Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

These are Gordon Ramsay’s golden rules for eating out at restaurants

rexfeatures_8584361j.jpg

If there’s anyone we’d trust to provide us with no-nonsense restaurant advice, it’s Gordon Ramsay. The hot-tempered restauranteur has been working in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, and made his name tearing strips off shoddy chefs (Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef), rubbish restaurants (Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares) and horrific hotels (Hotel Hell). Yes, he’s a little bit scary – but he knows what he’s talking about.

Now, Ramsay has revealed his golden rules for eating out. The Michelin-starred chef, who owns restaurants in London, the US, Italy, France, Qatar, Hong Kong and Dubai, says that customers should avoid specials, be suspicious of boastful menus, and haggle for wine – and book a table for three when going on a date.

Why? Read on to find out…

gordon

'Never order the special': Gordon Ramsay with wife Tana.

1) Book a table for three, for two

This definitely isn’t a trick to deploy every time you go out to eat with your partner (or your Tinder date, best mate or mum), as it’s more than a little cheeky. But if you’re planning a special dinner for two, and are worried that you might get stuck in a cramped corner or by the toilets, Ramsay recommends booking a table for three instead.

This, he tells AFP, will improve your chances of being able to spread out, instead of “getting stuck in the corner like a doorstop”. Note: it goes without saying that you’ll have to be terribly apologetic when you arrive and tell your waiter that unfortunately, your third guest will not be joining you.


Read more: This is officially the most beautiful restaurant in the world – and it’s in London


2) Be suspicious of too-good-to-be-true boasts

Ramsay is renowned for the… unique way he deploys the English language, so it’s no surprise that he has strong opinions on how other chefs choose to describe their dishes.

Specifically, he has no time for restaurants that proclaim their food is “famous”, “iconic” or “best in the UK” – without being able to cite their sources.

“When they turn around and tell me it is the ‘famous red lasagne’, who made it famous?” asks Ramsay. “They start coming up with these terminologies, saying ‘and the wicked, famous, best in the country profiteroles’.

“Who said that? Who named that?”

wine

Don't be afraid of the big, bad sommelier, says Gordon Ramsay.


Read more: This infographic shows you how to match wine to your favourite snack


3) Be prepared to haggle for wine

If you feel daunted when ordering wine in a fancy restaurant, you’re not alone. But according to Ramsay, customers should never feel embarrassed when it comes to trying to get the best deal – and should even be prepared to haggle with the sommelier.

“We have a fear about talking to sommeliers because you think you’re going to be ripped off,” he says. “So get the sommelier to come up with a great glass or great bottle and give him a price. And make sure it’s under $30 (£23.50).”

Ramsay also recommends that customers ask their waiter to see the “bin end” list – the bottles with scratched labels, vintages that are about to be switched out or poor sellers that restaurants are keen to get rid of.


Watch: Why prosecco is good for you


4) Avoid specials

While it might be easy to be suckered in when your waiter reels off a long list of tempting-sounding ‘specials’, Ramsay says that a discerning customer will generally steer clear.

“Specials are there to disappear throughout the evening,” he says. “When they list 10 specials, that’s not special.”

Want wine advice from a sommelier without having to, you know, actually consult a sommelier? You might like our sommelier’s guide to the best red wines under £10. Or to find out how to get a Michelin-starred meal for as little as £16.50, click here.

Images: Rex Features, iStock

Related

rose wine award winning.jpg

You can buy one of the best rosé wines in the world for only £5.99

cheapest michelin meals the elephant torquay.jpg

How to score a Michelin-starred meal for as little as £16.50

ramadan restaurants london.JPG

Ramadan: The best places to break your fast in London

Latest...

There’s a psychological reason you’re in love with Starbucks’ red cups

It’s not just because Christmas is coming

by Gemma Crisp
18 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson says this is the next big food trend

Will this steal avocado’s crown?

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

Your Starbucks Halloween Frappuccino fix is here and it’s fangtastic

Sink your teeth into this

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

Hold up, there's an avocado chocolate bar – AND it’s vegan

Don't fight it

by Megan Murray
17 Oct 2017

Percy Pig has had a scary Halloween revamp (but he’s still delicious)

Percy ain’t so cute anymore

by Megan Murray
12 Oct 2017

This company wants to pay YOU to eat pizza

This is going to be a tough role to fill

by Susan Devaney
11 Oct 2017

2017’s best bar in the world is right here in the UK

And it’s a Martini glass of old-school glamour

by Amy Swales
10 Oct 2017

Lidl has launched hangover-free prosecco, and no you're not dreaming

We've just got our Sunday mornings back

by Megan Murray
10 Oct 2017

An unlimited cheese and mulled wine festival is coming to London

Will you be visiting the city’s giant cheese board this Christmas?

by Susan Devaney
09 Oct 2017

Aldi has unleashed the pumpkin spice liqueur of your dreams

This is the ultimate Halloween drink...

by Megan Murray
06 Oct 2017