary and from the moment we entered the Rivoli bar for a pre-dinner drink until the time we left the restaurant at midnight we were treated like royalty by every member of staff. The food is absolutely classic - like its home, and cooked to perfection. We visited during Live at the Ritz and were entertained by a live band, dinner and dancing topped off with the theatre of Crepe Suzette flambe at the table side. There are many beautiful wines to choose from in the extensive list however we opted to let the sommelier bring us what they thought would go well with the food and their choices were impeccable. If you are visiting, be prepared to go the whole hog and enjoy it - it will likely be pricey! but so worth it. A night to remember.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Ms/Mrs. Lynn W

A classic
18 March 2016  
A delightful dinner with friends, on a special set menu including a glass of Champagne at a moderate price. One feels cosseted while staff whisk away winter overcoats and usher you to your table. The dining room is highly ornate, the table settings sparkling, the multitude of mirrors disconcerting. Food is delicious and very pretty on the plate. My hens egg with mushrooms and herbs was dainty and remarkably intense in mushroom flavour, the halibut with broccoli, leek and Champagne sauce delicate but sufficiently rich at the same time. The banana soufles served for dessert looked amazing - such a rise out of the dish - while my choice of fruit for dessert was fresh and flavoursome and so beautifully cut and presented it felt like a special treat. Petit fours were served with little macarons, salted caramel chocolates and passion fruit jellies. Staff dealt with requests and changes to the set menu with an easy style where nothing is a problem, coping well with the late arrival of one of our party, even providing a story on request about the painted ceiling when we had an interruption to the service, and a business-like tie for one of our men who arrived with jacket and shirt but tie-less. All agreed we had had a very good dinner, with the main flaw being the live music. Earlier on the music was fine, not intrusive, but later, rather than mellowing out they turned to a rather loud medley of Julie Andrews popular film numbers which didn't really go with the overall ambiance, and sadly became irritating and hindered conversation.
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Mr. Nicholas B

Annoying noises
30 October 2015  
Lunch for 2, the tasting menu with matching wines was nearly £400. If your paying that much for lunch what you do not want is to have the waiters hoovering the carpet while you still have 3 courses to eat! I have dined at the Ritz at least 25 times and everything has been good previously, but on this occasion It was completely unacceptable to have a noisy vacuum cleaner droning away in the background. To be fair I asked them to stop and they did.
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Mr. Kenichi I

Great London experience - more so for visitors
26 August 2013  
We went to the Ritz Restaurant on a special family occasion. The decoration and atmosphere is still great and maintains its charm after decades. Food was very good, enjoyable, if not exactly Michelin starred. The challenge is service; there are too many tables for the number of waiters available. They lack elegance because of the pressure to do many works at one time although we did feel they all meant well. I can see why the place is so popular, rightfully so. We enjoyed the great atmosphere, pretty good food and drinks, and other guests and staffs were all suitable for one of the great London attractions. There was a certain error in arrangement I had tried to make but that I believe was just one of those things that happens from time to time which they didn't mean. But the overall experience does much more than just to justify the choice for the occasion. But, it is expensive when you compare the overall scores with those of serious institutions for London patrons in town including but not limited to officially Michelin starred ones. I am sure you will enjoy the experience and I think we will visit again, with guests who visit London on tourism given the emphasis towards the ambience than other aspects.
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Mr. Patrick B

The old ways are sometimes...
20 March 2013  
… the best. And this really encapsulates the Ritz. Yes, it is expensive, yes the decor has seen better days and yes some of the extras are pricey, but and this is the key here: it delivers. In a very big way. The dining room, mainly in the evening, lunch I am less keen on, is beautiful. There is a glow which few other public restaurants have, the candles, the music and food. The food is excellent, not in a cutting edge way, but in a classic well taught and well executed way. The team of Sommelliers are excellent, and contrary to popular belief are not there to rip you off at all – much to the contrary. On a recent visit, I was guided towards a better value bottle which is a rare and very pleasant experience. The Ritz then does not try to compete with some of the very modern two and three star offerings, it is a far more timeless and tested experience, which is not there to educate or to push boundaries, but to entertain, to please and to give a refresher on “how it's really done”. The ground by the way is very mixed these days and the atmosphere many things but not stuffy in the least. I found myself leaving and thinking, I hope the Ritz, when it is eventually gets refreshed, will not fall prey to the fate of so many great London hotels of being spoilt by fashion, or for that matter the generic tastes of a large multi-national hotel group. It's just fine the way it has been and the way it is. And life is still too short not to try it and then go again and again…
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Mr. Gerry F

