Roux rules Harden’s survey as Ramsay comes up short

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gordon ramsay, Le gavroche

Michelle Roux Jr's French restaurant tops the London list from Harden's
Michelle Roux Jr's French restaurant tops the London list from Harden's
Michel Roux Jr’s legendary Mayfair restaurant Le Gavroche offers ‘the top gastronomic experience’ in London, according to a survey of over 9,000 diners by revered restaurant guide Harden’s.

Roux becomes the seventh chef in the survey’s 23-year history to preside over a leading restaurant, but for fellow celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, the new edition of Harden’s London Restaurants doesn’t make for such a good read.

Ramsay’s eponymous venue in Royal Hospital Road has dropped off the list of top restaurants after 12 years, instead moving up to third spot the ‘most disappointing cooking’ rankings, and second in the ‘most overprice restaurant’ list.

“For such a small establishment, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay managed almost as impressive a double-whammy, being fifth-most-nominated for ‘most disappointing cooking’ and second for ‘most overpriced restaurant’,” said the Harden Guide’s co-founder Richard Harden.

Oxo Tower Restaurant was the unfortunate holder of top spot on both the ‘disappointing’ and ‘overpriced’ lists, continuing its run of underperformance on Harden’s.

Fewer closures 

For the ninth consecutive year, ‘London’s Favourite Restaurant’ went to Chez Bruce, the popularity of which continues to transcend its relatively obscure Wandsworth location.

Meanwhile, the ‘Best Meal’ top 10 saw two impressive debut appearances by recently-opened restaurants – Dabbous (7) and Medlar (9) – and the restaurant continuing to attract the greatest volume of commentary is Theatreland fish legend J Sheekey.

Published today, Harden’s London Restaurants notes that 125 restaurants have opened in London over the past 12 months, in line with the buoyant range of recent years. The number of restaurant closings, at 56, was the lowest recorded since 2000 – making the number of net openings (69) only a fraction shy of the all-time high of 75 recorded in 2006.

The average price of dinner for one (including half a bottle of wine, coffee and service) is now £47.68. Prices have risen by 3.5 per cent in the past 12 months, a whisker ahead of the rise in consumer prices more generally.

Harden’s London Restaurants: 2013 lists

Top gastronomic experience
1    Le Gavroche (3)
2    The Ledbury (2)
3    Dinner (1)
4    Chez Bruce (5)
5    Pollen Street Social (6)
6    Marcus Wareing (4)
7    Dabbous* 
8    The Square (7)
9    Medlar*
10  Pied à Terre(8)

Favourite

1    Chez Bruce (1)

2    Le Gavroche (5)
3    The Wolseley (6)
4    Le Caprice (7)
5    J Sheekey (3)
6    The Delaunay (-)
7    Trinity (9)
8    The Ledbury (-)
9    Pollen Street Social (4)
10  The River Café (10)

Best for business
1    The Wolseley (1)
2    The Square (2)
3    The Delaunay (7)
4    Galvin La Chapelle (5)
5    The Don (3)
6    Bleeding Heart (4) 
7    L’Anima (8)
8    Scott’s (9)
9    1 Lombard Street (-)
10   Savoy Grill (-)

Best for romance
1    Clos Maggiore (1)
2    La Poule au Pot (2)
3    Andrew Edmunds (3)
4    Bleeding Heart (4)
5    Le Gavroche (7)
6    Galvin at Windows (5)
7    Chez Bruce (6)
8    The Ritz Restaurant (-)
9    Le Caprice (8)
10  Café du Marché (-)

Best breakfast/brunch
1    The Wolseley (1)
2    The Delaunay (-)
3=   Roast (2)
3=   Cecconi’s (4)
5    Riding House Café (-)
6    Granger & Co (-)
7    The Modern Pantry (-)
8    Duck & Waffle*
9    Smiths (Ground Floor) (3)
10  Dean Street Townhouse (-)

Best bar/pub food
1    The Anchor & Hope (1)
2    Bull & Last (3)
3    Harwood Arms (2)
4    The Thomas Cubitt (8)
5    The Anglesea Arms (7)
6    Grazing Goat*
7    Canton Arms (4)
8    The Gun (6)
9    The Orange (5)
10   The Ladbroke Arms (-)

Most disappointing cooking
1    Oxo Tower (Rest’) (1)
2    Balthazar*
3    Gordon Ramsay (5)
4    Brasserie Zédel*
5    Colbert*
6    Dinner (-)
7    The Wolseley (7)
8    The Ivy (3)
9    Alain Ducasse (-)
10   Ametsa with Arzak Instruction*

Most overpriced restaurant

1    Oxo Tower (Rest’) (1)
2    Gordon Ramsay (3)
3    The River Café (5)
4    Dinner (-)
5    Alain Ducasse (7)
6    Cut (-)
7    Marcus Wareing (4)
8    Le Gavroche (8)
9    The Ivy (-)
10   Pollen Street Social (-)

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