Poutine in the UK (with Gordon Ramsay)

Foxtrot Oscar

UPDATE: Apparently, poutine is no longer served at this restaurant

Finding poutine in Europe is difficult. You’d think you could find a decent poutine in Paris, but Parisians have never shown much interest in cuisine from Quebec. It seems there’s only one place that serves it called “The Great Canadian Pub.” I refused to set foot in this place because 1) it has a stupid name, 2) it has giant sports screens and 3) the poutine is supposedly crap.

So I took the Eurostar and headed to London, which had more options. London also has its fair share of tacky Canada-themed pubs for the hoser crowd – all of which apparently serve abominations topped with grated cheese. However, Gordon Ramsay’s Foxtrot Oscar claimed to serve the real thing with proper squeaky cheese. Since online comments were generally positive, I decided to check it out.

Foxtrot Oscar

Foxtrot Oscar is in the snooty part of London around Sloane Square. It’s luxury central, and the restaurant seemed offputtingly pompous for a self-proclaimed gastropub. The Hungarian waiter saw “plebe” written all over our faces and instantly directed us to a table in the basement. Okay, maybe I’m just imagining this. In the end, he turned out to be alright – in fact, the service was much friendlier than what you usually find in Britain.

Foxtrot Oscar

Don’t let this photo deceive you, this poutine is much better than it looks.

Fries: Although our burger came with thick British chips, the poutine came with North American fries. This disappointed some of the Brits at our table, but you can’t really fault this restaurant for trying to get it right. The fries were tasty: crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. One of our fellow diners felt they were a little conservative: “There’s scope for them to talk a bit more.” Conservative perhaps, but what do you FUCKING* expect in Sloane Square?(*the swearing is a tribute to Gordon Ramsay). 26/30.

Gravy: This is the best poutine gravy I’ve ever had – it was rich, slightly sweet, with a pleasing fullness. Everyone agreed that the gravy was FUCKING outstanding. One person said it was “a little too sweet,” someone else said it was “a little too salty” while I thought it was just right. 50/50.

Cheese: Like most poutine cheese outside of Canada, there was something slightly unusual about these curds. They looked right, but somehow tasted a little too sharp to be proper. They had a slight squeak, but not quite the sound of same-day freshness. Moreover, the curds were all slightly melted and clumped together in one BIG FUCKING LUMP hidden under the fries. 12/20.

TOTAL SCORE:
88/100

Verdict: Did I mention that this is the best gravy I’ve ever had? You’re unlikely to find a better poutine in London.

Price:High – £6.50 ($10.50). I suppose this isn’t too bad considering that 1) you’re in Britain and 2) this is a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.

Opening Hours: MON-SAT 12:00-15:00, 18:00-22:30; SUN 12:00-15:45, 18:00-21:00.

Location: 79 Royal Hospital Road, London, UK.

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10 Comments

Filed under Britain, Classic Poutine Reviews, Europe

10 responses to “Poutine in the UK (with Gordon Ramsay)

  1. Howdy!

    Has any other place ever received all the points in the cheese curd category or the fries category? And do you know if it is the same gravy that is used at the Laurier BBQ here in Montreal? And lastly, would it be possible to break out (or make a list of) the top scores in each of the three categories? Please and thanks.

  2. I might have to go there again and see if the fries are ‘talking’ more to me now. Certainly thought the whole thing, including pricing and service from the lovey Hungarian, was pretty ‘fucking’ incredible, especially as two of us left our bags there for an hour while we wandered around the galleries waiting for the Pundit to arrive. And it was hot (not just the waiter) and felt like a complete meal. Brits like hot and filling. More than could be said for the cerviche!

  3. Carolina Romanini

    I just LOVE YOU (whoever you are) for this post. I am a Brazilian affectionate for Canada and it’s poutine. I’m in London now and since they serve everything with gravy here I thought “they must have poutine somewhere”. Now that you mentioned Gordon Ramsay I am even more excited. If you ever go to Brazil, have your verdict on http://www.barsquat.com.br/ poutine’s. It’s not my favourite, but since it’s the only one in Brazil they have it.
    Thanks, man. Cheers!

  4. I say you try p’tite poutine in London at Broadyway Market on Saturdays: https://www.facebook.com/ptitepoutine

  5. This might be the most useful post ever. The Quebecoise I am was dying for a poutine this morning(still have another 3 months before I go back to Quebec) I am surely game to try! Cheers!

  6. Eli Juanez

    I flew to London to eat Poutine here, due to severe homesickness. Alas, the waiter had never even heard of Poutine. They have changed their menu and no longer serve it. And haven’t for years. You might wish to update your post 🙂

  7. A canadian's husband

    An another trip from Paris for a poutine fix is to go to Nantes where, in the old town, there is a place called “amour de pomme de terre”. Amongst the many potato and cheese heavy dishes they do their version of poutine which we had last weekend. Although it wasn’t quite poutine as we know it – they use cheddar cheese not cheese curds, and they melt the cheddar into the gravy to create a, very delicious, cheesy gravy rather than the traditional gravy on top of curds combo – it was very tasty. It came with slices of rare beef mixed in and a salad on the side with several rashers of of salty bacon. The potatoes were frites and were, as one might imagine from a restaurant of that name, very good.

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