I had lunch at one other Gordon Ramsay restaurant before booking a table at Petrus. The other one was the one from Mayfair, a bright place inside the very fancy Marriott. Apart from a little mishap of me ordering the sweetcorn ribs and thinking they were made out of meat but instead they were sweetcorn “ribs”, the rest of my lunch was pretty good. And not that expensive.
At Petrus, things went a little differently. I’m not going to go all descriptive and bore you with a posh post about this experience. I’ll be unavoidably blunt and say that yes, this was the best meal of my entire life. Both in food and service, presentation, plating, timing, atmosphere, and everything. Sure the price was 6 times higher than at the other place but the meal was divine.
In this guide:
Petrus is a one-Michelin-star restaurant owned by Gordon Ramsay. Don’t judge him just yet. This man has 17 of the stars all chefs want the most, being the third most decorated chef in history. In the entire history of the culinary arts. It’s only natural that his restaurants should be perfect. At Petrus, the welcoming was spectacular. I went in a bit nervous and intimidated.
As soon as I walked in, the staff greeted me like I was their friend. A nice lady took my backpack, and another one showed me to my table. A third server said hello and a fourth one moved some things on my table. In Romania, you’re lucky if the server doesn’t hit you with a menu if you dare to ask anything, or God forbid order some food! Here, I instantly felt at home.
The Dinning Room
The restaurant is small but not crowded. Cosy is the word. It has about 20 or so tables set around a cool circular wine room in the middle. My table was the smaller kind, perfect for two people, and I loved the simplicity of it. It was stable and that’s a great thing because nowadays most restaurants, even the fancier ones, don’t really care about the furniture. Anything goes.
Another server came by to present me with the three available menus. I decided to go with the À la carte menu and ordered the lobster, the lamb and the souffle. My server explained everything to me and then handed the menu to another guy who took my order to the kitchen. All through the process the servers were SERVING! Incredible attention to detail like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
The Amuse Bouche
Somehow my meal was not just three courses but eight. I came into the restaurant thinking I’ll have to Uber to Nando’s or Wok To Walk after my meal but no, the food was PLENTY. The first course was some finger food, sort of little tarts, one filled with the most amazing hot cheese I’ve ever tasted and another with an avocado cream that just melted in my mouth. 5/5 stars.
The Bread and Soup
Next came the second course which was not my lobster. No, it was this bread made by the back of the house, all sourdough and perfectly chewy. Served with homemade butter and the smallest cup of soup, or I guess they called it consommé. The combo worked amazingly, especially since we’re used to eating bread with soup in my country. The butter was, like, DIVINE. 5/5 for sure.
So finally, my lobster came to the table, the very first tail of my life. It was a Scottish lobster with some melon sauce and stuff. I have to say, the taste of the lobster was great but I was not convinced about the texture. Luckily this is on me, as I had some dental work done the day before and it put my chewing capabilities on hold. And it was not chewy but not as soft as I was expecting it to be. I would’ve preferred the texture of shrimp. Really nice taste though, 4.7/5 stars.
The fourth course was indeed the lamb. And surely after the lobster, I had some doubts I’ll be able to chew through red meat with my dental work. Yet this lamb… you know when you say that meat melts in the mouth, but it doesn’t REALLY melt in the mouth? Well, this meat MELTED on my tongue. It was A5 Wagyu beef soft. And super flavourful without being too lamby. An easy 5/5!
So it was time for the souffle now but surely, apparently, you cannot have the souffle without the pre-desert. Which was this foam, in a round ashtray, with some berries sherbet at the bottom. When it comes to fresh deserts, this has to be the freshest thing I’ve ever had in my life. It just refreshed my mouth, along with my mind and body. It was sour and then sweet. And delicious. 6/5 stars, the best sweet thing of the day.
The souffle is a staple for the Gordon Ramsay empire. You can’t go much without hearing about it in one of his shows. So it felt natural for me to want to try it. And I found it different, from anything else I’ve ever experienced before in terms of sweets. It was not sweet but flavourful, with an intense airy component to it and very deep peach flavours. Delightful, 5/5 for sure!
The Petit Fours
When I thought that was that and was ready to roll out of Petrus, another desert came in. Three, in fact, a small, bite-sized praline with the most intense caramel flavour I’ve ever had, another jelly made out of rose petals, and some house-made madeleines. All three elements of that last serving were perfect, to be honest. And although full, I couldn’t resist them. Again, 5/5 stars.
The Candle Cake
… BUT WAIT: There’s more. As a final touch, the server came to the table with a cake and a lit candle on the plate. He told me to think about something nice that’s happened recently in my life and needs celebrating. Or something coming in the near future. This was truly a nice touch and I told him that the meal itself was worthy of a celebratory candle and cake. 7/5 for the gesture.
I had no wine or alcohol because of my dental work. Yet the lady that seated me, who I later found out was the maître d’, recommended a sparkling tea, a blend made of 3 different teas turned into a bubbly drink. That was one of the best things I’ve ever had IN MY LIFE. So smooth, a little sweet, perfectly mimicking the sparkling of a wine. I asked for the name and got some.
The entire price for one person was 200 euros, including tips and everything. This is no cheap place, yet compared to other fancier places, it is at the lower end of the price scale. I found the price to be decent for an experience like this. This is no KFC lunch but a spectacle of service, taste, atmosphere and pleasure. It was worth every single penny, without a doubt.
My experience at Petrus was out of this world. I’ve never been in a restaurant where people are treated like this. I felt special and welcomed. The food was incredible, the best I’ve ever had outside of my grandma’s kitchen. The staff was friendly but very professional. Even cleaning the tablecloth after every single dish. That was just on another level of service. Impeccable.
I’m not going to go over the price one more time, as I find it reasonable for what you’re getting. Let’s be honest, there’s a $100 burger down the block at a posh restaurant and no, it’s not worth it just because it’s covered in a gold leaf. This is instead an experience I will never forget. A culinary journey like none other in my life. It was an eye-opener and it made me appreciate true restaurants so much more. I will try and visit one restaurant like Petrus per year.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.