Le Gavroche opened in London in 1967, a famous collaboration between the Roux brothers. It was the first time that high-end, classic French cuisine had been offered in the capital, and it remains an influential establishment to this day. It maintains a classic, traditional French style, both in the surrounds, and it's food. As you would expect with any high end French restaurant, the service is second to none, with an accomodating and attentive staff. The detail and care taken extends to all parts of the meal, with a constant flow of fresh bread, butter and water, long before you need to ask - a personal metric of mine at any good restaurant. They offer an A La Carte and Menu Exceptionnel (Tasting menu) in the evening, with a fixed price menu lunch menu also available through the day.
It's difficult to fault Le Gavroche. The quality of the ingredients, and the skill with which they are prepared are beyond reproach. The Menu Exceptionnel covers a wide range of dishes, but is a lot of food. As you would expect with traditional French cuisine, the dishes are rich, and thus sometimes a little heavy, so come prepared for a lot of food. The restaurant offers paired wines with their tasting menus, which I would definitely recommend.
All of this comes at a price - Le Gavroche once held the World Record for the most expensive meal, and it remains one of the most expensive places to dine in London. The tasting menu comes in at £124 for food, £194 including paired wines. Unlike similar establishments such as The Square though, it represents incredible value for money, and a unique spectacle within the London dining scene.
Last reviewed on July 26th , 2014
Hints and tips
- What will it cost?
Lunch set menu - £54.80.
Dinner tasting menu, with wine - £194.
A la carte is also available at all times.
- Nearest tube
- Getting a table
Reservations are available up to three months in advance by date. For example, if you wish to book for September 25, the earliest you can make the request is June 25.
- Lunchtime menu
The Business Lunch menu comes in at a very reasonable £54.80, which gets you three courses, a half-bottle of wine, a half-bottle of mineral water and coffee.
- What to wear
Dresswear is smart casual, but all male diners must wear a jacket, and must keep it worn throughout the meal. Jeans with a shirt and jacket are perfectable acceptable.
- Quirky menus
Keep an eye out for a slightly old-fashioned but wonderful quirk of how they hand out menus. If someone has booked the meal, and the restaurant are aware a single person may be paying, they will only give the paying person a menu with prices. Everyone else is in the dark. Quite how they figure out who in the party is the paying member, I have yet to work out.
- Doggy bag
You get a lot of food for your hard earned cash at Le Gavroche. Feel free to ask them to pack up anything you don't finish, the staff will happily sort out a foil swan or similar so you can take home anything you want to keep.
- Keep the menu
If you have the tasting menu, the staff will give you a copy of the menu that evening. Feel free to keep it, and if you'd like a copy for each of your party, just ask.
- Food Snob (2008)
For me, dining at Le Gavroche is like coming home. It is not that I am a regular – which makes it all the more remarkable – but rather the warm, welcome feeling I get being pampered and fed in my favourite restaurant in town.