Well here I am in Vegas. If you think I’m going to do the obvious and line up for boring buffets like some kind of third world peasant, then you’re going to be disappointed. Luckily, Vegas is the home to three of Gordon Ramsay’s outposts. Having watched most seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, I made the small trek here after my afternoon flight to try some of Hell’s Kitchen signature dishes, including the legendary (or dreaded, if you’re a Hell’s Kitchen contestant) Beef Wellington. I wasn’t disappointed.
It was 4:30pm and a line already formed in front of the restaurant on the noisy Paris Las Vegas casino floor. I was led through a tunnel-like structure, which the waitress said it represented the Chunnel which connects Paris (the casino) to London (the restaurant). Pretty clever. There was also an array of neon lights installed under a giant Union Jack painted on the ceiling, which the waitress said it represented Gordon Ramsay’s hand movements.
Being a Hell’s Kitchen fan, I went for the Limited Edition Hell’s Kitchen Tasting menu. It also came with a signed copy of the menu with a picture of Gordon Ramsay and Christina Wilson, the winner of Hell’s Kitchen season 10. The course started quickly after I ordered a cocktail on their crApple tablet drink menu.
Amuse Bouche – Scotch Egg, Berkshire pork sausage, red wine braised cabbage. An amuse bouche with Ramsay’s English touch, it was a lightly boiled quail egg surrounded by the Berkshire pork sausage encased in bread crumbs, which were then fried. The sausage and the golden brown bread crumbs accentuated the soft quail egg interior which created an interesting combination of crunchy and mushy texture.
Heirloom Tomato Salad, red bell pepper vinaigrette, cucumber cauliflower puree, spiced marcona almonds. I initially frowned at the word “salad” when I saw the menu. When it was presented on the table, I realized how smart this was. It was a super fresh tomato sliced in two with the vinaigrette and almonds carefully applied on to the tomato. I love the combination between the acidity from the tomato and the nuttiness from the almonds. The vinaigrette and the puree just accentuated this flavor.
Scallop Risotto, grilled sweet corn, fava beans, aaxaca cheese. The giant piece of scallop was tremendous. The exterior was well seared and it progressively got softer toward the interior. However, I thought the risotto itself could be better seasoned and the risotto rice a bit softer. The grilled corn was the redeeming feature on the risotto, the sweet taste contrasted the bland risotto and left a pleasing grilled after taste in my mouth.
Roasted Beef Wellington, glazed root vegetables, potato puree, red wine demi-glace. Gordon Ramsay’s signature dish and the scourge that sent many Hell’s Kitchen contestants home, it was simply blasphemous not to order this in a GR establishment. It was a seared, then roasted filet mignon, wrapped in thin layers of prosciutto, coated with earthy duxelles (a paste consisting of sliced mushrooms, onions, shallots, herbs, and butter) and encased in a flaky pastry. It was cooked medium rare on the dot, with the meat so tender that it fell apart with a flick of a fork. The combination of these flavors were insanely delicious and no doubt that it was worthy being the signature dish of the three Michelin star chef.
The poorly exposed picture didn’t do the dish any justice. You just have to try it.
Sticky Toffee Pudding, sweet date pudding cake, brown sugar toffee, brown butter ice cream. The restaurant’s signature dessert, it was a duo of sweet, moist, and fluffy pudding cake drizzled with gooey brown sugar toffee paired with a “stick” of brown butter ice cream. Every bite of the warm sweet cake was doused out by a bite of the cold, creamy ice cream, it was simply a guilty pleasure to end the tasting menu just like that.
Unlike a dysfunctional kitchen you would typically see in Hell’s Kitchen, service here was impeccable like a well oiled machine. I initially thought this was a tourist trap and the premium prices were riding on Gordon Ramsay’s name, but the quality of the food delivered. The Beef Wellington undoubtedly stood out for me and I wanted to fly to Vegas every time I think about it.
One thing of note was that the waitresses were quite seductive looking, so if you don’t like the food, at least you’ll get some view.