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Gordon Ramsay’s latest venture - We Test Drive Heddon Street Kitchen

Gordon Ramsay’s latest venture - We Test Drive Heddon Street KitchenWhat do we need to know about Heddon Street Kitchen?

It’s London’s latest addition to the Gordon Ramsay Group. Following in the footsteps of Bread Street Kitchen in St Paul's which opened in 2011, Heddon Street has a much more casual approach to fine dining than the TV chef’s flagship restaurant in Mayfair.

And it’s by no means pokey, stretching 8,900 sq ft over two floors. The Head Chef is Maria Tampakis who comes here via Bread Street Kitchen and before that New York's highly regarded Jean-Georges.

Whether you’re stopping by for a quick breakfast or lunch, planning a prolonged dinner or just a few after-work cocktails, Heddon Street Kitchen is aiming to serve up a relaxed, modern European menu, seven days a week.

Where can we meet for drinks beforehand?

Based in Mayfair in the Regent's Street Food Quarter, Heddon Street Kitchen is surrounded by an abundance of traditional London pubs and cocktails joints, so choosing somewhere to drink beforehand completely depends on what you’re in the mood for.

There’s the Strawberry Moons cocktail bar just next door if you fancy a quick drink, or you take a four minute walk up Regent’s Street to Sketch, an 18th-century townhouse tea room that transforms into a cocktail lounge every evening. Although that's a bit on the pricey side.

If you’re looking for a novelty pre-dinner drink, you could always head across the street to Ice Bar for cocktails in glasses crafted out of ice shipped in from Northern Sweden. Although you can only really stay for one, mind, since the bar is below freezing to ensure the receptacles don’t melt.

If you’d rather not stray from the vicinity of the restaurant, you don’t have to. There's a great bar and lounge area serving up an extensive list of drinks, unique cocktails and nibbles if you just fancy a snack.

Where should we sit?

We sat in a corner booth, adjacent to the window and bar, meaning we got a good look at what was going on both inside and outside the restaurant, without feeling closed in or too exposed.

You can opt to eat in the terrace outside too which, as you’d expect, was empty at this time of year. We can imagine the quiet courtyard would be somewhere nice to park ourselves and slurp on cocktails after a day’s work in summer time, though.

What should we order?

The menu consists of six simple sections: hot starters, cold starters, salads, mains, grill and sides.

We kicked off the meal with the roasted veal carpaccio from the cold starter menu, and we didn’t want it to end. Dished up with dill pickles, quail’s egg and tuna dressing, the tender veal melted in the mouth and was the perfect light starter to gear up our stomachs for the main course.

From the hot starters menu, we recommend the flatbread, which comes with butternut squash, mushrooms, caper berries and taleggio cheese. Perhaps not the daintiest starter on the menu but a good vegetarian choice, particularly for those that haven’t eaten since breakfast.

We weren’t adventurous enough to give the 45oz £90 Tomahawk Steak a try, but we enjoyed the slow-roasted Saddleback pork belly with spiced apple sauce, which was at a much friendlier price of £16 and was surprisingly generous in portion size.

A stand-out side was the spiced honey carrots, which were seasoned perfectly with star anise, adding a touch of Christmas spice to their buttery glaze.

For dessert, we opted for the £8 chocolate fondant with mint chocolate chip ice cream and my, weren’t we happy we did. Not only is it Gordon Ramsay’s favourite recipe and signature dessert, it was by far the most impressive course of the evening. Its melting texture and hot liquid centre was a delicious contrast against the mint ice cream. We will definitely be going back, even if it’s just for another one of those.

As the portion sizes are plentiful, it’s no surprise that Heddon Street Kitchen is offering diners the choice of a liquid dessert if they don’t have more room for sweet stodge. A stand out dessert cocktail is the Earl Grey-infused Gin, blended with strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

What about drinks?

We had to give the cocktail menu a try, if simply for how it was split between a pre-food drinks and "what we would drink on our night off" menu.

While we flicked through the food menu, we went straight for the one at the top of the starters list, the Brits Spritz. Priced at £11, this one’s an obvious take on the classic Italian Aperol Spritz but they’ve swapped out the aperitif with London’s own Kamm & Sons, alongside soda and Prosecco as well as some elderflower cordial. It made a good pre-dinner drink, as it is citrusy and light enough not to overwhelm you before chowing down.

Other starter cocktails include the £10 Grey Goose Le Fizz, a simple vodka and elderflower offering with lime juice and soda, or the heavier £10 Mile Rye Club, consisting of Rittenhouse Rye, Antica Formula, Blossoms raspberry syrup, egg white and lemon.

And wine?

Looking at the "by the glass" section of the wine list, you can get a glass of Verdicchio Spumante sparkling for £7.50. The cheapest wine is £5.50 a glass and prices go up as far as £22 a glass for One Point Five. A particular highlight was the Domaine Faury Condrieu, a French silky and floral white which complemented the pork belly perfectly.

Overall thoughts

Heddon Street Kitchen has a relaxed vibe with good quality food at a decent price, delivered with excellent friendly service throughout. The restaurant didn't fill up until around 8pm, so go right after work for a quieter eat, or later if you enjoy a buzzy atmosphere. One downside was that we were expecting a little more for vegetarian diners. Overall the menu was very meat-heavy and rather limited for those that don’t eat meat or fish, as there was only one completely meat-free option on the mains menu, the baked spinach, ricotta and artichoke cannelloni.

Heddon Street Kitchen is at 3-9 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BD. Find out more.

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Hot Dinners were invited to Heddon Street Kitchen. Prices are correct at the time of writing.