ICYMI, Gordon Ramsay is opening a restaurant in London for the first time since 2014. Sometime this summer, Lucky Cat, described — when first announced last month — as an “authentic Asian eating house” will replace Maze, Ramsay and Jason Atherton’s 14-year-old small plate fine-dining hotspot, which announced £3.8 million losses last year.
Ramsay’s latest initiative, on which he is partnering with self-styled “tofu freak” head chef Ben Orpwood, has drawn arched eyebrows, mostly because of a lack of self-awareness, vintage Ramsay hubris, and carelessness with language. (It seems there has been some internal reflection on at least the latter point; the word “authentic” has been dropped in favour of “vibrant.”)
Despite that, in official materials posted to gordonramsayrestaurants.com last week, the chef says that his “long-time vision” which “he can’t wait to bring it to life” has emerged organically. “I’ve toured and worked in much of Asia over the years and the culture, the flavours and the incredible cooking, never fail to inspire me,” he says.
Although it is not stated anywhere explicitly, the recently publicised menu indicates that Lucky Cat will be Japanese, not “pan-Asian” as might be inferred from the rather opaque statements elsewhere.
“Calling on experiences and inspiration from trips to the Far East, the menu features Asian small plate classics and Robata-grilled dishes,” guest are told. The kitchen will “focus on using Asian ingredients and cooking techniques in new ways.” The resultant, “eclectic” menu will feature the following dishes:
- Seared otoro with house soy, wakame oil, and baby kale.
- Orkney scallop, yuzu, and sweetcorn hot sauce, wasabi leaf and finger lime, which will use “yuzu in a completely different way and will incorporate wasabi leaves that will be grown in the restaurant’s own kitchen.”
- A seasonal chawanmushi (steamed savoury custard) will be topped with luxe ingredients like truffle, mushrooms, and caviar.
- There’ll be a raw bar, too — and why not when playing Mayfair restaurant cliché bingo? It will be here that “guests can enjoy sushi and sashimi as they interact with the chefs working behind it.”
Drinks-wise, there’ll be something called a “Lucky Geisha,” which involves vodka, sake, egg white, and yuzu; plus a “Lucky Negroni” whose composition will be determined by the guest rolling three dice. Mathematically, this means that there will be 216 combinations of this drink, which is an unlucky reality for whoever is the mixologist.
Ramsay adds: “We’ve got a great team on the project and we’re ready to bring something really special to London this summer.”
This publication will be ready for the reviews.