I met Gordon Ramsey once.
It was at the filming of one of his many food TV shows, Kitchen Nightmares, where he advises failing restaurants and drastically turns them around on the show. My time on screen was short, only a minute or two. Likewise, Chef Ramsey only spoke a few words to us. "Sorry about the branzino", referring to the fact that the restaurant had sold out of one of its specials. That experience gave me a fascinating peek inside the food TV reality world.
Despite having been on his show, I did not actually try one of his restaurants until recently, when we visited Maze by Gordon Ramsey in Hong Kong.
Gordon Ramsey rose to fame through his cooking first, followed by his TV career. The British 3-Michelin starred chef has built a global restaurant empire, written countless books, and starred in numerous food TV shows. He's known for being foul-mouthed, quick tempered, and insensitively blunt when criticizing others. Yet, his personality draws viewers to his shows and diners to his restaurants. In 2018, he was the 33rd highest earning celebrity in the world, making $62 million US dollars in one year.
He has built a global restaurant empire, including three in Hong Kong. Bread Street Kitchen (Peak Galleria), London House (TST), and Maze Grill (Harbour City) which newly opened in late 2018.
After work one day, I headed over to Harbour City (where Bryan works), to join him in trying out Maze for the first time. Despite it being fully booked, we arrived right before opening to stand in line for one of the few walk-in bar tables near the entrance.
For starters, we tried the Grilled Diver Scallops ( HKD158) which came with jalapenos, sliced green apples, and coriander. The scallops were fresh and tender, and overall the dish was pleasant.
If you like duck, I highly recommend the Special Confit Duck and Watermelon Salad (HKD148). The refreshing watercress and thinly sliced watermelon (the white portion) complement the crispy confit duck leg and crunchy lotus chips quite nicely.
The server prepares the confit duck leg table side, mashing it up and separating the meat from the bone.
The focus of the restaurant is the grill, of course, so the menu has may options of various meats and fish that can be grilled. There are several different cuts of British butcher's cuts, as well as other international grain fed cuts. Aside from steak, there's a pork chop, whole chicken, salmon, and lobster.
If you want to try a variety of beef, consider the Cow & Cut, which gives you your choice of three different 100g cuts of 28-day dry aged ribeye, sirloin, and filet. The server recommended we share that, which was the perfect amount of food.
Out of all the different pieces, we enjoyed the ribeye the most (which is usually our favorite cut). The meat was good, cooked properly and enjoyable. It's not the best steak we've ever had in Hong Kong, but it's good and we enjoyed it.
Their signature dish is the Beef Wellington (for two - HKD888), which comes with mashed potatoes and peppercorn sauce. Perhaps we'll consider trying that the next time we go.
The Seasonal Greens side dish was fine, though nothing special. The Cauliflower Cheese was well executed with a decadent layer of bubbling browned cheese on top. Bryan really enjoyed it. I'm not such a fan of these types of rich dishes (case in point: Bryan loves mac & cheese and I don't), but I concede that it was well made.
For dessert we had a pleasant Raspberry Souffle [HKD128], which came with a raspberry sorbet. The dish was expertly executed and enjoyable, though I personally prefer traditional, plain souffles.
Maze Grill by Gordon Ramsey Hong Kong - General Thoughts
Maze Grill by Gordon Ramsey serves well executed food paired with stunning views of Victoria Harbour and the famous Hong Kong skyline. It's a safe and solid choice if you're looking for a place to entertain business guests. It's conveniently open 7 days a week from 11:30AM to 11PM. In general, the food is relatively conservative, with British leanings (for obvious reasons).
I would be perfectly happy to come back again, say, for a business dinner. However, it's not the type of restaurant I would personally seek out, partly because it's more traditional and focuses more on rich, meat-oriented ingredients. I guess you could say I find the food to be perfectly pleasant but not that exciting. Nevertheless, I can see how it could be really nostalgic and feel like comfort food, especially for people from England.
Maze Grill by Gordon Ramsey Hong Kong
Shop OTE401 - Level 4
Ocean Terminal, Harbour City
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong