A truly established seafood restaurant – for it boasts over 150 years of experience – Gow’s Restaurant within the city is the traditional haven for those looking for the ripest fruits de la mer. I visited when were in the middle of this year’s heatwave. Below the elegant oyster bar that looks over the bustle of the city, are some darker, cooler dining rooms, perfect for escaping whatever formidable weather is outside (hot or otherwise).
We perused the menu; classic fare of seafood dishes, with some meat and vegetarian classics there for good measure. Relaxing with chilled Louis Jadot, we were poised to sample some of Gow’s offerings.
To begin the scallops with roasted spiced cauliflower and curry oil. How a kitchen handles a scallop is often on the testing list of any punter. Gow’s were faultless. Here’s what we all hope for in a restaurant dish, a pairing of ingredients we’ve not ever thought to conjure up, but upon seeing and tasting we realise it is quite the happy union. The contrasting crunch of cauliflower when met with the silk-smoothness of scallops makes utter sense on the plate. The Indian-inspired spice and curry oil provide further depth of flavour. And with 6 scallops on the plate! This is my tip.
Alongside this we enjoyed the poached seafood cocktail. Each piece of fish, from crab meat to prawn was precisely cooked, and not left in the boil a second too long. Forever a satisfying starter, this dish also did not disappoint.
The Catch of the Day was ray wing, served in brown butter sauce with capers. I marveled at the thick, meatiness of the fish and how well it infused with the rich butter sauce and tang of the capers yet retaining its own taste.
What’s a trip to a seafood restaurant without the prize catch, lobster? We were blessed with a whole lobster, baked and accompanied with garlic butter and fries. A truly indulgent and thoroughly delicious dish, naturally opt for this if you require your food to warm your cockles.
2 courses at Gow’s is enough to satisfy even the most ferocious of appetites, but if you’re like me sometimes the experience does not feel complete without a sweet end. As with all our previous decisions, our waiter Oscar listened to our tastes and expertly recommended dishes to fit with our palates.
We finished our Gow’s Restaurant experiences with a light panna cotta and the Eton mess. Together, we had the best of both worlds. The former was a light, gentle tasting dessert, with poached strawberries adorning the plate around it.
The latter was fulfilling in its typical richness. Gow’s restaurant even takes the sweetness to the next level by using white chocolate meringue. The use of the mellow raspberry as opposed to the traditional strawberry meant the dessert didn’t get sickly.
Sure enough, Gow’s Restaurant is everything I hoped for. Time-honoured dishes that are excellently cooked, with the odd twist here and there to keep one’s interest enlivened. These may be cliched, but it’s amazing how many restaurants overlook these simple principles. I’m happy to say Gow’s Restaurant is not one of them.