Lucky Cat, London
A restaurant opening, we have been looking forward to for a while, Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat has successfully managed to create great expectations from both a design and a culinary point of view.
Upon arrival, a bright red neon sign welcomes you to the restaurant, followed by an entire wall with dozens of metallic maneki-neko,(lucky cats) on display. As your eyes adapt to the dim-lighting, beautiful interior details begin to catch our attention.
There is no corner of the space that has not been carefully considered, making your eyes wander around; noting the combination of eccentric marble table tops with their rich velvets, beautifully balanced by the bronze bamboo cladding and eye-catching low-level lighting. The ceiling combines sections of Asian inspired patterns with tinted mirrors that beautifully reflect the light of the series of frosted glass sphere pendants.
The seats are very comfortable, the tables feel great to the touch and while you might feel a little distant from your party, the length is needed as the dishes start to arrive. Our very knowledgeable waiter gives us a brief explanation of the restaurant, the interior design and the food menu.
So far, it has already been quite a sensorial journey, and then the food arrives…
The presentation of the dishes is as expected; however, the choice of crockery exceeded any expectation with its delightful glazing and array of textures. We were certain the food was going to be great, and we were not disappointed!
As advised, we selected 6-7 dishes to share between 2 people; a combination of rice, vegetables and meat dishes. Everything was exquisite. The gyozas had the perfect crispiness, the maitake & black truffle aroma was to die for, the shiitake & pork kamameshi had the perfect texture and the pork belly skewers…. mouth-watering.
The dishes arrived with no delay; however, the service was perhaps a bit too attentive, leaving little space and time for us to process just how amazing the food was. As to the dim-lighting, which works excellently to create a seductive atmosphere, it slightly hinders our ability to appreciate the beautiful presentation of the food.
Before we leave, the waiter offers to give us a tour of the kitchen and the chef’s table (where they grow their own wasabi!) The open kitchen at the back-of-the-space feels energetic, and we can’t avoid imagining that we are in the busy streets of Tokyo deciding what street food stall we will try next.
Beautiful and playful details complement each other at the chef’s table, with assumingly custom-made tiles, with a clear Chinese ceramic inspiration portraying imagery of lucky cats. Here we find more contemporary stone in the table tops and timber panelling with Asian proportions.
Overall, the restaurant feels quite atmospheric, and very exciting for all of the senses. We are really looking forward to going back- in order to try different items on the menu and discover more interior design details that surely will keep surfacing with every visit!;