Club Gascon

Critics' choice
Club Gascon
Smithfield
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The presence of the three-strong Gascon group (as well as Comptoir Gascon, there’s wine bar Cellar Gascon) ensures that a small area of east-central London has a flavour of south-west France. This is the most expensive of the trio, a Michelin-starred sanctuary of haute cuisine. Heavy wooden screens shut out the world; inside is a serene and urbane room of greys and golds with marble panels.

Head chef Pascal Aussignac is from Toulouse, and the hallmarks of the area’s cuisine shine through in his food, although it’s given the fancifications this level of restaurant requires. A playful approach means many dishes come with descriptions in inverted commas or feature unusually prepared ingredients.

Flavour combinations are bold, which adds to the sense of occasion, and the technique is flawless; perhaps less so the tendency to unorthodox plating. However, everything else was note-perfect.

 

Venue name: Club Gascon
Contact:
Address: 57 West Smithfield
London
EC1A 9DS
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 6.30-10pm Mon-Thur; 6.30-10.30pm Fri, Sat
Transport: Tube: Barbican or Farringdon
Price: Dishes £12-£26. Set lunch £25 2 courses incl coffee or 3 courses. Set dinner £28 3 courses. Set meal £60 5 courses (£90 incl wine)

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
2 people listening
Jag S
1 of 1 found helpful

Absolutely beautiful from start to finish. I booked a table for 18:30 on a Wednesday so obviously we were the only ones there at that time. However it gradually built up and it was a lovely atmosphere. Very friendly and highly knowledgeable staff. Food was immaculate from the amuse-bouche, bread course and the main and dessert. They infuse weird combinations in the food but they all worked a treat. Will surely be back. Highly recommended.

London Foodie Mama

Less that 24 hours before our reservation, Club Gascon calls London Foodie Mama: “We don’t have highchairs..we don’t cater for babies..we recently had to ask a family to leave because their baby was disturbing other diners”. Hmm, not the most welcoming start. Undeterred, LFM was determined to take baby (less than 1 years old) to this 1 Michelin starred snooty restaurant. 

In hindsight, we probably would have enjoyed the meal better without the wriggly worm. Pretty stressful keeping bebe quiet amongst the room of men in city suits on expense accounts. 

On to the food: Maybe because we chose the limited lunch set menu (they wouldn’t let half the table go a la carte..why??), but we were not blown away by the dishes. The combinations and ingredients were, let’s say ‘traditional’ and didn’t push the boundaries. Next time, we would like to try the tasting menu but will wait to be on expenses (oh dear LFM needs to find a job first). 

To the restaurant’s credit, they treated us well and the complimentary champagne and sparkler for LFM’s guest’s birthday was delightful. http://londonfoodiemama.tumblr.com/

Anais

Stunning experience at Club Gascon, the a la carte looked fantastic but we opted for the ‘Marche’ menu – certainly more than your average tasting menu with a few nice surprises thrown in too, especially like the amuse bouche and pre desert with mint and wasabi. Of all the dishes my favourites were the duck “Chocobar” and confit scallops – amazing flavours which I don’t think you’ll find in many other restaurants. The service was great and Sommelier explained matched wines really well to a nice like me! Would definitely go back if in the area again.

Flumbles234

Good: Great tasting food. Very polite, friendly staff. Close to Barbican & Farringdon tubes so getting home shouldn't be a problem. No rush on finishing meals / no table-turning. Bad: Clearly with the meals in this kind of restaurant you go for the experience rather than an aspiration of getting a full plate, but the portions were pretty meagre, even with that in mind. Waiter forgot our drinks order. Waiter forgot our bread. Was looking forward to trying pheasant but there was no more of this, seemed strange for a high-level restaurant to not plan for a Friday night. All in all... Nice restaurant if you can afford to order enough to not be starving when you leave.