December 19, 2011 / SEEK THE TRUTH
December 19, 2011
I recently had the privilege and opportunity to dine at chef Gordon Ramsay’s 3 Michelin Star Restaurant on Old Hospital Road, London. Both the food and the personal service were world-class, faultless, and outstanding. In fact everything you’d expect from Chef Ramsay. I was particularly taken by the seamless interaction of house staff and their down-to-earth connection with the guests. They were experts in their area of service, but as friendly and kind-hearted as a good friend. A spectacular experience, and absolutely no doubt I will return on my next trip to London.
Having watched Ramsay’s role as a passionate and colorful television personality, I’ve always respected his ability to accurately critique, break down, and rebuild underperforming or poorly positioned restaurants with his signature blunt critique and the standards at which he holds others. You don’t get 3 stars without fanatical attention to excellence.
While dining for four hours I had reason to visit the lav on two occasions, and while standing reflecting on the whole experience, something didn’t quite sit right with me. As I often do, I was thinking about every part of the experience, the front of house was near perfection. The Maître D invited us to tour the kitchen, how could I not be impressed. But on my two visits to the restroom I noticed a lack of attention to excellence in the details. While the bathroom was spotlessly clean, the wallpaper was peeling at the base of the skirting boards, paint was sloppy around the urinal tiles, the sink was bog standard, and the marble countertop unspectacular at best. I have no doubt every other bloke goes in, urinates, and leaves but I couldn’t help thinking about Ramsay’s fanaticism for detail and excellence, and how these details got past his eagle eye. Bathrooms say everything about a restaurant, so it made me wonder, when was the last time he was here, when was the last time he looked at his own establishment the same way he does at others? This is his flagship. I think it’s time for a bog remodel Gordon.