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www.gordonramsay.com/heddon-street Blue Moon - an after-dinner libation

3-9 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BE

IMAGES ©CHJOHN CAREY

King Crab Thermidor

The American

HEDDON STREET KITCHEN

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick

L

ondon has a food quarter! Who knew? The whole town has become foodie heaven, so how Heddon Street managed to win the title is a mystery, but it has, and not without reason. Away from the power-shopping crowds, this delightful pedestrian passage is an oasis of restaurants. Heddon Street Kitchen, part of the Gordon Ramsay group, is the latest addition, and it’s an example of teamwork at its best. Maria Tampakis, born in Brooklyn, learned about food from her Greek family, trained with French guru Jean Georges and English superstar Heston Blumenthal before joining Ramsay. Talk about pedigree! Her food is one big “melting pot”. Greek, Asian, French, English…. delicate, complex and flavorful all at the same time. Flawless. Our waitress Maria is from Bulgaria. Another divine immigrant. Absolutely charming, her recommendations were spot on every time. So too, Sommelier Angelika Oparczyk from Poland. Her wine list

30 August 2015

is spectacular. For us she suggested a wine that was created specifically for the Asian market by a Japanese chef and a French vintner. Gyotaku Gentil is an Alsatian blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. Brilliant. Last, but far from least is Englishborn bar manager, Dan Berger. Dan discovered his mixology skills when he emigrated to Australia. He just won the UK final of Bombay Sapphire’s World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition and will soon attend the global final. His drink, Age of Discovery (£10) is amazing. Emphasis on zing! Gin, chestnut honey infused with coriander seed, Darjeeling tea syrup, lemon, olive oil and marjoram. I am infusing chestnut honey as I write! The dining room is warehouse chic. The upstairs has a fine view of Heddon Street and you can eat al fresco dining too. The message is fine food for a laid back crowd. At the bar we had the best popcorn I have ever tasted. Spicy

Mexican. Even my guest who hates popcorn ate a whole bowl of it! Soy and sake cured salmon with yuzu avocado purée and lotus root and spicy tuna tartare with chilli, garlic, sesame oil and won ton crisps, both £12, both fabulous. This is Tampakis at her best. She melds a lot of flavors together but still lets the fish shine through. Dried lotus root was the jewel in the crown; the wine, a perfect match. Oven roasted lobster, garlic parsley butter, mixed leaf and hand cut chips (£40) was a stunner and duck with pink peppercorns, watercress purée and fondant potato (£25) was also cooked perfectly. Pineapple carpaccio was a beautiful, light dessert and bread and butter pudding was one of the best ever. Even so, an adult milkshake of Earl Grey infused gin with strawberries and vanilla ice cream was so good, drinking dessert is definitely an option. Not an easy choice. Perhaps they should change the name to Heddon Street Bar & Kitchen!

The American August 2015 Issue 746  

The leading cross-media publication for Americans in the UK - and anyone interested in American culture

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