Anglophiles, fans of British cuisine & patriotic/semi-patriotic Brit foodies out to prove a point
Steakhouse connoisseurs and mighty proud/shameless carnivores
Those with pounds (financial) to burn and pounds (physiological) to gain, and who want to do this in the most sensorially exciting way possible (short of swimming in a vat of Nutella…).
Those out to impress a foreign client or visitor to London. Show them all that shiny stuff on the South Bank then drop in here. You will not be disappointed…
In A Word
The Location & Style
Jason: Gillray’s lives in the lovely Marriott County Hall, near Waterloo Station, or Westminster for a scenic route across the bridge, and ironically with a McDonalds next door. Much like most restaurants, it’s location is most appreciated at night, it’s blue lights beaming an electric sapphire glow onto the walls of the Grand Hall. Within, great views over the Thames and riverside, and just a stone’s throw from the London Eye too. [Ed: read, it’s scenic as fuark] As far as the style goes, I’ll just quote what it says on the website: ‘’Epitomises England in every way – from our steak, gin, art, furniture, location & views’’.
Ed: Gillray’s takes it’s name after the famous caricaturist James Gillray, and is adorned with images of his satirical and sometimes surreal cartoons – very British – but not in that sickeningly patriotic way. The restaurant actually makes you a little proud of our culinary heritage. Any foreign visitor who questions our cuisine would do well to come to Gillray’s and really go to town (metaphorically and literally). I dare anyone to criticise the state of modern British food & drink after a three course meal here.
Hell, I’d make the trek back to Westminster repeatedly and successively prove this point…successively…
Ed: Head chef Gareth Bowen is an artist of masterful calibre – AA Rosettes, Guild of Master Chefs – all that. He paints with dead cows, vegetables and things with flour in them (I make that sound slightly worrying, but it’s not). Gillray’s menu is on the main part British inspired, Gareth taking some old recipes and staples and fiddling with the recipes until new and delicious things emerge. The best example perhaps being that much beloved Northern staple, black pudding – which he’s tweaked with a bit of pimenton, creating something that tastes like a chorizo tinged black pud. A very good call.
Presentation is pure steakhouse – hearty portions, no experimentation with nouvelle cuisine style presentation – WYSIWYE (guess the acronym). If you opt for mains, you probably won’t leave wanting more. You leave feeling like a champ. A very full champ.
Devonshire Crab Cakes
Foreman’s ‘’London Cure’’ Smoked Salmon
Ed: Realistically, a Bull’s Head on it’s own should fill up even the hungriest meat eater. But for the sake of photographic/editorial posterity, we went for a fair few sides too. Needless to say, don’t try this one at home folks (or do…just don’t eat for a day before or after)
The ‘Bulls Head’ Steak
Continuing Jack & I’s mission of putting London’s steakhouses to the test, this bovine gem now sits amongst our top favourites.
Ed: Top 5 steaks of my lifetime…possibly top 2. The black Angus beef had an almost nutty flavoured marbling and served blue it was, I think, one of the juiciest steaks to have spent some time inside my mouth. Unforgettable for it’s grandeur and ostentation. Holy shit.
J: Each comes with a numbered dog tag attached as a memento – a good idea) [Ed: …and they took mine away before I could keep it for myself :(]
Baked Bone Marrow
‘Our Own Recipe’ Black Pudding
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Chef’s Ice Cream
After having eaten for 3hrs up until the restaurant was closed off it didn’t leave much room in our schedule (or our bellies) to experience much of the bar area. though the whole venue has a comfortable setting from front to back.
The food quality was top class, the service excellent and the prices reasonable [Ed: OK, I beg to differ on this one]. I can’t rate this restaurant highly enough.
All that food was paid off well the next day with vast amounts of weight-training!
Gillray’s, we will see [Ed: and eat you] you again soon.
A: London Marriott Hotel County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB
P: 020 7902 8000