The culinary adventures of some gluten hating girl in London
The Southbank’s Marriott County Hall is home to Gillray’s – a rather swish steakhouse with some of the most impressive views you’re likely to find in London Town.
The prices are eye-watering to say the least, but they offer a set menu which gives you three courses for £29 and a gin cocktail from their adjacent bar – where you’ll find an incredible variety of gins and some totally delicious cocktails. These are also eye-wateringly expensive, though, so please dear god do NOT get drunk here (unless you’re loaded, then you can do as you please).
The main restaurant is cloaked in wood pannelling and marble floors, I presume this is an attempt to warn unsuspecting tourists that dinner here will cost you an arm and a leg, giving them one last chance to run for their lives. The wine list isn’t even a real wine list… it’s AN IPAD. Also the waiters wear bow ties – important fact.
The menu is nice, but the set menu as usual doesn’t offer a lot of choice, particularly for the gluten free folk. I did warn them of my gluten-hatred but they didn’t take a lot of notice, I’m sad to say.
We began with the weirdest amuse bouche I’ve ever seen. Four enormous Yorkshire Puddings filled with cheese. Just weird. Also nothing GF – although I was quite glad of that because there’s no way I’m eating a slab of batter and then a three course meal. Who do they think I am? Mr Creosote?
I had to deviate from the set menu due to its lack of GF choices (I don’t count soup, it is borings) so chose Forman’s Smoked Salmon, which oddly enough came with a line of onions. Smoked Salmon for the Cokehead. Perhaps the chef had been overindulging – could explain the mental amuse bouche. The rest of the family had potted crab and shrimp and pate with massive chunk of bread.
Steaks were fine and cooked just as we asked, chips were pretty amazing (almost as good as Heston’s, I thought) however the tarragon sauce was a little on the cold side.
Puds were enjoyed by everyone except me because of the total lack of GF pudding options on their set menu, but I did try some cheese. It was mostly enjoyable. And it looked pretty. Look at it – very pretty.
The Verdict: If you do go try the set menu, but don’t expect much in the way of special GF dishes. Steaks are great, cocktails are great, the rest isn’t that brilliant.