I popped off tonight to the well known and well established Gilbey’s Restaurant in Eton High Street. I looked forward to it, if I am honest, immensely. I had heard very good things about it from all who had been there, so I was absolutely ready for it when the time came. Being a pre organised dinner, the menu was set, but still had choices. I love that in a restaurant; it keeps some fun and some individuality. So, we were shown to our lovely table at the back; I was with some good friends and we started a three course meal.
The first thing I noticed was the service. It was almost perfect for the reasons that it was formal enough to make it a special occasion. I shall give you an example; no tablecloths, but excellent people skills. I hate it when one is bothered or ignored by the front of house team: today they had the balance at a good equilibrium. Anyway, I had to choose between a “roulade of Guinea Fowl, mushroom and Pancetta with toast and tomato jam” and the same condiments with chicken liver pate. I opted for the Guinea, mainly because I absolutely love it. I have to say I was a bit surprised by it: It suggested on the menu that the roulade was just of mushroom, instead it was everything. But it was very effective I must say. And very well presented. The bread was interesting but not over complicated, and the tomato jam was a true triumph. The roulade was light and delicate but with bold flavours. I actually loved it; I really did.
Next came the main course. Here I could have chosen between Steak and Chips “poshified” or Chicken with lots of other yummy things glued to the plate. In the end, I went for steak; yes, a bit boring, but it is always a good standard by which to judge a restaurant. For if a restaurant can take good care over a steak, then they can take care over the more complicated things, as shown by the roulade. So, then in blistful speed came my steak. It was served with a “green peppercorn veloute”, which was pretty much a posh way of saying peppercorn sauce. This, however was very nice, a bit over powering perhaps; I wouldn’t have liked any more than that on the plate, but it was nice nonetheless. The steak itself was good, a bit over seasoned perhaps; I found myself having to drink a lot of water to get over the seasoning, but cooked to medium-rare perfection; just blushing on the outside, with a nice crust. The chips were good; as they always are too hot in the middle, but the outside was crispy and the inside wonderfully fluffy. The “dressed leaves” were good too, but a bit boring. Their so called dress was a mini skirt if that; I could hardly taste any dressing. A small point, but it is things like that that I, the penickity person that I am look for…!
Next came pudding. This was an easy choice; lemon tart or sticky toffee pudding. It had to be sticky toffee pudding. It is probably my favourite pudding, it takes all the things I love about a pudding into one. This was very very good in fact, a bit crispy round the edges for my liking, but a lovely lovely rich sauce. I loved it.
Oh, and I have started a new scoring system. It is pretty much a copy of Giles Coren’s one. I shall do a mark out of ten for the food, one for the service and one for something else that was special to that restaurant. And, if I can, I shall tell you the price.
Here we go!
Artwork on the wall: 9
Price: Pretty expensive; £36.50 for three courses
Overall: Nice food, nice evening, nice setting. Go to this place!