Paul Mercer indulges in modern French-Asian fusion cuisine at MAZE, Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin Star restaurant…
The place and ambience
‘Chic, lively and fun’
Overlooking Grosvenor Gardens in the exclusive Mayfair area of London, Maze’s ambience is chic and energetic. The restaurant is ultra-modern and a labyrinth feel is created with the use of handcrafted screens to give a sense of mystery and surprise.
The clientele is lively and there is a distinct buzz. You immediately get the sense that everyone is enjoying themselves. The dining area is functional in its layout and the service is first class. Our waiter for the evening was clearly keen that we had a great dining experience and immediately impressed with his knowledge of the menu and the careful guidance he provided in helping us select dishes aptly suited to our palates. Of particular note is how the waiting staff discreetly monitor your progress and ensure that there is minimal waiting time between courses so that your focus is always on you dining experience.
For foodies wanting to try as many dishes as possible I would recommend that you try either the Chef’s Menu that consists of six tasting courses or the Early Supper Tasting Menu that comprises either three or four tasting courses. In order to try as many dishes as possible I selected the six course Chef’s Menu and the four-course Early Supper Tasting Menu. Would the tastes live up to the stylish and lively atmosphere? Let’s see…
Our first serving was the chilled pea soup and pea salad and I must admit I did not have high expectations. I mean, there is only so much you can do with a pea, isn’t there? How wrong could I be? I can honestly say I have never tasted peas like the ones I tasted at Maze. The soup and the salad were exquisite. The peas were so flavorsome, rich and creamy, cooked and seasoned to perfection. A surprising and very pleasant start and a must have item.
The second dish was a refreshing gazpacho soup which was good, however, this was forgotten after we tasted the pressed confit duck and foie gras Waldorf salad. Another amazing dish, so fresh and so succulent. Your mouth is left drooling, wanting more. I certainly did not expect further courses to meet this high standard, but I continued to be surprised as each subsequent tasting dish rivaled the previous one. My favorites were the braised veal shin, the quail and the boiled beef cheeks and if I had to pick my overall favorite it would be the boiled beef cheeks, so succulent. Melt in your mouth slivers of meat in a rich meaty sauce.
For dessert we chose the selection of home-made ice cream and sorbets and the summer fruit crumble with a berry sorbet, elderflower mousse and granola. Absolutely delectable and a wonderful way to complete such a great evening of fine dining.
‘Michelin Star cuisine at bargain prices’
You would expect a Michelin Star restaurant to be expensive, but you will be surprised at the value Maze offers. The three course tasting menu only costs £25, the four courses £36 and the six courses £70. A tasting feast for two is likely to cost about £120 if you include soft drinks and a 12.5 per cent service charge. This represents exceptional value and I would describe these prices as a bargain.
After watching Gordon Ramsay assess other people’s restaurants I was eager to assess one of his restaurants, to see if he lives up to his own high standards. I can happily say that Maze does meet the standards that Gordon Ramsay sets for others. The quality of the service, the range and inventiveness on the menu, the styling and the overall ambience creates a truly memorable fine dining experience. If you are a foodie or simply want a top notch fine dining experience and you are passing through Mayfair I would definitely recommend you pay Maze a visit.