You might also expect prices to be at the very top end within the Square Mile but here again too, we found that not to be the case with Club Gascon offering very good value for money (once we had finally figured out the menu). The lunch menu is different to the dinner menu which is essentially a la carte and a touch pricier.
At lunch, the standard menu from which to choose is the Dejeuner Club menu priced at £25 for three courses, and while the food at this price nods towards the bistro, the lunchtime beef cut for example is the onglet, it remains nevertheless Michelin kissed. Also at lunch there's the option of 'Le Marche' at £55 (a seasonal tasting menu that is also available at night), and Le Deluxe menu at £65 which is a sort of all-you-can-eat foie gras menu, courses of which can nevertheless be ordered separately as (supplement) substitutions or additions.
Club Gascon, as the name implies and a foie gras menu testifies, is a very French restaurant indeed and the food is accordingly of the region. FOH staff are of course also French and we did encounter some communication difficulties while their knowledge of the dishes was sometimes lacking (or maybe that was the communication issues again).
The first dish out was something that we're sure would divide households across the nation: Marmite Royale. Bringing together French foie gras and the very British Marmite, all served from a Marmite jar with a spoon to scoop it out. This is of course huge on rich, sweet and savoury flavours that as you will of course either love or hate; we ordered it, we are of course in the love camp. Again, on the value front, this is part of the standard £25 menu and not a substitution from Le Deluxe. The other starter of pine smoked king prawns offered delicious prawns, perfect smoking, but seemed to us muddled in execution offering sliced shell on prawns with tapioca pearls and frosted oyster making it both an eat with your hands and an eat with your knife and fork dish.
An extra from the Deluxe menu was then shared, Duck Foie Gras 'Pot au Feu' with spring vegetables. While Raymond Blanc has said the pot-au-feu is the most celebrated dish in France that 'honours the table of the rich and the poor alike', we're guessing not with foie gras it doesn't. This up market version was stunning bringing together huge flavours in a dish you didn't want to end even with all its richness. Divine.
Our final desert was a disappointment as the chocolate fondant had not achieved its full potential. Rather than liquid inside it was at best 'close to gooey' rendering it all too heavy. The salted caramel here was barely salty, salt in all the wrong places today and despite two of us sharing, a third was still sitting unfinished by the end.
There's also a extensive use of flowers in the desserts which we are not fans of: the mousse with violet ice cream, Champagne rhubarb with rose and poppy emulsion and the fondant with lavender chantilly. Clearly a personal preference however.
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