Sadly past its glorious best
19 February 2013  
I have been eating at the Ritz for over 40 years.The most wonderful “High Camp” dining room and immaculate service with excellent unchallenging but top quality food.Imeant to write this review a while ago , so excusethe non current nature. I took a decent sized group for a Christmas dinner and was treated to an experience that would have shamed a branch of a Harvester restaurant. The service was well meaning but useless. The food was beyond ordinary. Cold pre-prepared stodge. Dumped on plates in unattractive lumps , seemingly quite a while previously. Very dissapointing.we shall not be returning. Such a pity, because it used to be great. Even the Christmas tree was dead !
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Ms/Mrs. Helen L

10 September 2012  
There’s no questioning the sense of elegance at The Ritz. Staff waltz through the room with balletic grace, and I found myself sitting up considerably straighter. I visited with family for a three-course lunch (£40, with a flute of bubbly). Pink-cheeked gents wriggled in their ties and jackets, sheepish and unsure as to whether they could shed their layers given the dress code. But when I checked whether an aperatif was on the house, and my Mum unceremoniously pelted the table with salmon mousse following a canape-related incident, the waiters were faultless. Each was a veritable posterboy for decorum, making peculiar and formal surroundings a touch less unnerving. Granted, there was always an upsell – a second bottle, a brandy for the road – but with the shower of complementary treats we enjoyed (a bottomless bread basket, and many tiers of petits fours), I didn’t really mind. I bargained on there being at least one affordable wine, but more the fool me – I’m clearly not textbook Ritz material, as entry level is dangerously close to the £50 mark. The house Chablis – albeit nice – set me back a whopping £52. (We nipped to the wine bar in the bowels of Fortnum’s for seconds, which was a considerably more savvy option). I remember taking in the scene having expected both the food and décor to be far more traditional. Instead it’s like dining at Versailles, with Liberace there as artistic director to spruce things up a bit. It’s bling, to a monstrous extent. Locating doorways can be problematic such is the visual assault, but it’s all very nice if you like that sort of thing. The area where afternoon tea is served looks marginally more reserved than the main restaurant, but you cannot fail to be knocked out by the sheer, bullish audacity of the scheme. The cuisine was a genuine surprise; it’s the last place I expected to find egg yolk cooked sous vide, or torte masquerading as a plump, glossy cherry. There must be an arsenal of pipettes and artfully-poised set squares behind the scenes in the kitchen because the meal was aspirational and rich in every sense. I’m not convinced that the chef actually loves to eat though, which is always disappointing. Dishes look phenomenal and precise to the point of wonder, but the generosity of offerings like unbilled black truffle doesn’t necessarily extend to general seasoning and flavour. As a case in point, the puds divided the table: a souffle was executed with aplomb, but its accompanying ice cream was an abomination; like eating a Yankee candle from the branches of a pine tree. But my cherry clafoutis – which seemed so humble and straightforward on the menu- was a heavenly pleasure, dressed fittingly with a smattering of gold leaf. Frankly, it’s all a bit odd. Memorable and delightful without a doubt, but also a bizarre window to a whole new world of ‘posh’. You’re unlikely to find somewhere so grand and iconic to wow loved ones and I can readily understand why tourists clamber to witness the spectacle, but you’ll easily find better food in the capital at a fraction of the price.
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Ms/Mrs. Sabrina G

25 September 2010  
The Ritz, with all its pomp and glamour and elaborately ornate interiors… not always my first choice for a nice comfortable dinner. From the moment you walk in you are pampered and made to feel incredibly welcome; not at all the snooty service that some people fear in establishments such as this. We had dinner in a private room on this occasion, the menu having been pre-selected for us. 4 exquisite courses commenced with Cornish Crab Salad with Ginger Jelly, Lovage and Celery Vichysoisse followed by Filet of Sole with Morels, Leeks and Jura Wine Sauce. The crab salad was sweet and meaty in a delicate cream sauce and the Filet of Sole was beyond delicious, it was an absolute sensation with a perfectly cooked piece of sole in a silky smooth reduction of wine with leeks, dotted with Morel mushrooms. Heaven. A delicious Lemon sorbet dowsed in Champagne cleansed the palate beautifully making way for an enormous Roast Rack of Veal Forestiere with Madeira and Truffle Jus and an abundance of seasonal turned vegetables equating to one of the most mouth-watering dishes I have ever had in my life. The cutlet or Venison was perfectly cooked and nicely rare in the centre and the sauce was an absolute revelation of meaty flavours combined with Madeira wine and Truffles. I'm not sure how any course could possibly follow this standard of cooking and on this occasion, I was right. The final course was a Raspberry Souffle with a Verbena ice cream, which in my opinion was quite dissapointing. The souffle was overly sweet and not to my taste at all and the Verbena ice cream was a bizarre flavour that did not best accompany the main component of the dessert. However this aside, service was impeccable with staff appearing out of nowhere anytime you even thought that you may need something. The interiors were beautiful and the whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and on this occasion, I was invited as a guest and escaped the bill which would probably exceed £150.00 just for the food, not including any wine. How very lucky I was.
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